Just can’t lay off the Bosch and Lombs

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Radazz
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Just can’t lay off the Bosch and Lombs

#1 Post by Radazz » Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:14 pm

Here’s a mid 1880’s B&L twin pillar Lister limb microscope, although I’m still trying to nail down the exact identity.
Two sources;
“Microscopes by Bausch & Lomb Optical Co. RNY 1876-1896” Gordon P. Reithmeier (2nd photo)
This reference calls it an ‘American type’ ‘Model” Microscope dating it between 1883 and 1896.
The second source is a Bosch & Lomb Microscopes and accessories catalog from around 1900 that I found on-line (3rd photo)
This reference calls it an American type Microscope—A.

No S/N but the stage is labeled Bosch & Lomb Optical Co
The instrument has a sort of adjustable slide clip that squeezes the stage glass using friction and has a knob on either side for positioning the specimen.
While I can coax an image out of it, the coarse focus is pretty well worn out and nothing holds still while focusing. It can be done, but the scope would be useless for any serious observation.
I guess this one is much more fun to look at than to look through.

Image

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This is the second Lister Limb scope I’ve acquired with B&L markings.
This graceful little ‘Family’ type is a classic example.

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On display
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Enjoy,
Radazz
Arnold, Missouri
Olympus IX70 HMC
Olympus BX40 Phase Contrast
Olympus SZ40 Stereoscope

apochronaut
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Re: Just can’t lay off the Bosch and Lombs

#2 Post by apochronaut » Wed Aug 22, 2018 12:27 am

The early U.S. made microscopes had that peace sign base( how ironic), and in parallel development European microscopes were evolving with the horseshoe base. The American type base is also called a Jackson base or to refer to the whole instrument a Jackson Stand. As things moved along in the late 19th century, the horseshoe based stand became known as the Continental Stand and for a while some companies, Bausch & Lomb included, offered essentially the same instrument as either a Jackson or a Continental. Eventually the Continental won out ; I think the last Jackson Stands from B & L were made around 1905, maybe 1906.

Your appetite for B & L's is great. They don't seem to have captured as much of the microscope public's imagination as most of the other of the original fine brands, certainly their longtime competitor Spencer commands much more interest, for no real reason.

That is a lovely stand. Gundlach, worked for B & L and patented the correction collar around 1878. Older high N.A. B & L objectives were some of the first to include correction collars.

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Radazz
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Re: Just can’t lay off the Bosch and Lombs

#3 Post by Radazz » Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:57 am

Thanks again, Apo.
I found an on-line source of catalogs and manuals for the 40’s and 50’s DynOptic Scopes which comprise the bulk of my B&L collection, but I’ve only seen 2 catalogs for the late 19th and very early 20th Century.
Weren’t they the top selling microscopes for a time? Seems like there would be documentation out the wazoo, but if there is, no one is sharing.
Radazz
Arnold, Missouri
Olympus IX70 HMC
Olympus BX40 Phase Contrast
Olympus SZ40 Stereoscope

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rnabholz
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Re: Just can’t lay off the Bosch and Lombs

#4 Post by rnabholz » Wed Aug 22, 2018 3:10 am

Beautiful collection. Classic beauties.

apochronaut
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Re: Just can’t lay off the Bosch and Lombs

#5 Post by apochronaut » Wed Aug 22, 2018 12:26 pm

Radazz wrote:Thanks again, Apo.
I found an on-line source of catalogs and manuals for the 40’s and 50’s DynOptic Scopes which comprise the bulk of my B&L collection, but I’ve only seen 2 catalogs for the late 19th and very early 20th Century.
Weren’t they the top selling microscopes for a time? Seems like there would be documentation out the wazoo, but if there is, no one is sharing.
Radazz
Bausch & Lomb made the claim that they were the largest microscope company in the world around the turn of the century/ By the early part of the 20th century they had their own glass plant in Germany and had an interest in Zeiss. Yet, by the early 1920's Spencer seems to have been dominant in the U.S. What happened? W.W. I, probably ; the conditions of which were not very favourable to B & L, with their association with Zeiss. Their involvement with Zeiss collapsed, fairly quickly and they had to establish their own patents. The glass factory had disappeared by the war's end. After the war, the list of foreign offices in their catalogues, does not include one in Germany, so something serious happened; most likely patent violations.

