Vintage Microscope... John Browning

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toadstoollover
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Vintage Microscope... John Browning

#1 Post by toadstoollover » Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:27 pm

Hi

I'm new here and really hope that someone can offer me some advice. I've been left a microscope by a relative and it's been sat around in it's box for quite a while as I've no idea where to start in regards to parting with it. I'm thinking Ebay but I'm not 100% sure of its model or worth.

It also has a lockable wooden case with a drawer at the bottom. I was wondering if it's a Browning's 'Perfect' Microscope but other than what I can find on google, I'm clueless.

Any help in idenification would be appreciated. :)
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apochronaut
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Re: Vintage Microscope... John Browning

#2 Post by apochronaut » Sun Jun 02, 2019 11:18 pm

This is of an almost identical construction to the Davon Micro-telescope , lacking only the facility under the stage to affix the telescope tube extension. Where that exists on the Davon, this instrument has a disc condenser. Without having the two side by side , it is impossible to tell whether it is in fact the same instrument or in fact who made it. Both Davon and John Browning were manufacturers of something. There are earlier or later Davons than mine which are not quite exactly like the one in my thread. Perhaps one of them sold the design to the other.
viewtopic.php?t=1764

The Browning instrument appears to be made as a microscope only but I would bet that by loosening the pivot , you can put it in the horizontal plane, in which position the Davon can receive the telescope body.
It is not, Browning's Perfect Microscope.

MichaelG.
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Re: Vintage Microscope... John Browning

#3 Post by MichaelG. » Mon Jun 03, 2019 6:13 am

I've just looked at your Davon posts ... Thanks

Struggled a little to read the Patent number; but found these

https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/30024995

https://www.easyliveauction.com/catalog ... itaria-bo/

http://www.antique-microscopes.com/pate ... 28A%29.pdf

https://worldwide.espacenet.com/publica ... cale=en_EP

https://worldwide.espacenet.com/publica ... cale=en_EP

... Alfred Cornell is our optical genius [and Patent numbering is one of the Black Arts]


With apologies for the digression:

MichaelG.

.

Cornell's obituary: https://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Alfred_Cornell#cite_ref-4
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MichaelG.
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Re: Vintage Microscope... John Browning

#4 Post by MichaelG. » Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:10 am

Credit: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Zb-wCwAAQBAJ
Credit: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Zb-wCwAAQBAJ
Alfred_Cornell.jpg (160.46 KiB) Viewed 1966 times
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apochronaut
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Re: Vintage Microscope... John Browning

#5 Post by apochronaut » Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:21 am

Alfred Cornell had some sort of working relationship with F.Davidson. I have never come across an extant example of a Cornell instrument but there are patent drawings in existence showing both Cornell and Davidson's names on them, that picture the same instrument as mine. The one pictured in the 1912 patent is a more modern version. It seems that while Cornell may have been a designer, that F. Davidson was the maker. The design in the 1912 patent link , may never have been made. The Davon #2 is a field instrument and is unlike either.
The # 1, had actually 5 different telescope attachments of differing focal lengths. It seems you continued to use the same microscope objective lens with them. The patent is 13251/12, so carries the same # as the 1912 patent above but various versions of the instrument exist, some of them appearing to be at least to the turn of the century, so the design had been in existence for some time.
F.Davidson made a number of microscopes, and seems to have had a preoccupation with stretching the boundaries of what had become the base microscope principle. They had the Micro-camera, that incorporated a 4 x 5 camera back and bellows in place of the microscope tube and eyepiece of the Micro-telescope. https://www.antiq-photo.com/en/collecti ... ography-2/
They had a folding portable micro-telescope, and a super microscope https://americanhistory.si.edu/collecti ... ah_1349425. The latter, appears to have an extra set of focusers in the optical tube, presumably to focus a set of lenses on the objective image; something akin to an image multiplier, used on various modern scopes.

Getting back to the original post. John Browning was a respected optician and manufacturer, making instruments on The Strand, as early as 1872. The original instrument in the thread, has appearances of having been made earlier than the Davon instruments. Since Browning made most of his reputation with spectrometers and nautical instrumentation, it's possible that he either made the base instrument for or sold the design of his early microscope to F. Davidson, upon which they based a few of their oddities and sought to improve upon them.

As far as a price for your Browning Instrument. I would start at about 150 sterling , in an auction style format and see how it goes. It is cased and is in nice condition but no accessories. Small instruments with no accessories often aren't that interesting to collectors, unless there is a specific interest.

MichaelG.
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Re: Vintage Microscope... John Browning

#6 Post by MichaelG. » Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:35 pm

apochronaut wrote:Alfred Cornell had some sort of working relationship with F.Davidson. I have never come across an extant example of a Cornell instrument but there are patent drawings in existence showing both Cornell and Davidson's names on them, that picture the same instrument as mine. The one pictured in the 1912 patent is a more modern version. ...
Sorry, but I'm somewhat confused ... The number in your photo is rather blurred, but I interpreted it as being that one [which logically means that yours should date to 1912 or later] and that is therefore where I started my 'research'

If you have any numbers for the other patents, could you please share them.

