Compound microscope, London, England, 1863-1866

1863-1866 in London
Smith, Beck & Beck

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Binocular microscope by Smith, Beck and Beck, London, serial no. 4260, dated 1866, and presented to Dr. Henry Sutton
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Binocular microscope by Smith, Beck & Beck, London, serial no. 4260, dated 1866, and presented to Dr. Henry Sutton for his services in the cholera wards of the London Hospital

Dr Henry Sutton, a physician, was presented with this compound microscope for his work in the cholera wards of the London Hospital. Cholera epidemics spread across Europe and the rest of the world for much of the 1800s. In 1883, Robert Koch identified the cause of cholera as a bacteria he named Vibrio cholera. Many physicians such as Henry Sutton did not accept the germ theory of disease as the sole cause of cholera. Sutton preferred a theory of multiple causes that included environment, cleanliness and diet. The brass microscope was made by Smith, Beck and Beck, optical instrument makers based in London.

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Microscopy (Wellcome)
Object Number:
base, brass, body tube & limb, brass, box, brass, box, mahogany, lenses, glass, stage & pillar, brass
compound microscope
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • optical instrument
  • microscope
Loan: Wellcome Trust

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