Extremely rare pristine Nikon HP/H3 phase-contrast folded-optics microscope set, 1967

Extremely rare pristine Nikon HP/H3 phase-contrast folded-optics microscope set, 1967

Stock Number: FG_21033

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The Nikon H is undoubtedly the most innovative and elaborate model of the exclusive group of folded optics microscopes. It is also one of the 20th century's most innovative designs for a microscope. The Nikon H3 or HP version, seen here, is an extremely rare improvement of the Nikon H model.

Circa

1967

Maker

Japan Optical Industries Corporation Nippon Kōgaku (Nikon)

Country of manufacture

Japan

Categories: Scientific, Microscopy, Natural history, Nikon, Nikon

Description

From the middle of the 20th century and on, professional field microscopes are dominated by the innovative concept of folded-optics. The folded-optics category refers to an exceptional design of the handheld field microscope that John Norrie McArthur invented in the 1930s. The basic design was invented by Dr. McArthur when he was appointed to carry out malaria research in Borneo by the Colonial Office in 1937. The small dimensions are due to the “folding” of the light path length by turning it through two right angles by front-surfaced mirrors or prisms so that the whole microscope takes the form of a small oblong box. This compactness makes the McArthur microscope ideal for fieldwork, particularly as it can be handheld for high magnifications.

The Nikon H is undoubtedly the most innovative and elaborate model of the exclusive group of folded optics microscopes. It is also one of the 20th century’s most innovative designs for a microscope. The Nikon H3 or HP version, seen here, is an extremely rare improvement of the Nikon H model.

Excellent reviews of the Nikon H were published by Bill Amos and more recently by Gregory Guida. Not much can be added to these fine reviews, and the following abstract only summarizes the topic. 

 

The Nikon H (“Hand”) was designed in the 1960s by Nikon after the introduction of the commercial model of McArthur’s microscope by Vickers in the 1950s. However, Nikon took the concept many steps ahead and produced one of the most sophisticated portable microscopes ever to be made. It is considered by many the best field microscope of all times. Production ceased in the late 1960s.
Nikon H was also the first microscope to operate in space. During the first Skylab mission of NASA in 1973-4, this microscope was used in an experiment examining the effects of space conditions on bacteria and spores. The Nikon HP/H3 is the phase-contrast version of the Nikon H. It differs from the main model only by the phase objectives and condenser with the phase-contrast selector. This model was by far rarer than the conventional Nikon H. 

THE MICROSCOPE OFFERED HERE is a fully-working Nikon HP/H3, with the original cardboard box, instructions manual, objectives (10x, 40, 100x oil plus the optional 20x), special ocular for calibrating the phase filters, original leather case, spare phase filters, bulbs (the original 3v tungsten plus three modern fitting 3v LED), an alternative modern Cordura case, all in perfect condition.

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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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