A Very Rare Swift Folding Microscope With Polarising Accessories

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A Rare Swift Folding Microscope With Polarising Accessories

Description : Offered is an exceptionally well preserved and early example of Swift’s portable compound microscope. The manner of construction of this microscope is similar to the Powell and Lealand portable microscope that was in production from 1848 to the end of the century. This microscope is signed on the limb ‘SWIFT & SON LONDON’ . Swift’s son, James Mansell Swift, joined the company in 1878. In the front of the 1878 catalogue is a ‘Special Notice, 1877, Piracy’ where it is explained that as one of the firms designs had been pirated it had now been registered and that every microscope would carry the trade mark of a picture of a bird over the words’SWIFT TRADE MARK’. As this microscope does not have the trade mark and is signed ‘SWIFT & SON’ it is safe to assume a date of 1877-78.

The microscope lifts out of the case in its folded down position. To assemble the microscope first the legs are folded back then the two front legs folded forward. This then allows the body tube to fold up and lock into place. The stage is then folded flat and the sub-stage slid into place.

At the base of the microscope is a long lacquered column on which is supported the collar which holds the Plano-concave mirror in a gimbal. Above
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