Aquatic Microscopy

Or to give it its full flyleaf title - ‘ for beginners or common objects from ponds and ditches’. An interest in pond and ditch water life is without doubt the most common reason why private individuals want microscopes. However the modern books to support this interest are almost non- existent. Written by Alfred Stokes in 1918 and signed by the original owner in 1919 this excellent book is completely relevant to today and covers absolutely everything in detail with many illustrations. Hard backed it has 324 pages and an index. The spine has been repaired which is evident in the photograph.

Price £14.00

Used Microscopes

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Microscopy Books

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Brunel Microscopes Ltd, Unit 2 Vincients Road, Bumpers Farm Industrial Estate, Chippenham, Wilts SN14 6NQ. Tel: 01249 462655.

Almost a century ago  the thing that everyone wanted was a microscope because of this books about microscopes and specimen preparation were as plentiful as books (and Youtube videos) are today about computers and the Internet. Sadly the interest in microscopy - particularly amongst young people has diminished. As a consequence the number microscopy books have also diminished. Fortunately because the Laws of Optical Physics and the methodology of specimen preparation has not changed much in a century, these classic books are now worth their ‘weight in gold’.  

Journal of the Royal Microscopical Society

The standards laid down by the Royal Microscopical Society (RMS) are responsible for many of the standards in microscopy to this day - including the size of microscope slides (3x1 inches)

This is a bound copy of the Journal of the RMS from 1902 - edited by Hebb. There are 780 pages with an index and the papers include many excellent drawings of the time and surprisingly a plate of black and white photographs which would have been very expensive at that time. Extremely good condition.

Price £45.00

The Sea Shore

If you are interested in the sea shore its all in this book. It covers the larger animals as well as the small that need a microscope. Dated from 1903 it is in good condition for its age. 486 pages and hard backed. There are some colour plates which is relatively rare at that time.

Price £10.00

The Microscopic Photographs of J B Dancer

John Benjamin Dancer was an optician who lived most of his life in Manchester. He was the inventor of microphotography. The Dancer microscopic photographs averaged 1/8” inch in diameter and were produced as a scientific novelty to be viewed through a microscope. This excellently presented book brings together for the first time a nearly complete representation of the Dancer 1873 collection with biographical information on each microscopic photograph. Written by Brian Bracegirdle and James McCormick. Hard backed with 280 pages and a hard backed sleeve. Condition excellent

Price £40.00

Handbook of Photomicrography

Although this book was written in 1913 by Hind and Randles many of the principles of taking photographs down a microscope still apply today.  There are many excellent illustrative examples such as the whole flea shown. Hard backed with 292 pages and an index. Excellent condition for its age.

Price £15.00

Common Objects of the Microscope

Written by Rev. J G Wood in 1938, this really is an excellent book on microscopes and specimen preparation. The type of book that isn’t published today. It contains many excellent colour and black and white illustrations. Cover in detail  specimen preparation for botany, insects, pond and seawater life and the world around us in general. Hard backed with original dust cover. 184 pages with an index.

Price £15.00

Mushrooms and Toadstools

From the Collins New Naturalist Series this is a description of the mushrooms and toadstools found in the UK. Written by J Ramsbottom and reprinted here in 1977. Hard backed with original dust cover. 306 pages with numerous black and white photographs. Very good condition.

Price £6.00

Cooke Microscope Manual

This is a manual from a bygone age of  UK microscope production. Published by Cooke Troughton and Simms it covers both compound and stereomicroscopes and measuring with a microscope - a mine of information. Card backed with 78 pages. Good condition.

Price £15.00


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How to use the Microscope

Written by Rev. Charles A Hall at a time when books about microscopy were extremely popular and plentiful - unlike today. Many of them seem to have been written by ‘men of the cloth’. This one would be ideal for the novice as it covers the use of the microscope and basic specimen preparation. Hard backed with its original dust cover, 90 pages with pictures and an index.

