Accession No


Brief Description

compound microscope; made by Cornelius Varley; circa 1860


London; England


Varley. Cornelius



Earliest Date

Jan. 1, 1860

Latest Date

Dec. 31, 1860

Inscription Date


metal (brass); glass


overall height 480mm; depth 190 mm; breadth 215 mm

Special Collection

Robert Whipple collection


Purchased by Robert Stewart Whipple from T. H. Court in 12/1922.


“Varley Invent. London” on the stage

Description Notes

Brass compound microscope. Flat hollow base with two long and one short feet. pillar and wing nut clamp onto a screw thread through plate and square limb. At the base of the plate there is a pivoting arm with 5 holes for an articulated arm attachment that leads to a concave mirror. The plate carries a lever operated stage. The stage is two tier, with a screw thread for the sub stage accessories. A knurled screw at the back of the plate operates the rack on limb. There is a bar limb to body, fine focus screw below bar limb. A screw fit objective and a screw fit eyepiece. “Varley Invent. London” on the stage


Boris Jardine; 'Cornelius Varley: artist; astronomer; and instrument maker'; Explore Whipple Collections online article; Whipple Museum of the History of Science; University of Cambridge; 2008:


Cornelius Varley first described his ‘Single Lever Microscope’ in the Transactions of the Society of Arts in 1845. Its principal feature was the long lever which manipulated the mechanical stage, making it possible to make very fine adjustments with only one hand. Varley was not a prolific manufacturer of microscopes, though his instruments were considered to be of the best quality.
Created by: updated by Ruth Horry on 31/08/2006


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