Toy Microscope Description
The toy microscope is located in the childs bedroom in the
Greenbelt Museum. There is very little information about the microscope's
origins, either on the toy itself or in the literature that came in the
box. There is no sign of the manufacturer or the date of construction.
An educated guess is that the microscope comes from the early 1900s.
The frame of the microscope is made of black cast iron. The entire
microscope is about 8"x2.5"x4.25". At the top, there is a silver colored
eye piece, probably made out of aluminum. The eyepiece has a diameter of
The eyepiece can be moved up and down to adjust the focus. In the natural
resting position the eyepiece extends 1.25" above the black iron that is
holding it. The eye piece is connected to the magnifying lens and the
tube that connects the two. The entire silver tube is 3". At the bottom
of the tube, where the objective lens is, the tube is tapered down to
The silver tube is held up by a tube in the black frame. This tube is
long and is just wide enough to hold the silver tube. This black frame
tube is connected to the iron arm that goes down to a platform below the
optical tube. The arm is a crescent shape.
The platform is made out of the black cast iron. It is a 2.25"
diameter circle that is 1/8" thick. There is a small hole, approximately
3/8" in the plate, directly under the optical tube. You would
place your slide and specimen over this hole. There are two clamps on the
These are just pieces of aluminum that are screwed down to the plate at
one end and are free to rotate around that screw. The other end of the
metal is simply pressing down on the plate. These clamps would be used to
hold a slide in place.
The microscope arm also connects to a piece below the plate. This is
then connected by a large pivot screw, to the base. From the bottom of
the plate to the bottom of the base is 2 1/8". The pivot allows the upper
portion of the microscope to be tilted while the base is flush against the
table. Just below where the pivot, there is a mirror holder. The holder
sticks out, so that the mirror is below the hole in the plate above it,
this is 1.5" out from the edge. The holder allows for tip-tilt
adjustment, two axis of rotation. The mirror is 1 1/8" in diameter.
Looking at the base from below, it has a horse-shoe shape. The
bottom of the base has flat portions so that it can rest on the table.
The top portion of the base is curved, and does not make an edge. The
height of the base is 5/8". On the bottom of the base the words "MADE IN
JAPAN" are engraved. Each of the two edges of the horse shoe shape are
.5" wide and the separation of one outer edge to another is 2.5".
The box that the microscope came from was 8"x2.5"x4.25". It is a
box with a white paper label covering the top. The label has blue
stripes along the edges and a drawing of a boy and a girl using the
microscope. Above the picture, written in red letters is "The Key To
Hidden Wonders". Below the image is a circle with an image in it and a
caption saying, Mosquito head. Below that is the statement that "This
Microscope Will Magnify 80 Times".
Inside the box is a wooden support that the microscope was
packed in. Also inside is a single sheet pamphlet, which is folded to
form four sheets. The front of the pamphlet is the same as on the outside
of the box. The pamphlet has brief sections
including: a brief history of
microscopes, construction of microscope, operation, focusing, accessories,
and permanent exhibit. Nowhere does it say the company, just
that it was made in Japan. There is also a box with slides in it. There
are five blank, glass slides, 6 cardboard slides and one pre-made slide of
butterfly wing scales. The glass slides are 1"x3" plain glass. The
cardboard slides are 1"x3" also , but they have a 5/8"x1" hole cut in