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Messrs. Smith, Beck & Beck, whose case faces the top of the stairs, have a very extensive
          display of binocular and single microscopes, telescopes, object glasses, and stereoscopes;
          also microscopic objects and cabinets, also a museum microscope for public exhibition, with

         504 objects so attached as any of them can be seen under these magnifying powers.

         A detailed report on the 1862 Exhibition written by Mr. C. Brookes, is more
informative [12]: in his general comments he specifically mentioned some of the
microscopic objects shown by Beck:

          There is a very creditable display of preparations, both British and foreign; but it is to be
          regretted that one, who has for many years been considered the first British preparer, has
          contributed nothing to this Exhibition. The German objects prepared by imbibition and
          transparent injection, imported and exhibited by Messers. Smith, Beck & Beck, are extremely
          beautiful and instructive.

         This brief mention of the techniques used in their preparation is interesting, for
the term “imbibition” may point to the meaning of “IMB” printed on some of the Beck
labels (Figs. 4A-F): we shall return to this point below. Brookes’ curious statement about
“the first British preparer” may refer to C. M. Topping, already entered as an exhibitor,
but then conspicuously absent from the actual displays [13].

         By the last day of the International Exhibition, on 1 November 1862, well over six
million visitors had attended [14]: many would have had the opportunity to examine
Beck’s displays. After the Exhibition, Beck resumed their programme of public
demonstrations. For example, a December 1862 report of the 2nd Annual Soiree of the
Southhampton Microscopical Society [15]:

          Messrs Smith and Beck exhibited several binocular microscopes, their beautiful transparent

         injections, especially one of the brain, being a source of great attraction. (Fig. 3B).

         In the following year a very early advertisement from Edmund Wheeler, in the 1
May 1863 edition of The British Friend [16] included:

          N.B. ~ E. Wheeler supplies Microscopes, Optical Instruments, Etc., by the distinguished firm
          of Smith, Beck & Beck, at their prices. Also their beautiful German Anatomical Injections,

         Achromatic Stereoscopes, Photographs of the Moon, etc. (Fig. 6)
          A Wheeler preparation (Eye of Cat) has the front labels clearly written in Wheeler’s
hand, and his note on the bottom label “See over”, points to the Beck label on the rear
(Fig. 5A). It is not clear if this kind of arrangement was unique to Wheeler, but such an
arrangement would surely have enhanced Beck’s sales.
         However, after 1863 only an occasional mention of Beck’s German preparations
occurs, and their exhibitions possibly came to an end around 1865, but whether this
was connected to the retirement of James Smith in 1864 is not known. Nor has it been

6 Originally published in the Winter 2012 Quekett Journal of Microscopy, Issue 41, pages 701-712

                             Republished with permission in Micscape Magazine, March 2016
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