"Chest" compound microscope

Royal Academy of Medicine of Spain

Royal Academy of Medicine of Spain

The upper part of the tube is barrel-shaped and its lower part is narrower. The eyepiece and lens are located at each end. It rests on a ring at the top of the rear pillar. The rear pillar moves on the fixed front pillar using a rack mechanism with a side screw. This makes the ring supporting the tube move up or down to control coarse focusing. The front pillar holds the cross-shaped stage, which has a central hole to let light through. On it is a device to hold a slide, which is inserted at the side and pressed by a kind of spring. The stage also has holes for clips, magnifying glasses, or other sample holders. The concave mirror is placed at the bottom of the pillar with a kind of arm that moves sideways. The pillar itself rests on a pedestal to one side at the bottom of the box. It has an articulated joint that allows the microscope to tilt, making it more comfortable for the person operating it to use. It also tilts all the way into the box for storage. This mahogany box features beautiful marquetry on top. Inside the box eyepieces, spare lenses, and accessories for holding the sample in place are stored.

This was an important development for the Cuff-type microscope, known as a "chest microscope." This type of microscope was introduced by Edward Nairne (1726–1806), then made by Nairne and Thomas Blunt (c. 1746–1822) for many years, and later copied by a variety of other manufacturers because it was so easy to operate.

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  • Title: "Chest" compound microscope
  • Provenance: Microscopio procedente de la "Colección Bruni”, la cual consta de casi 80 microscopios correspondientes a los siglos XVIII, XIX y XX que fueron recolectados por el Doctor Blas Bruni Celli y donados por su hija Maria Eugenia Bruni a la RANM en 2016.
  • Type: Microscope
  • Contributor: Edward Nairne
  • Rights: Ana Suela
  • Medium: Metal, glass, wood