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Compound monocular microscope, Vienna, Austria, 1831-1870

This compound microscope with one eyepiece is typical of the design used by German medical students in the mid 1800s. There was a demand for high quality microscopes as histology had become an important part of the medical curriculum. S Plössl and Company was an optical instrument maker which specialised in microscopes and telescopes. Plössl had improved the quality of the achromatic lenses and made the adjustment of the eyepieces easier and more accurate. The name “Plössl” is still associated with eyepieces used in telescopes.

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Glossary: histology

The study of the structure of tissues by means of special staining techniques combined with light and electron microscopy.

Glossary: physiology

The science of the functioning of living organisms and their component parts.

Glossary: monocular microscope

Microscope with a single viewing eyepiece, as distinct from binocular or stereomicroscopes. It should be noted that monocular microscopes can be fitted with a binocular eyepiece to give pseudo-stereo views

Glossary: microscopy

The use of microscopes to study objects or samples. The three major types of microscopy are optical, electron and scanning probe microscopy.

Glossary: compound microscope

Microscope with multiple optical elements (lenses/mirrors). It has two microscopes in series, the first serving as the ocular lens (close to the eye) and the second serving as the objective lens (close to the object to be viewed).