Microscope "Nº 3" Powell & Lealand (c.1878)

Hugh Powell (1799–1883) began building components for microscopes bearing his name. In 1841, together with Andrew Ross and James Smith, he founded the Royal Microscopical Society (RMS) from the Microscopical Society of London, founded in 1839, becoming leaders in the development of microscopes. He was joined by his brother-in-law Peter Lealand and they began manufacturing them together. His specimens were very heavy, of great quality and over time are considered the best of the Victorian era. It was manufactured in small quantities and for 60 years it hardly changed. This first model is known as No. 3, since later they designed an improved one (No. 2) and in 1869 they presented an even larger model known as No. 1. No. 4 was a smaller, folding and portable model.

His company made only 600 copies in its entire history and never employed more than 5 workers, so many of the copies were customized on demand and took 1 year to deliver. They are not numbered and only indicated the year of construction. They also specialized in the design and construction of high quality lenses.

This copy belongs to model nº3 and was manufactured in 1878 as indicated by the engraving under the fine adjustment. It has a rotating mechanical platform with X-Y movement, as well as a condenser to concentrate the light at a very specific point on another platform with micrometric adjustments. It has 3 objectives with ½, ¼ and 1/8 inch correction collar as well as an adapter so that the latter could be used in oil immersion without distorting the image.

References: "Billings Microscope Collection" pag 58, fig. 108

"Billings Microscope Collection" pag 217, fig. 426

H. Moe, "The Story of the Microscope", pag 160-164

G. Turner, "Great Age of the Microscope", pag 114-153

G. Turner, Collecting Microscopes, pag 66, 75

Links: https://www.microscope-antiques.com/PandL.HTML