Information required on:

The microscope makers 'Ch. Bianchetti and Cie', Marseille, France

by Eddie Spedding, Australia

compiled by Dave Walker


Eddie Spedding of Australia has written to Micscape asking if our readers can help with any information on the makers and model of a microscope he possesses (illustrated below).

Eddie writes:

'I would like information on my microscope a S.F.I.O No. 2 made by Ch. Bianchetti & Cie of Marseille. It has 3 objectives 10mm, 16mm & 1.8mm 'IMM HUILE' with a 10mm eyepiece all housed in a wooden case.

The inscription on the tube is 'S.F.I.O.' inside a diamond border, the identical inscription is on the three objectives and the eyepiece, also a number on the body in front of the tube 'No 1308' and of course the plate with the address.

Manufacture d'Instruments Nautiques
2 Rue de la Republique

Thank you, Eddie Spedding'

An image of the microscope is shown below. Also enclosed with the microscope was a letter dated 1943, showing that the microscope was loaned by a previous owner in 1940 to the Department of Health, Scotland. Presumably microscopes were in short supply during WWII and this one was put to good use.

If any readers can provide any information on the makers or their microscopes, and likely date of the model shown please contact Eddie Spedding.

The maker isn't mentioned in the book 'Notes on Modern Microscope Manufacturers' by B. Bracegirdle, 1996 which has entries for most makers from 1850 to the present. According to an on-line sale entry by the UK Auction House Bonham's, there was an instrument maker I. Bianchetti in Marseille making octants in the 19th century.

Incidentally Micscape is very pleased to publish queries like this, as they are often of wider interest and can spark off other interesting discussions. Please contact the Micscape Editor (contact in footer) if you would like to do this.


Microscopy UK Front Page
Micscape Magazine
Article Library

© Microscopy UK or their contributors.

First published in August 1998 Micscape Magazine.

Please report any Web problems or offer general comments to the Micscape Editor,
via the contact on current Micscape Index.

Micscape is the on-line monthly magazine of the Microscopy UK web
site at Microscopy-UK

© Ltd, Microscopy-UK, and all contributors 1995 onwards. All rights reserved. Main site is at with full mirror at