Swift & Son Dick Petrographic Microscope, 1891, owned by Prof. O.T. Jones

Swift & Son Dick Petrographic Microscope, 1891, owned by Prof. O.T. Jones

Stock Number: FG_22024

£4500

This fine petrographic microscope by J. Swift and Son is based on a design first described by Allen B. Dick for a polarizing microscope in the Journal of the Royal Microscopical Society (RMS, 1889, pp.432). In this design, the stage remains fixed, while the polarizer and analyzer rotate in synchronism by gearing with an angle scale readout on the stage. The microscope was manufactured and signed by J. Swift & Son of 81 Tottenham Court Rd., London (Swift Catalog, 1891). The instrument became known as the Dick Model featuring an English foot with Travis's rolling slide holder.
This specific instrument was made personally for Prof. Owen Thomas Jones, FRS FGS (1878-1967) a Welsh geologist at the University of Manchester, and then, in 1930, Woodwardian Professor of Geology at the University of Cambridge (until 1943). He dedicated his working life to the study of Welsh geology.

Circa

1880

Country of manufacture

UK and Ireland

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

Description

For more details about this microscope, its history and provenance, see it on my collection website: https://www.microscopehistory.com/swift-son-dick

The synchronous rotation of the polarizers in the classical Dick microscope is done via a gear transmission and a long pinion rod as coupling between polarizer and analyzer, as it was taken over and improved by Fuess for the large tripod VI. Other companies have developed the principle in the form of closed gearboxes and a better coupling such as Voigt & Hochgesang (later continued by Dr. Steeg & Reuter) and Leitz.

 

Allen B. Dick first described his design for a polarizing microscope in the Journal of the Royal Microscopical Society (RMS, 1889, pp.432). In this design, the stage remains fixed, while the polarizer and analyzer rotate in synchronism by gearing with an angle scale readout on the stage. The microscope was manufactured and signed by J. Swift & Son of 81 Tottenham Court Rd., London (Swift Catalog, 1891). The instrument became known as the Dick Model featuring an English foot with a Traviss rolling slide holder.

The microscope is signed both on the foot and on the case, in what seems to be factory-made engravings made by order, O.T. Jones. Owen Thomas Jones, FRS FGS (1878-1967) was a Welsh geologist. He was born in Beulah, near Newcastle Emlyn, Cardiganshire, the only son of David Jones and Margaret Thomas. He attended the local village school in Trewen before going to Pencader Grammar School in 1893. In 1896 he went up to University College, Aberystwyth, to study physics, graduating in 1900. He then went to Trinity College, Cambridge, and was awarded a B.A. degree in Natural Sciences (geology) in 1902. In 1903 he joined the British Geological Survey, working near his home in Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire. In 1910 he was appointed the first professor of geology in Aberystwyth. In 1913 he became a professor of geology at the University of Manchester, and then, in 1930, Woodwardian Professor of Geology at the University of Cambridge (until 1943). He dedicated his working life to the study of Welsh geology.

In 1926 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. In 1956 he was awarded the Royal Medal of the Royal Society, and on receiving it he was described as ‘the most versatile of living British geologists’. The same year he was awarded the Wollaston Medal and the Lyell Medal of the Geological Society of London. He was twice president of the Geological Society.

 

He died at the age of 89 and has produced more than 140 publications. A year before his death he published a paper describing the Welsh source of the bluestones of Stonehenge (written in Welsh).

DUE TO NATIONAL AND PERSONAL HOLIDAYS, THE MICROSCOPE WILL BE SENT AFTER JULY 10, 2022

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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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