Wenham Ros binocular microscope, 1862.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
The first succesful binocular microscope was designed in 1853 by J L Riddell, an American profesor. Francis Wenham designed his binocular microscope tubes in 1861. This instrument was made by Andrew Ros and Co, a respected 19th century English maker. The advantage of a binocular microscope lies in the fact that because it allows both eyes to look at the object, a stereoscopic, or three-dimensional image of it is seen.