Through the microscope

Archive for the ‘Cooke Troughton and Simms’ Category

Guess who’s in trouble with her husband?

Me. Yes, me. I believe his words were “Oh Lord, not another one”

I was browsing on eBay and I saw a lovely Cooke Troughton and simms microscope. It appears to be a phase contrast microscope. I think it also has a magnification changer. Can’t be sure but I think so. £60, not a bad price methinks. I’ve seen magnification changers go for £90. I’ve only ever seen one CTS phase contrast unit for sale and that went for as much as this microscope costs. Even if the phase unit doesn’t work £60 is not extortionate.

I have a bit of a thing for Cooke Troughton and Simms microscopes. They’re very pleasing to the eye but they’re also damn good microscopes. They are as good optically as many modern student microscopes but they have no plastic parts so they don’t break.

Most important of all they are black with shiny bits. I love black and shiny things.

This one looks rather grubby but I can fix that. It will be a nice project. I’m not sure if it has any phase objectives with it, but I have a vickers patholette and those objectives might just work. Vickers and Cooke microscopes have quite a lot of interchangeable parts.

If the microscope can’t be made to work I shall break it up and use it for spares.

*insert squeal of horror here!*

I’m joking, I shan’t break it up for spares. I have tried to do that before. I once bought a microscope with the sole intention of cannibalising it. It had a rare objective with it that I needed. I didn’t need anything else off it so I intended to break it up and use the spare parts to give my other CTS microscopes a service. Needless to say the rare objective I desperately wanted was in an unusable state and the rest of it was in better condition than the microscope I was going to give its parts to. I now have two identical microscopes. One (the one I bought for cannibalising) is slightly better than the other but I eventually found suitable objectives and the two microscopes share them. They never complain. Microscopes are good like that.

Also, I feel good today. I have decided to give up work and dedicate my life to microscopes and sewing. Work makes me depressed. I work as an in-class support worker. It’s not the staff – they’re good people. The students are okay too for the most part but I am completely disillusioned with the education system. I could write a long post on why but I doubt many people want to hear it. Let’s just say my heart is liberal but my head is a traditionalist. The race to the bottom is real and I can’t be a part of it any more.


A piece of old pottery through the microscope

My friend Tim gave me a bit of old pottery to look at. He reckons it’s about 5000 years old. I have no idea how he knows that but I’ll take his word for it because he works for TimeTeam the TV archaeology show, or volunteers, or something. Anyway, he’s quite good at old bits of pot.

The pot was found on Salisbury Plain and I had a look at it through the microscope. It certainly looks manmade. Lots of sandy and clayey aggregates bound together rather neatly.

The first pictures are taken with a Cooke Troughton and SImms M6000 stereomicroscope. Unfortunately I am not able to take proper photos through the M6000 so they have been taken rather shakily with a phone camera. It was extremely tricky.


The rest of the pictures were taken using a canon EOS 1100D through a Cooke Troughton and Simms M2000 microscope with universal illuminator and a Vickers 10X dark ground objective. As the pottery was so thick (several mm) some areas appear out of focus. I’m really not well equipped for anything thicker than a few microns but I think you get the general idea. Aggregates, clay – definitely a bit of old pot. Huurah!


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