Charles Baker, Moginie’s Traveller’s Microscope, 1870

Charles Baker, Moginie’s Traveller’s Microscope, 1870

Stock Number: FG_21052


The Baker Moginie-style traveling microscope is one of the first attempts to create a sturdy field microscope for professional use. It was designed by William Moginie in 1867 and manufactured by Charles Baker. It is described in Baker's 1868 catalog and is today frequently referred to as a Baker Mogine-style or more simply a Mogine microscope.




C. Baker, London

Country of manufacture

UK and Ireland

Categories: Scientific, Microscopy, Mineralogy & Gemmology, Natural history


J. Newton Tompkins described this field microscope in an 1867 article published in the Journal of the Royal Microscopical Society entitled: “On a Travelling Microscope”. It is also described and illustrated in Hogg’s, “History of the Microscope” 6th ed. of 1867. The microscope was designed to be carried in a cylindrical telescope leather case. In 1870 Moginie designed a larger edition of this microscope, which is the type seen here. As it was common at this time for contemporary microscope makers to freely copy each other’s work, Baker’s newly designed field microscope was freely copied by others including John Browning, and J. Swift, the models of whom are also seen in this collection.

The larger Moginie is a substantial microscope, and this microscope (only with the addition of rack and pinion coarse focusing instead of the fine focusing mechanism) was used by pioneer British mycologist Dr. Mordecai Cubitt Cooke (1825-1914), for microscopic inspection of fungi. Cooke was the founder of the Quekett Microscopical Club and Club President from 1881 to 1883. He noted that he used this microscope for over 30 years to produce over 15,000 drawings. Cooke sold the Wisley Gardens instrument for 10 pounds to the Royal Horticultural Society a year before his death in 1914.

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IL Gilgamesh

Gilgamesh was the mythological hero of the cultures of ancient West Asia, who set out on a journey in which he sought youth and eternal life.
Fleaglass Gilgamesh is located in Israel. As an archaeologist researching the material culture of the distant past and using the microscope as a major research tool, for more than two decades I have collected microscopes from the first 300 years of existence of this amazing tool and researched the cultural context of their use. Passion has become an obsession and I cultivate the full and almost unique West Asian collection of historical microscopes. Respectively, I put up for sale surplus or interesting items from the collection. I would be happy to advise any interested collector free of charge. Needless to say, I would love to send photos, information and bibliographic references, and discuss the sale details of the items offered here for sale.

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