B & L was a little slow to manage their equipment lineup in order to meet the post W.W. I world. In 1919, there still was no binocular microscope, although they had a fully competitive monocular research model, the DDS, which could be had with apochromats. The monocular was still the choice of researchers but Spencer by 1917, had the binocular models 1 and 2, with facility to close off either the left or right optical path for monocular viewing. Later , they introduced a sliding binocular head, that allowed for a straight through, monocular pathway.
By 1922, B & L were offering a line of microscopes(CAE,CBE,CDE and FAE), which had interchangeable monocular or binocular bodies but by then, Spencer had a considerable lead in appealing to the obviously burgeoning hunger for binocular lab microscopes. B & L really never got it back until the Balplan came along, which briefly eclipsed Spencer's domination of the lab microscope market in the U.S.

I don't see many catalogues around for B & L either. It was even hard to find much for the Balplan! I have the one research microscope catalogue, which I have yet to scan but I did copy some pictures. I think you have seen those viewtopic.php?f=15&t=2215&hilit=b+%26+l ... +catalogue but I will try to do a complete scan in the near future.
I think I posted this site too. https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id= ... 1up;seq=38, which you probably already know. I count, 10 catalogues in this collection, between 1896 and 1929. From the 1896 catalogue( Bausch & Lomb's 15th), your microscope is a MODEL, model, or an F, specifically an F4, due to it having the double nosepiece. I don't know of any earlier Bausch & Lomb catalogue.

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Radazz
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Re: Just can’t lay off the Bosch and Lombs

#6 Post by Radazz » Wed Aug 22, 2018 12:50 pm

Thanks again, I’ve been to Hathitrust.org but will dig deeper there, and Check out the other site as well.
Arnold, Missouri
Olympus IX70 HMC
Olympus BX40 Phase Contrast
Olympus SZ40 Stereoscope

charlie g
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Re: Just can’t lay off the Bosch and Lombs

#7 Post by charlie g » Wed Aug 22, 2018 1:31 pm

Thank you, Radazz for sharing your beautifuk vintage branded stands..very special to to me this wonderful visit to your acquisitions here. Those elegant mounted slides also give gravitas and excitement to your posting here, Radazz!

Wow it would be sweet to speculate on the target market for these stands you show us. It would be sweet to speculate on the work-life of these specific stands...now basking in a 2018 microscopists collection...and given tour duty on 'ww web' forum microscopy. It would be sweet to hear how you came about acquisition of these two for your 'family' of stands, Radazz.

Anychance at all, of this post suggesting available sources of the historical events which Phil ( apochronaught) enriched this posting with? Again, thanks for this posting, Radazz.

Charlie Guevara, finger lakes/US..I should dig out of boxes an antique stand whose substage horizontal rack&pinon tracked condenser seems curious indeed to me.

apochronaut
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Re: Just can’t lay off the Bosch and Lombs

#8 Post by apochronaut » Thu Aug 23, 2018 12:38 pm

It's pretty much detective work, Charlie g.
Here is what is known. Bausch & Lomb, Carl Zeiss Optical Works Jena and George Saegmuller Co. established a triple alliance in 1908. The logo of B & L became no longer a triangle with the letters B & L inside it but a triangle split further into 3 internal triangles, each carrying the letters of the 3 companies in partnership. In 1908, B & L announced that they had established a factory for the making of glass in Frauenwald, Thuringia Germany, with 40 workers.
In 1914, they were still using that logo, with the Z for Zeiss, marked inside the B & L triangle. By 1916, the internal 3 triangles had been replaced with the large block letters U.S.A. and hence forward, no mention of Zeiss as a partner of B & L exists.

In the 1916 catalogue, they note a branch address in Frankfurt but also include a picture in the catalogue of the Bausch & Lomb glass plant in Rochester . By 1919, there is no branch address in Germany.

