History of Science Museum: Collection Database Search

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A group of optical instruments

This group of instruments comprises a representative range of optical devices for recreation from the early 18th century. The pocket or 'screwbarrel' microscope [1] with its fish-skin case was probably made by James Wilson, and could have been used for viewing the specimen in the prepared slides [4]. The scioptric ball [2] was a device for projecting an outside scene on to the wall of a room, whereas the camera obscura [3] projected on to a viewing screen within the instrument. The two telescopes, in silver [5] and pasteboard [6] are for terrestrial use, not for astronomy.

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