The tube of this microscope has the eyepiece and lens screwed into the ends. It is held by an arm with a rack mechanism that moves vertically using 2 side screws for coarse focusing. On the front of the tube is a screw marked 0 to 9 for microscopic focusing, which is achieved by raising the lens slightly. The arm has a concave section to make it easy to grip, with an articulated foot that can be adjusted using a screw to allow the microscope body to tilt for the user's comfort. The square stage has a central hole to let light pass through and sits at the bottom of the arm. The stage has an upper platform that can be moved in 2 directions using side screws. Lighting comes from a plano-concave mirror inserted in the lower part of the arm. It also has a light condenser system. The base consists of a rigid tube that rests on a round platform from which 3 moving legs extend and can be arranged into a tripod. On one of the legs is an inscription stating the manufacturer's name and address: "Smith & Beck. 6 Coleman St. London 1520."

James Smith began his career making microscopes around 1820. He set up his own business in 1829 and in 1847 partnered with Richard Beck, calling themselves "Smith & Beck." In 1851 Joseph Beck joined the company and it was renamed "Smith, Beck & Beck." When James Smith retired, the company's name finally changed to "R & J Beck." These men were responsible for most of the developments in the field of microscopes and optics in mid-19th-century England.


  • Title: 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: James Smith
  • Rights: Ricardo Peña
  • Medium: Metal, glass

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