John Benjamin Dancer (1812-1887) was a famous manufacturer of optical and scientific instruments who was especially noted for being the inventor of microphotographs and the stereoscopic camera. He is considered the father of microfilm even though he never patented his invention. Between 1841 and 1845 he teamed up with another famous manufacturer, Abraham, and began building microscopes. After their separation he continued to build different instruments, including different microscopes, very similar to those of Smith & Beck and Powell & Lealand. During his life he assembled a large number of microscopic preparations that are highly valued today.
Elegant brass microscope similar to those made by Powell & Lealand with a complete collection of accessories signed on the foot with the name of J. Benjamin Dancer in Manchester, in a magnificent mahogany box. The specimen is from the years 1845-50, after his separation from Abraham and when he incorporated the double-pillar microscopes. It is accompanied by a set of accessories in perfect condition, consisting of 4 lenses of different magnifications, 2 of them made by John Browning, a contemporary of Dancer, a "bullseye", a "live box" for observing live animals, tweezers, a container for the observation of liquids as well as a few preparations. The original gold lacquer is excellently preserved with some scratches and mottling. In its minimum position it measures 33 cm. The mahogany box is also very well preserved, retaining the original lock and key.
References: H. Moe, "The Story of the Microscope" pag 136-137
B. Bracegirdle, "Microscopical Mounts and Mounters", pag 28
G. Turner, Collecting Microscopes, pag 76