The origin of the company is found in the union of James Smith with the nephew of the famous designer of objectives for microscopes J.J. Lister, Richard Beck in 1847 after employing him as an apprentice. In 1857, the latter's brother, Joseph, joined the company, renaming it Smith&Beck&Beck. In 1865 the founder retired, and the name of the company changed again, this time to the definitive R&J Beck that lasted until the 20th century. The Beck brothers were characterized by introducing a good number of economical models to the market that put microscopes within the reach of many people with very high quality. Among them, the No. 1 and No. 2 stand out as higher level models and the No. 3 (“Popular”) and No. 4 (“Universal”) as cheaper models. Other famous models were "La Lechera", "El Economico" and finally the "Star". The lenses of the two ranges were also different, but still maintained a very high quality.
The triangular base and the cylindrical support of this microscope make it unmistakable and fully justify its name: "Popular". It has the serial number 4827 and was sold on September 30, 1869. With this same design, monocular and binocular versions were built, both housed in identical cases and with an assortment of very remarkable accessories. This one in particular is made up of two interchangeable observation platforms, one of them with micrometric and rotating movement, 6 objectives, 2 pairs of eyepieces, magnifying glass, camera lucida, polarizer, analyzer, "compressorium", lieberkuhn, light limiters, reflector, 2 condensers, one of them parabolic, micrometer and horizontal illuminator. The set is perfectly preserved, fully operational and housed in a beautiful mahogany box. Its height in working position is about 35 cm.
References: "Billings Microscope Collection" pag 139, fig. 260
G. Turner, "Great Age of the Microscope",
G. Turner, Collecting Microscopes, pag