Improved Compound Microscope Carpenter (c.1840)

Philip Carpenter (1776-1833), was born in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, on November 18, 1776. At 25 he was already a brilliant optician, improving both magic-lantern projection and microscopes. He died in Regent Street on 30 April 1833 and the business was continued by his sister Mary, in partnership with William Westley (died 1887), one of Carpenter's early apprentices in Birmingham, who became a foreman and later a partner and ultimately sole director. Many of his models were retailed by other manufacturers such as Cutts and Crichton.

John Crichton was an instrument maker who worked in London from 1831 to 1865 producing and selling barometers, magnetic compasses, drawing instruments, thermometers, sextants, and telescopes, as well as microscopes, like the one seen here. Crichton mainly worked at 112 Leadenhall St, London.

This microscope is very simple in its construction, being easier to handle than any other compound microscope of the time. It allows to observe opaque and transparent objects, of any size from 3/8 inch to the smallest animalcule. It is a compound microscope mounted on a cantilever arm and supported by a large circular pillar. The body of the microscope is a large brass cylinder that contains three lens systems: the eyepiece, the field lens, and the objective lens. The eyepiece is of the Huygenian type with two plano-convex lenses. The field lens is biconvex and is mounted in a separate assembly. It has 7 objectives, each with a single biconvex lens. At the base of the support pillar there is a compass joint that allows the microscope to be tilted. The entire instrument is mounted on a folding tripod base. It has engraved on one of the legs “Improved Compound Microscope - by Crichton - 112 Leadenhall St., London". The microscope can be disassembled, folded and packed in a mahogany box. There are various accessories including live-box, tweezers, forceps and a nice group of display slides, also includes a free-standing candle holder.