American Artifacts
19th Century American Microscope Makers
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T.H. McAllister - Microscope Maker

While the early McAllister Brothers' scientific instrument business in Philadelphia did not make microscopes, one of the brothers, Thomas, did begin making microscopes as early as 1867, after he left the family business and moved to New York City. This first effort was the "Household Microscope", a small and very cheap compound microscope which still frequently turns up in antique shops, although no longer cheap. T.H. McAllister's larger microscopes employed a chain driven coarse focus adjustment. McAllister microscopes were made into the early 1890's.


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The Illustrator's Stand
Behrens The Microscope in Botany, 1885

19th century journal reprints

T.H. McAllister's 1879 Price-List
From The Microscope & Microscopical Technology, Heinrich Frey, 1880 American edition.

other microscope makers

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Contact: Richard Van Vleck