Early Photographs and Other Images of Microscopists with their Microscopes

by Brian Stevenson
last updated September, 2018

A collection of early photographs and other illustrations of microscope enthusiasts, most of whom are unknown amateurs. Some of the images are from my collection, most were collected from the internet. The latter are presented for nonprofit, educational puroposes, and original sources are cited where known.

Sir David Brewster (1781-1868), seated at Lacock Abbey next to Talbot's microscope. Calotype negative taken in July, 1842 by William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877), and inverted image. Adapted from http://foxtalbot.dmu.ac.uk/resources/brewster.html


Daguerreotype / ambrotype of a young man and his microscope, with hand-applied tinting.


Daguerreotype / ambrotype of an older man and his microscope.


Daguerreotype / ambrotype of man, his son, and their French drum-style microscope, with hand-applied tinting.


From the U.S.A., daguerreotype / ambrotype of a man and his Nurenmburg-style microscope, with hand-applied tinting.


Ca. 1853 Salted paper print self-portrait of John Dillwyn Llewelyn (1810-1882).


Ca. 1853 Salted paper print of Thereza Llewelyn (1834-1926), daughter of John Dillwyn Llewelyn. Photographed by Llewelyn.


Ca. 1853 Salted paper prints of John Dillwyn Llewelyn's daughter, Thereza. Llewelyn formed borders using photograms of ferns.


Albumen print by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (a.k.a. Lewis Carroll, the author of Alice in Wonderland and other stories), of his aunt, Lucy Lutwidge. Circa 1856. She is using Smith and Beck Educational ("Milk Box") microscope.


Ca. 1850s tintype photograph of Dr John Bishop Estlin, 1785-1855. Adapted from https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/180598829/john-bishop-estlin.


Carte-de-visite (CDV) of a gent with his subtantial bar-limb microscope and slide collection. The photographer, P.B. Pyne, operated at 40 Roxburgh Terrace, Haverstock Hill, London, from 1861 until 1863.


Mr. Robert Pike and his microscope, CDV. Photographed by Norton and Iris, 14 Prospect Place, Kingsland Road, and 34 Upper Street, Islington, London.


Carte-de-visite of a man and his microscope. The partnership of photographers Maull and Polyblank, 55 Gracechurch Street, London, lasted from 1854 until 1865.


A boy and his drum-style microscope, carte-de-visite. Photographers Maull and Polyblank opened a second studio at 187a Piccadilly, in May, 1857. The partnership ended in 1865.


Christopher Johnson (1783 - 1866), British physician. Carte-de-visite taken in 1863.


Mr. A. Flint, Jr., with his microscope. Carte-de-visite photograph by J. Gurney and Son, 707 Broadway, New York, New York.


Mr. Hermann Wibbe and microscope, 1874. Carte-de-visite photograph by McDonald, Albany, New York, USA.


"Uncle" George Justice, and his microscope. Carte-de-visite (CDV). The photographer, Frederick Gutekunst (1831-1917), was located at 704-706 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, between 1856 and 1864.


Man with microscope. Carte-de-visite photograph by William H. Moore, Marion, Ohio, USA.


Man with a small drum-style microscope, stereoscope, and camera lens. Carte-de-visite, photographed by J. Bauer, address not identified.


A man with his microscope, by an unidentified photographer from Leeds. Carte-de-visite (CDV).


Presumably a geologist, with microscope. Carte-de-visite.


Rev. John Thomas Romney Robinson (1792-1882) and his microscope. Carte-de-visite (CDV). Photographed by James Simonton, 70 Grafton Street, Dublin. Adapted from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Romney_Robinson.

Gentleman with a microscope. Carte-de-visite. Photographer not known.


Paleontologist and anatomist Joseph Leidy (1823-1891) with a Powell and Lealand microscope. Photographer not known.


Man and a microscope, bulls-eye condenser, and slide collection. This carte-de-visite photograph is attributed to George Stacy, New York. Adapted from http://chubachus.blogspot.com/2017/01/.

Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) with his microscope. Carte-de-visite.


Carte-de-visite (CDV) of an unidentified man and his microscope.


CDV of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (1809-1894), physician, jurist, and inventor, posing with a demonstration microscope of his design.


1862 carte de visite of Robert James Farrants (1810 - 1870), seated next to the device for producing microscopical writing that was created by William Peters.


Detail of a cabinet card of an unidentified lady with a Smith, Beck, and Beck "Large Best" microscope. Photograph by G. and R. Lavis, 135 Regent Street, London.


A gent with two microscopes, a microscope lamp, and bird specimens. Cabinet card. Photographed by B.A. Osborne, 18 Earl Street, Grimsby.


Two men and a microscope. Cabinet card, by an unknown photographer.


Cabinet card of a man with a Powell and Lealand microscope, camera, specimens, and other scientific items.


The Wakefield Microscopical Society, photographed on March 19, 1862, by G. and J. Hall, Wakefield. From a stereoview.


Stereoview daguerreotype of John Benjamin Dancer (1812-1887) with microscopes and other instruments he manufactured. Self-portrait, circa 1851. Adapted from https://www.gallery.ca/collection/artwork/self-portrait-with-scientific-apparatus


Another stereoview daguerreotype of J.B. Dancer with his microscopes and other instruments. Self-portrait, circa 1851. Adapted from The Victoria and Albert Museum, http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O119158/scientist-in-his-laboratory-daguerreotype-dancer-john-benjamin/


Stereoview of a man with a binocular microscope, from the 1876 Centennial Exposition, Philadelphia, USA.


