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Compound microscope used by Joseph Jackson Lister, Europe, 1830-1850

This compound microscope was bought by Joseph Jackson Lister (1786-1869), a wine merchant and microscopist. It is said that this is the third microscope he owned. J J Lister designed and made significantly improved microscope lenses free from achromatic aberration (where objects appear coloured) and spherical aberration (where all objects appear as if circular). For his achievement he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1832. J J Lister was also the father of Joseph Lister (1827-1912), the pioneer of antisepsis and it is possible that his son also used this microscope.

Object number:

A604181 Pt1

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Glossary: monocular microscope

Microscope with a single viewing eyepiece, as distinct from binocular or stereomicroscopes. It should be noted that monocular microscopes can be fitted with a binocular eyepiece to give pseudo-stereo views

Glossary: microscopy

The use of microscopes to study objects or samples. The three major types of microscopy are optical, electron and scanning probe microscopy.

Glossary: antisepsis

The practice of using antiseptic drugs to eliminate harmful micro-organisms.

Glossary: compound microscope

Microscope with multiple optical elements (lenses/mirrors). It has two microscopes in series, the first serving as the ocular lens (close to the eye) and the second serving as the objective lens (close to the object to be viewed).