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This month's Micscape Magazine is now online.

Comment Jan 13th 2019
I recently asked the Facebook Amateur Microscopy Group if they thought Amateur Microscopy was dying out. I was of the opinion that real knowledge in the amateur world was fading away. Who knows or can be bothered today to preserve samples properly, section them, fix them and mount the samples onto slides? The answers came back fast and furious with positive replies collectively indicating the group thought there was no better time for amateur microscopy than now. The digital world which enables superior capture of film and images at the microscope, the ease of sharing these online with others, all contributed to the positive chorus. However, real knowledge is about knowing how to make slides, and acquiring ever increasing insights into the microscopic world and the organisms at work there. I personally think social media is NOT a learning platform and is only good at getting likes to feed our satisfaction of being appreciated by others.

How good is your microscopy knowledge?
Please click above to help our poll know about amateur microscopy knowledge!

Bee Keepers Beware. A little understood virus is breaking out which could destroy your colonies!
See here.

mol smith



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By : Christian Autotte, Montreal, Canada

Yep, I was stuck!...

I’ve been looking at microorganisms for years. I’m also pretty good at finding answers on the Web or in books. But last fall I came upon something that had left me baffled, at least until recently. Just on the edge of the St-Lawrence River, in the small town of Neuville, west of Quebec City, is a place where I can indulge in two of my passions: looking for fossils and picking up some samples to be examined under the microscope. While my last visit didn’t turn up any interesting fossils, the water samples collected at the river’s edge eventually produced several specimens of one strange critter. It was found in shallow water, amidst reeds and other wetland plants. [more...]

Hurry, at this price they will go quickly. Only 125 specimens left.” “Rare” minerals are also fabricated these days and are
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We all do not belong to ourselves Ernst Abbe 1840-1905: a Social Reformer
by Fritz Schulze, Canada

Linda Nguyen, The Canadian Press, Wednesday, January 2014: TORONTO – By the time you finish your lunch on Thursday, Canada’s top paid CEO will have already earned (my italics!) the equivalent of your annual salary.* It is not unusual these days to read such or similar headlines. Each time I am reminded of the co-founder of the company I worked for all my active life. Those who know me, know that I worked for the world-renowned German optical company Carl Zeiss. I also have a fine collection of optical instruments, predominantly microscopes, among them quite a few Zeiss instruments. Carl Zeiss founded his business as a “mechanical atelier” in Jena in 1846 and his mathematical consultant, Ernst Abbe, a poorly paid lecturer at the University Jena, became his partner in 1866. That was the beginning of a comet-like rise of the young company.[more...]

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Magnification Changers and Revolvers – A Messter Microscope
by Michael Wolfson (Ottawa, Canada)

In a recent Micscape article (November 2018), Stefano Barone described his 1941 Zeiss Jena microscope with multiple eyepieces mounted on a rotating turret. His very informative article shows further an image from an 1872 Nachet catalogue near the end, indicating that mounting multiple eyepieces on a microscope is certainly not a new idea. But as he notes, in this case the multiple eyepieces are not on a turret; rather they are designed so that several people can view the same specimen through the microscope at the same time. But a wonderful example of a revolving eyepiece turret microscope is described in Fritz Schulze’s Micscape article in February 2012. I am now the very happy owner of this microscope, and below are some further photos of this Messter Universal Bacteria Microscope. [more...]

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Aliens On Planet Earth
by Richard L. Howey, Wyoming, USA

A Martian invasion? Well, maybe. There are a few scientists who think that they have found fossil bacteria in Martian space junk that has landed on Earth. These are researchers who believe in U.F.O.s (Unidentified Fossil Organisms). And, no I don’t believe that the government is hiding flying saucers and little green men down in Roswell, New Mexico. The aliens I’m interested in developed right here on our own planet and even after seeing some of them and learning a bit about them, they can still strike us as so strange as to be hard to believe in. Some, but certainly not all, of the creatures are extremophiles, that is, they live in environments which we would think could not support life–temperatures above the boiling point of water or below its freezing point, in places without oxygen, in conditions with high methane content, in conditions with virtually no water, and in areas of the ocean where the pressure is so great that we would imagine that it would crush any life form.  

Earth is a planet of extremes in many senses and this is a fact that delights exobiologists. These are scientists who, based on their studies of bizarre life forms that have adapted to extreme environments, attempt to extrapolate from those, to conjecture what kinds of life forms might exist on other planets in our own solar system or even on other planetary systems in distant galaxies.


