"Continental" microscope

Royal Academy of Medicine of Spain

Royal Academy of Medicine of Spain

Microscope comprising a cylindrical tube, at the top of which is a second tube that slides into the first and houses the eyepiece. The lens sits at the bottom. The tube is attached to the pillar with a rack mechanism that acts as a bridge. The vertical movement is controlled by a side screw to enable coarse focusing. There is also another screw on the pillar to help with fine focusing. At the bottom of the pillar is a stage with a central hole and 2 clips to hold the slide in place. On the stage's underside is a sliding plate on which a diaphragm can be placed. Immediately below it is the arm that holds the plano-concave mirror so that it can move freely. Between the pillar and pedestal is a screw that enables the microscope body to tilt backwards into a horizontal position. The pedestal has a quadrangular cutting surface, which sits on the horseshoe-shaped base with its quadrangular limbs. The heel bears the inscription: "C. Verick élevé special de E. Hartnack. Rue de la Parcheminerie 2. Paris."

Edmund Hartnack (1826–91) was the protégé of his famous uncle, George Oberhauser, from 1857. In 1860 he took over Oberhauser's company, introducing improvements and innovations without changing the instruments' shape. C. Verick was a prominent pupil of Hartnack's. He signed the microscopes as a distinguished student and in 1870 founded his own company, which his son, Maurice Stiassnie, took over in 1882.

This microscope is a "continental" model equipped with all the features that contributed to the style's success in its day, including its compact size, the shape of the foot, and its microscopic focusing system. Sigmund Freud was a close friend of Hartnack's and carried out numerous histological studies on brain cells using a microscope similar to this. The model is also identical to the first microscope bought by Santiago Ramón y Cajal when he began his research at the age of 25.

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  • Title: "Continental" 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: George Oberhauser
  • Rights: Ricardo Peña
  • Medium: Metal, glass