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Detail of side-pillar microscope

The important role of instrument makers in the history of science is increasingly being acknowledged. Their practical knowledge is no longer seen as 'inferior' to theoretical knowledge, and in many cases the false distinctions between scientist and artisan have been removed. But instrument makers in the 18th-century had varying degrees of knowledge of natural philosophy. Some were involved in the work of scientific societies, some promoted natural knowledge, and some altered their instruments to cope with the demands of their clients. Individual makers sometimes combined several of these activities in their work.

John Cuff and the 'New-Constructed' Microscope

This article discusses the design and popularisation of a type of microscope proposed in 1743 by Henry Baker, a prominent natural philosopher.

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George Lindsay's Royal Microscope

Lindsay designed an ingenious pocket microscope, which was presented to King George II.

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Benjamin Martin and Microscope Compendia

These compendia, which contain a full set of microscopical equipment, were popular in the 18th century.

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Opening Times

We will be reopening on 17th May!

Booking is essential, but tickets are free. They will be available from Tuesday 11th May at the University of Cambridge Museums website. Tickets will be available for the following week.

Slots are as below:

Monday 12.30 - 14.00

Wednesday 12.30 - 14.00

Friday 12.30 - 14.00

We are looking forward to welcoming you back!