In 1925, objective lenses produced by B & L carried a patent date( 0ct. 13, 1925 if memory serves me correctly) and did so for many years after, maybe until the designs were changed.
Zeiss was organized into a cooperative with profit sharing in 1896 and there is reference in B & L's own literature to Zeiss being maintained as an entity in perpetuity under German law. So, it seems that there was only so far that B & L could partner with Zeiss legally and their legal use of Zeiss designs while in partnership, probably did not bear too well during war; especially the use of porro prism binocular designs. The same was probably true, where Zeiss was licensed to use certain B & L and Saegmuller( a wholly owned subsidiary of B & L) designs, although it would be a guess as to how many of the latter companies licensed designs were of as much military importance as binoculars or other devices using porro prisms.
A search of litigation between the 2 companies subsequent to W.W.I , would probably turn up some juicy rhetoric.

billbillt
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Re: Just can’t lay off the Bosch and Lombs

#9 Post by billbillt » Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:01 pm

apochronaut wrote:It's pretty much detective work, Charlie g.
Here is what is known. Bausch & Lomb, Carl Zeiss Optical Works Jena and George Saegmuller Co. established a triple alliance in 1908. The logo of B & L became no longer a triangle with the letters B & L inside it but a triangle split further into 3 internal triangles, each carrying the letters of the 3 companies in partnership. In 1908, B & L announced that they had established a factory for the making of glass in Frauenwald, Thuringia Germany, with 40 workers.
In 1914, they were still using that logo, with the Z for Zeiss, marked inside the B & L triangle. By 1916, the internal 3 triangles had been replaced with the large block letters U.S.A. and hence forward, no mention of Zeiss as a partner of B & L exists.

In the 1916 catalogue, they note a branch address in Frankfurt but also include a picture in the catalogue of the Bausch & Lomb glass plant in Rochester . By 1919, there is no branch address in Germany.

In 1925, objective lenses produced by B & L carried a patent date( 0ct. 13, 1925 if memory serves me correctly) and did so for many years after, maybe until the designs were changed.
Zeiss was organized into a cooperative with profit sharing in 1896 and there is reference in B & L's own literature to Zeiss being maintained as an entity in perpetuity under German law. So, it seems that there was only so far that B & L could partner with Zeiss legally and their legal use of Zeiss designs while in partnership, probably did not bear too well during war; especially the use of porro prism binocular designs. The same was probably true, where Zeiss was licensed to use certain B & L and Saegmuller( a wholly owned subsidiary of B & L) designs, although it would be a guess as to how many of the latter companies licensed designs were of as much military importance as binoculars or other devices using porro prisms.
A search of litigation between the 2 companies subsequent to W.W.I , would probably turn up some juicy rhetoric.
Thanks Apo for the interesting post...
BillT

GaryB
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Re: Just can’t lay off the Bosch and Lombs

#10 Post by GaryB » Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:15 pm

Gorgeous collection.
I still use my brass B&L, admittedly I swap out the objectives and eyepiece when doing so, but they are fun to use and much easier to get really good oblique due to the swinging mirror. Added bonus... brighter image due to direct objective to eyepiece light transmission. I can't help but admire the build quality and smooth mechanics of them. I wish today's microscopes were built with such care and precision.

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Radazz
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Re: Just can’t lay off the Bosch and Lombs

#11 Post by Radazz » Fri Aug 24, 2018 12:50 am

Just for fun
Image
Arnold, Missouri
Olympus IX70 HMC
Olympus BX40 Phase Contrast
Olympus SZ40 Stereoscope

GaryB
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Re: Just can’t lay off the Bosch and Lombs

#12 Post by GaryB » Tue Aug 28, 2018 12:14 pm

Outstanding!

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Radazz
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Re: Just can’t lay off the Bosch and Lombs

#13 Post by Radazz » Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:40 pm

Just for closure, I was able to fix the focus block and now I no longer have to coaxe an image from this beautiful scope, it works nice.
Arnold, Missouri
Olympus IX70 HMC
Olympus BX40 Phase Contrast
Olympus SZ40 Stereoscope

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