18. Solar Microscope, c. 1750


This device is fitted in the same way as the scioptic ball and projects the magnified image of the microscope. It consists of the mahogany plate and angled mirror (to catch the sunlight), and a brass microscope with condenser and objective lenses. It may have been made by John Cuff who popularised this device in England in the 1740s. The solar microscope enabled Henry Fox Talbot in 1839 to produce his photogenic drawings.

Frame 200 x 195 mm, length 450 mm.
Inventory no. 92,218.