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Dollond Microscope

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With the Brighton Science Festival (13th February – 6th March) in full swing, we take a moment to discover more about scientific instruments at the Booth Museum.

The microscope collection of the Booth Museum of Natural History in Brighton includes an almost complete ‘Jones’s Most Improved’ brass Regency microscope by Dollond (often misspelled Dolland), London (1825).

Regency Microscope by Dollond

Regency Microscope by Dollond

Peter Dollond was born in 1730 the son of John Dollond, a Huguenot silk weaver. He started business as an optician in 1750 at the age of twenty. Dollond was appointed optician to George III and the Duke of York and renowned for producing high quality instruments.

The design of this microscope was originally conceived by George Adams II in the latter years of the 18th century, however after his death in 1795, his stock and rights were bought by the brothers William and Samuel Jones who modified the design slightly and marketed it as their own.

Notable customers of Dollond included Leopold Mozart, Frederick the Great and Thomas Jefferson. In 1927 Dollond & Co merged with Aitchison & Co forming Dollond & Aitchison, the high street chain of opticians.

The microscope resides in a mahogany case at the Booth Museum. It contains almost all the accessories.