image I_012_compound microscope_2
Image number: RS.8480
Credit: © The Royal Society
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Compound microscope


ca. 1810


William Cary (1759-1825, British), Instrument maker

Object type

Archive reference number



height: 152mm


   > Optics
      > Microscopy

Content object


Aerial view of a compound non-achromatic microscope with fittings including hand held lenses with a turned ivory handle, in a mahogany case.

A compound microscope has two converging lens systems: the objective and the eyepiece. William Cary designed this model for portability.

Object history

This microscope belonged to natural philosopher Henry Baker FRS (1698-1774).

The donation is recorded in the Royal Society’s Council Minutes: ‘Reported that the gift by Mr J K Baker of a box microscope which belonged to his great great grandfather Henry Baker (F.R.S. 1740), from whose bequest the Bakerian Leccture originated. The microscope was displayed at the meeting of Council.’ Royal Society Minutes of Council, Printed, v.20 1957-1961, minute 47, meeting 12 October 1961, p.634.

Associated place

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      > United Kingdom