'New Universal' silver microscope by George Adams, 1761.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A silver microscope made for King George III (1738-1820) by George Adams (1709-1772) of Fleet Street, London. Adams and his son, George Adams (junior), were leading microscope and instrument makers from 1735 to 1797. Adams senior held the title 'Mathematical Instrument-Maker to the King', and he introduced several new models of microscope during this period. An almost identical microscope was made for the Prince of Wales, the future King George IV. It is based on the 'Universal Double Microscope', described by Adams in 1746, but it is so highly decorated as to be almost unrecognisable.