William Ladd brass microscope circa 1880

 This exceptionally original and striking design by Ladd features a unique girder construction supporting an optical bench type limb.  The microscope is signed in script on the optical tube, W. Ladd & Co., Beak St. W. & 199 Brompton Road, S.W. and dates to circa 1880.  It stands 16 tall in closed position.  Coarse focus is rack and pinion, and fine focus consists of a micrometer nosepiece knob located behind the optical tube.  The slide stage is mechanical with full x-y movement.  The slide stage and substage condenser are mounted within the same optical bench assembly as the optical tube.  The condenser is a compact and sophisticated optical unit with rotating wheel of nine stops that is controlled by a click-stop indicator knob on the bottom of the unit.  The entire condenser assembly is uniquely positionable with two knobs below that swing the condenser on separate pivot points.  The mirror is plano-concave, and in excellent condition but possibly replaced or refinished.  The instrument comes with two unmarked lenses and one eyepiece.  The microscope has apparently been refinished and reserviced to a very high standard of excellence.  The finish is relacquered brass in a manner that is in keeping with the mellow tones and finish of an instrument of this vintage.  Known for his innovation of the fusee chain drive mechanism in 1851, Ladd produced instruments of very high quality and ingenuity.  This model, with its open girder base and limb, produces a visual lightness while maintaining complete stability, even in a fully inclined position.  Its unique construction, large size, and fine condition make it an impressive and provoking display.  

Item 1352

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