My Microscope Collection

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AntoniScott
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2019 3:54 pm

My Microscope Collection

#1 Post by AntoniScott » Fri May 07, 2021 2:17 pm

The microscope, for me, is more than just a tool for observation of small objects, it is a work of technological art and precision. The older microscopes give me great satisfaction because I amso impressed by the level of workmanship and precision that went into making these instruments. Not only are the mechanisms precise but the optics, in some cases, are outstanding in image quality, even by today's standards.

In a previous posting I showed off my Seibert Wetzlar (precursor to Leitz) microscope. I cannot determine the exact date of manufacture but it is between 1890 and 1905. Not only is the mechanism precise, but the optics are stunning.

The microscope collection that I have recently aquired is on the lower scale of microscope quality but perfectly usable for the enthusiastic amateur. I would not rank them as "toy" microscopes because of their outstanding optical quality ( considering the price) but they certainly filled a much needed gap for amateur microscopists.These microscopes were mass produced in the 1950's and imported from Japan at very low prices.

Fortunately I have been able to aquire three microscopes, all sold under the Lafayette brand. Lafayette Radio and Electronics, not only sold to the radio amateur, but offered a huge variety of microscopes and accessories, ranging from amatuer to professional. I have attached images of three microscopes, all under th Lafayette brand. Back in 1958 I was able to own their 1200x "Researcher" microscope. I was of unusually good optical quality and had a range of magnifications from 25x to 1200x. The 1200x was obtained by using a 20x eyepiece with the 60x objective. Resolution was good enough to clearly see the nucleii of cells although there was chromatic aberration. In addition to their large line of microscopes, they also offered accessories like professionally prepared microscope slides, stains, microtomes, etc. Quite amazing for a Radio and Electronics company. I have exceeded the number of images I can submit but perhaps I can submit another post.
Attachments
Lafayette 1200x with box
Lafayette 1200x with box
IMG_7867.jpg (141.82 KiB) Viewed 335 times
Myself in 1959 with my 1200x
Myself in 1959 with my 1200x
Jersey City 1959 - Copy.jpg (79.79 KiB) Viewed 335 times
1200x Researcher
1200x Researcher
IMG_0172.jpg (295.82 KiB) Viewed 335 times
Page from original catalogue
Page from original catalogue
Lafayette 1 (1).jpg (308.88 KiB) Viewed 335 times
Lafayette Radio and Electronics Catalogue 1961
Lafayette Radio and Electronics Catalogue 1961
IMG_1751.jpg (244.56 KiB) Viewed 335 times

DrPhoxinus
Posts: 138
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2019 5:17 pm
Location: Rochester Hills, MI

Re: My Microscope Collection

#2 Post by DrPhoxinus » Fri May 07, 2021 4:10 pm

I enjoyed your post. I am 68 and two of my scopes are Ortholux I and they are older than I am. I am a ham and was working in a radio store in the summer of 1972 two doors down from a Lafayette store.

One day Walter Dornberger walked into my store looking for parts. He was parked in Detroit after Goudsmit rounded up
the Panamunde guys before they fell into the hands of the Russians. Dornberger was Von Braun’s boss

Leitzcycler
Posts: 130
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2019 11:55 am

Re: My Microscope Collection

#3 Post by Leitzcycler » Sat May 08, 2021 12:51 pm

The microscope, for me, is more than just a tool for observation of small objects, it is a work of technological art and precision.
I certainly share your feelings. I have also found the historical perspective very fascinating. Thanks for interesting post and pictures!

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