Revealing the Microscopic World

Microscopes play a vital role in scientific discovery. They introduced early scientists to a hidden world that was out of sight from the human eye. The discovery of this microscopic world introduced diverse new lifeforms such as bacteria and viruses, as well as tiny invertebrates living amongst our hair and skin. It also allowed scientists and wealthy Victorians to see the details on larger organisms, such as the cells in a plant stem or the hairs on a flea.

These discoveries allowed scientists to theorise and experiment on many new areas of research, helping to develop our knowledge of medicine, botany, geology and biology.

The Booth holds many examples of historic microscopes from the Victorian era and the 20th Century, as well as a vast number of microscopic slides from medical, scientific and teaching collections.