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Joseph Priestley's microscope, 1767.

Joseph Priestley's microscope, 1767.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 26cm x 32cm


This compound microscope belonged to the 18th century English chemist, Joseph Priestley (1733-1804). It is made up of two short-focus convex lenses, the objective and the eyepiece, which are mounted at opposite ends of a tube. It was built in 1767 by Benjamin Martin, a London based amateur scientist. Priestley discovered various gaseous elements and compounds and, in an experiment in 1774, obtained a gas which he named 'dephlogisticated air'. This was in fact oxygen, although it was not named thus until the French chemist Lavoisier (1743-1794) repeated Priestley's experiment.

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