W. Watson "Van Heurck" Microscope (c.1907)

William Watson started his optics business in City Road, Clerkwell, London in 1837 but did not build his first microscope until 1867, by which time he had moved 14 years to 313 High Holborn Street, the address where most part of his creations are located. Subsequently, the name of the company went through different denominations (W. Watson & Son, from 1867 to 1882, W. Watson & Sons, from 1882 to 1908, and W. Watson & Sons Ltd from 1908 to 1957. From 1884, after acquiring the business from Edmund Wheeler, they began supplying microscope slides to leading researchers, these being highly valued and identifying them with their characteristic and well-known small, circular label.

Designed in honor of the Belgian diatomist Henri de Van Heurck, this specimen was built in 1907 and has the serial number 10608. With the same design, 3 very similar models were manufactured from 1891: “Nº 1”, “Grand” and “Circuit Stage”. It is also known as Watson's "Royal" model. The foot is reminiscent of the original Powell&Lealand design, updated 50 years later. The instrument was very well received by scientists since it had all the adjustments and requirements demanded. Even today it is considered a magnificent microscope. It has 3 eyepieces, one micrometric and 6 objectives, one of which stands out with a correction collar in perfect condition, as well as other accessories. Its height in working position exceeds 40 cm.

References: "Billings Microscope Collection" pag 117, fig. 220

G. Turner, "Great Age of the Microscope", pag 110-111, Num catálogo 107

H. Moe, "The Story of the Microscope", pag 242

Links: http://www.antique-microscopes.com/photos/watsonvan.htm