Stereoview of a travelling exhibition of microscopes and telescopes on the Boston Common, Massachusetts, USA.


Stereoview of a man with his binocular microscope and slide collection.


Stereoview of a man with microscopes and other scientific apparatus. Produced circa 1890 by F.M. Yeager, Reading, Pennsylvania, USA.


French glass stereoview of a man and his microscope.


Glass stereoview of an R. and J. Beck "Popular" binocular microscope, circa 1872.


James Scott Bowerbank (1797-1877), F.R.S., F.R.M.S.



Andrew Pritchard (1804 - 1882), microscope inventor, manufacturer, and author.


Andrew Pritchard (1804 - 1882), microscope inventor, manufacturer, and author. Circa 1855 lithograph.


Rachel Littler Bodley (1831-1888), Professor and Dean of the Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania.


Charles Brooke (1804-1879), English surgeon and inventor, with a William Ladd microscope.


Philip Henry Gosse (1810-1888), author of "Evenings at the Microscope" and other popular scientific works.


Mordecai Cubitt Cooke (1825-1914). Microscopist, botanist, mycologist, author, editor of Hardwicke's Science-Gossip and Grevillea, and founder of the Quekett Microscopical Club and Club President from 1881 to 1883


Ephraim Cutter (1832-1917), demonstrating the use of a clinical microscope with direct light of a candle. It is the frontispiece of his "Partial Syllabic Lists of the Clinical Morphologies", second edition, 1892.


William Spiers (1847-1930), from the cover of his book, "Nature Through the Microscope".


ca. 1903 photograph of F. Martin Duncan (1873-1961), one of the first producers of moving pictures of microscopic objects.


1905 photograph of John Lancelot Todd (1876-1949), in The Congo. Todd is best known for his published descriptions of the cases of relapsing fever that he and Joseph Everett Dutton (1874-1905) suffered while studying in Africa. Dutton died shortly afterward, and the causative bacterium was named Borrelia duttoni in his honor


Three English women and a microscope. Early 1900s photograph, by an unknown photographer.


Edward Thomas Connold (1862 - 1910), an amateur microscopist and entomologist, of Sussex England.


Ca. 1900 classroom. Trimmed from a photographic postcard, with a U.S.A. stamp.


Custom-made postcard of a German man named Friedrich, with his microscope. Dated 1909.


Flora Wambaugh Patterson (1847-1928), American mycologist, and the first female plant pathologist hired by the United States Department of Agriculture.


A German gent with his microscope. Early 1900s photograph, by an unknown photographer.


Ronald Ross (1857-1932), who received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1902 for his work on the transmission of malaria.


Nettie Maria Stevens (1861-1912), geneticist who discovered X and Y sex chromosomes.


Photograph of Santiago Ramón y Cajal (1852-1934), the father of modern neuroscience. Pictured with a Carl Zeiss Stand Va.


Santiago Ramón y Cajal (1852-1934).


Self-portrait of Santiago Ramón y Cajal (1852-1934).


A young Japanese microscopist.


George Washington Carver (ca.1860-1943), botanist and inventor.


Photograph of an unknown English gent. Note the electric lamp.


Henry Baker (1698-1774), with a Cuff microscope. Print of an engraving by Nutter, 1812, after J. Thomson. Adapted from https://wellcomecollection.org/works/kuvsqkq .


Lithograph of John Quekett (1815-1861).


Oil painting of Georges Cuvier (1769-1832), with a Delebarre-type microscope.


Oil painting, "The Microscope", by Robert Walter Weir (1803-1889).


Oil painting of Sir Matthew John Tierney, (1776-1845) and a brass Culpeper-type microscope.


Engraving of the Society of Apothecaries' April, 1855 Conversazione, from "The Illustrated London News".


Pen and ink drawing of Joseph D. Hooker (1817-1911) and his Ellis-type simple microscope, 1886, by Theodore Blake Wirgman (1848-1925).


Oil painting of an unidentified man and his microscope.


Oil painting of an unidentified lady and her microscope. Adapted from Adapted from http://www.antique-microscopes.com/portrait/A%20Victorian%20Lady%20and%20Her%20Microscope.htm .


Oil painting of William Henry Dallinger (1839-1909), F.R.S. and President of the Quekett Microscopical Club from 1889-1892. By Edgar Herbert Thomas (1862-1936).


"A Man Preparing Microscope Slides", oil painting by Rodolphe Christen (1859-1906).


"Portrait of Dr Simarro at the microscope", 1897, oil painting of Luis Simarro Lacabra (1851 - 1921), by Joaquín Sorolla (1863 - 1923).


Oil painting by Heda Armour (b. 1916), "Portrait of a scientist at his microscope and inspecting slides".


"The Naturalist", oil painting by George Henry Wimpenny (1857 - 1939).


Jules Bordet (1870-1961), discoverer of the bacterium that causes whooping cough/pertussis, named after him as Bordetella pertussis. Painted in 1921 by Jacques Madyol (1871-1950).


"Portrait of Doctor Boucard" (1929), by Tamara de Lempicka (1898-1980).