Many thanks
MichaelG.

.
https://worldwide.espacenet.com/searchR ... l&CPC=&IC=
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MichaelG.
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Re: Vintage Microscope... John Browning

#7 Post by MichaelG. » Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:58 pm

Assigned by Cornell to Davidsion
Assigned by Cornell to Davidsion
Cornell-Davidson.jpg (81.72 KiB) Viewed 1938 times
MichaelG.
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apochronaut
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Re: Vintage Microscope... John Browning

#8 Post by apochronaut » Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:43 pm

Yes. It is the same patent # but the instrument existed before the patent was applied for and the image supplied with the Cornell patent application in the U.S. is an entirely different instrument than the commonly found Davon Micro-telescope. The patent # on mine is on the removeable telescope tube. No patent # shows on the microscope body. The same or almost identical body appears to have been in existence already for 25 years or more because John Browning's instrument appears to be much older.

Patents are tricky because it is sometimes difficult to determine , just who the actual inventor was. In this case Alfred Cornell has transferred the rights of the patent to F.N. Davidson in the U.S. based on a different instrument, whereas in Britain, it appears that he secured the patent solely and the patent applies to the older instrument design of Browning's. Why would that be? There could be many reasons but for one or more of them, he was compelled to allow the patent to be taken out in F.N. Davidson's name in the U.S.. It seems Mr. Cornell might have had some funny business going on?
The patents are a little hazy, as well. I haven't sat down and read them with a fine tooth comb but maybe the wording excludes the microscope itself and only alludes to the telescope accessory parts.

apochronaut
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Re: Vintage Microscope... John Browning

#9 Post by apochronaut » Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:11 pm

So, on this drawing, the patent application is credited to Alfred Cornell on March 14, 1913. http://www.antique-microscopes.com/pate ... 28A%29.pdf and was granted on Feb. 16 1915.

This second drawing, https://www.frameapatent.com/science-pa ... =25&pa=150 ; similar or the same as the instrument that I have, was in both Alfred Cornell's name and F.N. Davidson's name , filed for on March 22, 1915 and granted on Nov. 30, 1915.
It seems that Alfred Cornell was pilfering a pre-existing design that he might not have had exclusive rights to. That might be what held up his prior application.

MichaelG.
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Re: Vintage Microscope... John Browning

#10 Post by MichaelG. » Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:40 pm

apochronaut wrote:... I haven't sat down and read them with a fine tooth comb but maybe the wording excludes the microscope itself and only alludes to the telescope accessory parts.
It is actually quite clear that the microscope stand is excluded from the invention.

In the 'Complete Specification' [1912]
Line 26 starts: "One embodiment of the present invention ..." and
Line 33 says: "... the tripod support of an ordinary microscope is indicated ..."

The invention is Cornell's and was subsequently assigned by him to Davidson
I think we can reasonably assume that DAVON is a trade name derived from DAVIDSON

I know nothing of their business relationship, but I can see no justification for suggesting that Cornell was 'pilfering' anything.

MichaelG.

.

Edit: with apologies to 'toadstoollover' for labouring this:
http://www.cineressources.net/consultat ... 00/226.pdf
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apochronaut
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Re: Vintage Microscope... John Browning

#11 Post by apochronaut » Mon Jun 03, 2019 5:38 pm

I didn't have to assume that Davon is an abbreviation of Davidson; it is written right on the barrel. Fantastic. You've got it figured out, then.

toadstoollover
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Re: Vintage Microscope... John Browning

#12 Post by toadstoollover » Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:19 pm

Thank you all so much for the help :)

It's made my head spin a little trying to follow all the names etc but I understand the majority of what's been said. I will hopefully have the item listed in the next week on uk ebay.

Thank you all once again :D

MichaelG.
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Re: Vintage Microscope... John Browning

#13 Post by MichaelG. » Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:39 pm

apochronaut wrote:I didn't have to assume that Davon is an abbreviation of Davidson; it is written right on the barrel. Fantastic. You've got it figured out, then.
My opening remark was
I've just looked at your Davon posts ... Thanks
... it seems a shame that now you've descended to sarcasm.

I was genuinely interested, and still am, but it's probably better to continue that journey alone.

MichaelG.
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apochronaut
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Re: Vintage Microscope... John Browning

#14 Post by apochronaut » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:14 pm

To get back on the track here ; I found a finished auction for a Browning's "College" microscope, very similar to yours toadstoollover The condition was better than yours, with bright, shiny brass and the case in almost new condition. The objective had a cannister and there was one eyepiece. It sold for $232.00. It looks ever so slightly newer than yours. The script is more modern. It was listed as 19th century.
The address is 78 Strand, whereas yours is 63 Strand.

Information obtained from a brief biography of John Browning indicates that further premises were obtained on The Strand in 1904.

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