Moving a Personal Laboratory
by Richard L. Howey, Wyoming, USA

I am a cranky, muddled microscopist of 80 years. My wife and I have lived in a fairly large, 2 story house for nearly 47 years. Accounts differ as to when it was built and the dates vary from 1889 to 1900. In any case according to the county assessors office, the house is 118 years old. It has very steep and extremely narrow steps to the second story and to the basement. My wife and I can no longer deal with these treacherous steps. One friend who is a microscope technician and dealer and has dealt, on several occasions with those stairs, when delivering instruments which I had purchased, described them in the following manner: “When climbing upward, I expect to be passed in the other direction by a mountain goat descending.” The stairs to the basement are as bad or worse. So after an on-again, off-again, on-again search for about 3 years, we finally found a house on one level–no second story, no basement!–however, only about 1/3 the size of our present house. [more...]

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Who was Horatio Saltonstall Greenough? Part 2
by Berndt-Joachim Lau (Germany) &  R. Jordan Kreindler (USA)

His Zoological Activities and his New and Old World’s Tutors The first European trace of HSG as an adult concerns his only one known biology-oriented education: In 1887 he worked in the histological laboratory and in 1888/89 he is mentioned as a student at the National Museum of Natural History, Paris (Muséum national d’histoire naturelle, MNHN) [Pouchet, 1888]. Founded in 1793 during the French Revolution, it became a rival to the University of Paris in scientific research during the 19th century.

His address, 30, Rue de Bassano, Paris, is documented by the Société Zoologique de France on the occasion of his admission in1888 [Bulletin, 1896]. He lived in the Belmont et de Bassano Hotel located not far from Champs-Élysées and the recently built American Cathedral, in between the Seine river and Arc de Triomphe. Up to now, this lovely 4.0 Star Hotel has kept the traditional American Style.

In HSG’s study period, the Eiffel tower was constructed nearby as an entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair. In a letter of July 30th, 1889 to his friend in Boston, A. Lawrence Lowell (1856-1943), HSG wrote “perhaps you will be coming over for the exhibition,

And More Here from our Main Material...

Last Month's
Micscape Magazine

Micscape Book Review.

"Beyond Extreme Close-Up Photography" by Julian Cremona. Published by The Crowood Press, September 2018.

Reviewed by David Walker, UK
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A Cheap LED Lamp For Vintage Microscopes. (Puck Lights.)

by David Young (USA)

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Just an Old Microscope

By Jennie Lawrence, USA

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A Note on Dissecting Needles

By Les May, UK

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Down the Ornicoco: My Greatest Adventure

by Richard L. Howey, Wyoming, USA

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The magnification changer in optical microscopy and its unusual and lesser known precursor, ie the Revolver ... of the eyepieces (!)

by Stefano Barone, Italy

(DIATOM LAB: www.diatomshop.com, www.testslides.com,www.diatomlab.com)

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Prepared Microscope slides for Christmas?

by Bill Resch, USA.

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Budget Microscopes

Used, refurbished microscopes offer great value for money with older instruments using lenses often polished by hand and superior to most microscope lenses used today. This month's budget bargains...

 Vickers Monocular

We have a small quantity of these extremely well built Vickers microscopes. All original and therefore also collectors pieces. Large stable illumination base with 6v 15watt lighting. Stage with slide clips and usual substage condenser with iris. Coaxial coarse and fine focus controls. Objectives x5, x10 and x40 with x10 eyepiece. Very good value for a vintage British made microscope.

   Price £95.83+ vat



Euromex Monocular Microscope

Aimed at the educational and schools market this is a very robustly built microscope from Holland. There are several minor chips to the body paint work which in no way detracts from its performance. An ideal starter budget instrument - made to last. Objectives x4, x10 and x40 with a turret space for a x100 (can be supplied). Separate coarse and fine focus controls. Fixed Abbe condenser with iris diaphragm. Good sized stage with slide clips. Tungsten illumination.

Total Price: £66.67 / €74.67 (Excluding VAT at 20%)




SELECTED LINKS TO Microscopy sites

Antique Microscopes1
Antique Microscopes2

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Here we present all kinds of odd things from around the web. Some related to microscopy, others not. Curated by Mol Smith and aimed at the curious mature mind.


What the electron’s near-perfect roundness means for new physics

Electrons are still almost perfectly round, a new measurement shows. A more squished shape could hint at the presence of never-before-seen subatomic particles, so the result stymies the search for new physics.

The electron gets its shape from the way that positive and negative charges are distributed inside the particle. The best theory for how particles behave, called the standard model of particle physics, holds that the electron should keep its rotund figure almost perfectly.

