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The Microscopic Cabinet by Andrew Pritchard (1832)

This book describes Pritchard’s studies of the biology and anatomy of minute organisms. Is also includes a stimulating account of the author’s experiments with precious jewel lens systems in his attempt to perfect and color correct the optics of the microscope.  In the preface, Pritchard provides an excellent summary of the book. “While almost every part of nature has within the last few years been explored, and our knowledge augmented, the living objects described in this work, have been nearly overlooked by naturalists, and such representations as we possess of them are delineated in the most incorrect and grotesque manner that can well be conceived; for these reasons the Author has presumed to call the attention of the public to this interesting branch of natural history.”

The first thirteen chapters are devoted to the description of the Aquatic Larvae of Insects, Crustacea, and Animalcules. The reader must consider them merely as popular outlines of their general characters, chiefly collected from the Author's own observations. This was considered preferable to a scientific display of terms, or a lengthened history, which many persons might not be disposed to follow. To each of these classes are prefixed, for the information of the general reader, a few cursory remarks on their arrangement, &c.
The descriptions of the Living Objects are followed by that of the Jewelled Microscope. This chapter is succeeded by an account of a Microscope which has been found, from actual experience, to be well suited for all general purposes: its construction is simple, it is easily managed, and with ordinary care is not liable to derangement."

The importance of certain objects in determining the qualities for Microscopes and Engiscopes (compound microscopes) is now duly acknowledged, and as no complete account of these Tests at present exists, it is hoped that a full description of them will be found useful: but to render the subject complete in a scientific view, Dr. Goring has given a Memoir on an Exact Method of ascertaining the Quality of Microscopes and Engiscopes. Of this method, which as hiterto been a secret known only to very few persons, its value may be somewhat appreciated when it is stated that no perfect achromatic microscope has been produced without it; and although they have been known to the public for some time, and profound mathematicians have assiduously employed their talents in the investigation of the conditions necessary for obtaining achromatism and aplanatism, yet no perfect instrument has been produced excepting by the means given in this memoir. The other memoir by Dr. Goring, "on the Verification of Microscopic Phenomena," contains the sum and substance of microscopic science: it is condensed into short aphorisms, but I think will be found on attentive perusual to contain all that is essential to a practical knowledge of the subject.

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