Bausch and Lomb Microscopes were made by Bausch & Lomb, one of the oldest operating companies in the USA.
Originally started by John Jacob Bausch in 1853 as a tiny optical goods shop in Rochester, New York, the company became the Bausch & Lomb Optical Company in 1863 after his friend Henry Lomb mustered out of the army.
Before he volunteered, Lomb had lent Bausch $60 and continued to support his friend with money out of his army pay check, on the promise of becoming a partner when the company made a profit.
The first compound microscope was produced in 1874 shortly after Bausch’s son Edward joined the company.
The company went from success to success and by 1903 had patents for microscopes and binoculars. It has now grown to become one of the largest global providers of eye care products.
For the next century Bausch & Lomb produced many good quality microscopes and were the third biggest supplier of microscopes in the world.
Leica entered into negotiations to buy the microscope division in the late 1980’s and it became incorporated into the Ernst Leitz brand name at that time.
A compound microscope is one that uses multiple lenses to collect the light from the sample and then a separate set of lenses to focus that light for the viewer.
A compound microscope would be heavier, larger and cost more than a simple microscope, but would have improved numerical aperture, reduced chromatic aberration and adjustable magnification through interchangeable objective lenses.
It would also mean that more advanced illumination systems, like phase contrast is also possible.
The only Bausch and Lomb microscopes that you can buy at the moment are used models on the second-hand market.
As with all old objects, some of these are more collectable than others and will attract interest from collectors. Some of the models recently available for purchase include:
- Bausch & Lomb binocular compound microscope
Used price: $275
- Bausch & Lomb Dynazoom Compound Monocular Microscope
Used price: $100 with broken/missing illuminator
It has been twenty years since the last Bausch and Lomb compound microscopes were made and some of the advanced features on newer microscopes will be unavailable on them.
For the best part of a century, Bausch and Lomb compound microscopes were some of the best available for purchase.
The name may have vanished now, but they were the third largest supplier of microscopes worldwide for the majority of the 20th century.