Newton & Co.
Microscope, Gaslight, Early Victorian (OPTIC02)
This is an early Victorian-age gas or candle-lit microscope.
According to collector George Fulford's notes:
I love old brassy instruments and I had no hesitation in buying this in London in 1962. I was intrigued that it was made by ‘Newton & Co. Opticians. Mathematical, Philosophical & Astronomical Instrument Makers to Her Majesty The Queen’. Though I suspect it was her husband who did the buying. Newton was long gone by then, and I wondered if he created this company. To this end I visited the Smithsonian Institute, which has a magnificent collection of these oldies, and asked a curator about my acquisition. He was surprised because he could find nothing about the company in his extensive catalogue. He showed me around what he had and we couldn’t find a match. He told me I had something unique. He also pointed out that this type of microscope needed candlelight, and later gaslight, to view specimens.
It just occurred to me to Google this company and here is what I found: They started their first ‘factory’ at 3 Fleet Street in 1850, and this is where and when this microscope was made, and soon afterwards they became very successful and went to other locations. They further prospered and the company is best remembered for making Magic Lanterns and Google is profuse with articles about them.