But some theories suggest that an entourage of hypothetical subatomic particles outside the electron could create a slight separation between the positive and negative charges, giving the electron a pear shape. That charge separation is called an electric dipole moment, or EDM. Searching for an electron EDM can reveal if particles that don’t exist in the standard model are hanging around the electron undetected.

A mashup of yeast and E. coli shows how mitochondria might have evolved

Yeast intentionally stuffed with bacteria may teach scientists something about the origins of cells’ powerhouses.

Cellular power-generating organelles, called mitochondria, are thought to have once been bacteria captured by archaea, single-celled microbes that are one of the earliest forms of life. Now, almost all eukaryotic cells (cells with a nucleus) contain mitochondria. At first, the bacteria may have lived inside archaea as endosymbionts, independent organisms that cooperate with their hosts. Over time, mitochondria lost many of their genes and eventually became an integral part of the cell.

This scenario has support from genetics. But “if you really want to prove something’s true,” says chemical biologist Peter Schultz, researchers should be able to make something similar in the lab. So Schultz, of the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., and his colleagues created a hybrid cell by fusing two popular lab organisms — the baker’s yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and a common gut bacteria called E. coli.


From Grand Illusions

A set of three 'Message in a Bottle' Pop Up Christmas Cards!

These beautifully engineered cards open up to show a 3 dimensional scene. There are three cards in the pack, one shows Santa on his sleigh, the second shows deer in the woods, and the last one shows children gathered around a tree in the snow!

Birds can sense Earth’s magnetic field, and this uncanny ability may help them fly home from unfamiliar places or navigate migrations that span tens of thousands of kilometers.
See how...

In many western countries, especially in highly built up areas, there is a huge decline in the insect population. Microscopists and lovers of the natural world can no longer readily find the variety of insect life to study. So, how about a microscopist's dream holiday? After visiting a country in Europe, I was staggered to find a Garden Of Eden  for such folk. The country? Bulgaria. And it's one of the best places to go to for a holiday with a macro-camera or portable microscope.
See why here...

Chalk under a Scanning
Electron Microscope

This picture was postedin the facebook Amateur Microscopy group. I thought it particularly beautiful due to the symmetry seen. Click on it to see it bigger.




Micscape Magazine published monthly online (13th) contributed
to by generous authors/microscopists around the world.

Our stunning Micropolitan Museum created by, and curated by Wim van Egmond from The Netherlands

A complete resource for young people who own a microscope and don't really know what to do with it.

Our physical yearbook is one of our ways of preserving the contributions made here. Take a look.

Micscape Magazine Article Library: thousands of articles from previous issues of Micscape Magazine.
Managed by Brunel Microscopes, it offers everything you to practice Enthusiast Microscopy
in the UK. 

Irina lives in Russia and produces beautiful insightful videos and photographs of ants, wasps and oither tiny forms.
The stunning home site of Wim van Egmond. World ackowledged as a major and significant talent and conributor to the study of Microscopical forms
Stunning 3D close-ups of insects and other small critters. No 3D glasses required!
We publish our very own books styled towards amateur microscopists. Our books cater for children, beginners, and experienced enthusiasts.
Nature and flower lovers adore these macro images and flowers. All with a brilliant account of their processes and beauty.

Lots of articles here to get you started photographing or digital 'snapping' what you see down a microscope.

Few training facilities exist to help the enthusiast microscopists so here is an opportunity to get friendly training with a trusted veteran of microscopy.
Courses are designed for enthusiasts!
Introduction to the microscopic organisms like bacteria, and others you can find in a freshwater pond. Comprehensive guide! Great for anyone starting out at looking at pond life.


Crystals are beautiful forms to grow and photograph under the microscope. Be stunned by the profound beauty of Brian Johnston's crystal gallery.
Looking at things for the firsttime in your pond? Let Wim help you identify them here.
Let our set of primers introduce you to using a microscopy and the fascinating world it reveals. It doesn't matter if you are very young, just young, or an adult. If you are starting out, this is for you.

(provided by Brunel Microscopes)
Informed and professional advice for people new to microscopy: different types of illumination, microdscopes & techniques.
Great to get started.

Know what you need to buy for Microscopy? No time to flick through online catalogues? Buy direct and quickly from here.

The best way to enjoy microscopy is to join a club. Here they are...

Take a virtual pond dip in our virtual pond and see what lives within.

Bee keepers use microscopes to help maintain their bees This is one of the best resources online for bee keepers (Norfolk Honey)
 by Dennis Kunkel
Fantastic images taken with a scanning Electron Microscope from our friend and contributor to our 3D microscope in Hawaii - Dennis Kunkel.
A 3D microscope where you can load specimen slides online.

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