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Microscopy. 1968 Nov;31:85-94.
The rise and fall of the jewel microscope, 1824-1837.
Museum of the History of Science, Oxford
To increase the resolution of the microscope Sir David Brewster proposed that lenses should be made from materials of high refractive index. In 1824 Dr C.R. Goring commissioned Andrew Pritchard to make a diamond lens, which was delivered at the end of that year. Pritchard made other jewel lenses and devised a stand for use with them. Inhomogeneities in the gem stones and the improvements in the design of objectives published in 1830 by J.J. Lister, led to the abandonment of jewel lenses for microscopy. The properties of twelve jewel and two fused quartz lenses have been measured and are tabulated.
PMID: 19938379 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]