Monocular Microscope

Production date
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Object Detail

Black enamelled metal microscope. Two-pronged base with separate course and fine adjustments on limp top. Specimen holders are mounted to the stage with adjustable screws and there are condenser adjustments and mechanical controls beneath the stage. Plano-concave mirror mounted beneath base feet. Single optical tube with silver metal eyepiece. Rotating nosepiece with two objectives.
CH classification SCIENCES Instruments Optical microscope
Production place
L211 x W120 x H315 mm
Media/Materials description
Indeterminate (Glass) Indeterminate (Metal Plating) Indeterminate (Metals - Ferrous) Indeterminate (Metals - Non-Ferrous)
<on side of a small optical piece> M.S.L. \ Maribyrnong \ Australia
<on top of the RH side foot> Mx780
<on side objectives> ACHRO \ 4 [indiscernable text] ] 0.65 \ 1655
History and use
This microscope was made in the Munitions Supply Laboratories (M.S.L) in Maribyrnong, Melbourne. M.S.L worked with the Australian Optical Company to manufacture Australian-made optical instruments during and after World War II. There was a shortage of optical instruments during and immediately after the war in Australia because most of the major optical manufacturers were German, or international branches of German companies. This created trade complications and it was decided that Australia would increase their research and supply their own instruments for both military and later civilian use. This would also keep Australia in adequate supply in case war was to break out again.

The MSL facility in Maribyrnong, also called the Ordnance Factory, remained open and operational after the War and was used to make microscopes such as this monocular model, which was used in the University of Queensland’s Zoology department. It came to Queensland Museum in 2002 as part of the University of Queensland’s Museum of Microscopy collection.

Uploaded to the Web 27 May 2011.
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