Price £10.00

The Seeing Eye

Not specifically about microscopy but more fundamentally than that this book is about the eye and how we see things. Fascinating read. Written by H Asher and hard backed with 271 pages, good condition.


God Bless the Microscope

Written by Gerard L’E Turner (a prolific microscopy book writer) this is a complete history of the Royal Microscopical Society (RMS) over 150 years. Hard backed with 166 pages and some excellent photographs down the ages. Excellent condition.

Price £10.00

Minerals and the Microscope

Modern geology microscope books are almost as much to do with mathematics as they are microscopy. This excellent book written in 1927 contains descriptions of most of the mineral structure of rocks using bright field and polarised light at a time before polaroid film when crossed Nicol prisms made from calcite crystals were used to produce plain polarised light. Excellent detail and illustrations. Hard backed with 116 pages and an index.

Price £12.00

The Technique of Photomicrography

Although this book was written in 1960, the principles that it describes are just as relevant for today - the rules of optical physics haven’t changed. Written by Douglas Lawson it has many illustrations as would be expected. Hard backed with 256 pages with index. Interestingly there is a letter written in 2008 from someone who knew the author.

Price £10.00

The Book of the Microscope

This is exactly the sort of microscopy book that needed to be written for current publication. This is one in a series of ‘how to’ books that were very popular when this was written in 1935. Clearly targeted at the beginner to microscopy the book covers the use of the microscope and specimen preparation techniques. Recommended for beginners or returners of advanced age! Hard backed with 245 pages and an index,

Price £10.00

Life in Ponds and Streams

This book is not just about microscopic parts of this environment  but covers everything including fish, nevertheless there is a large part that deals with the microscopic life.  8 superb colour plates and 300 black and white illustrations. Written in 1932 there is a very good section on the process of specimen collection. Hard backed with 399 pages and an index.


Pond Life

Written in 1913 by yet another man of the cloth - Rev Charles A Hall. This excellent book covers all life forms that frequent our pond and ditches. Written in 1913  it covers in detail things that have not changed since that date - although perhaps less of them curtsey of modern day pollution! This is a book written from a basis of detailed knowledge and has 8 full colour plates, 14 black and white photographs and 28 drawings. Hard backed with 87 pages and an index.

Price £10.00

Elementary Microtechnique

This is a book that from the microscopy perspective should have never been allowed to go out of print. To get the best out of a microscope is all about how the specimen slides are prepared, and this is what the book tells you about and is an absolute mine of information. If slide preparation is your area of concern this book is the answer. This is the second edition printed in 1950. It is hard backed with original dust cover and has 330 pages with an index.

Price £16.00

Exploring with the Microscope

This is an excellent book for those needing the whole area of microscopes covered from the microscope itself, illumination and even photomicrography to the most important aspect - how to prepare specimens. Plant, animal and aquatic material is covered. Many good colour illustrations. Paper backed with 160 pages and an index.


The Microscope Made Easy

This book written by A Laurence Wells in 1938 concentrates on specimen preparation for microscopy. Whilst the book is dated the process have remained the same for the best part of 100 years. Ideal for the relative beginner the book explains ‘the how to’ of temporary slide mounting, including crystals and pond like and explains the differences between dry, wet and fluid mounting and even deals with slide ringing , finishing and storage. Hard backed with 181 pages. Twelve excellent plates with their own index. A very useful book.


Under the Microscope

Written by three authors; Curry, Grayson and Hosey. This is the complete microscope book at a level of detail well suited to the amateur microscopist who doesn’t want to be bogged down in too much detail. It takes you through the structure of the microscope and even tells you how to make one! Other chapters deal with mounting specimens, minerals, photography and more specialised methods. Many photographs and illustrations. Printed in 1982 it is hard backed with 160 pages and an index. A good book.

Price £12.00

Half Hours with the Microscope

These are examples of the all-time favourite book for would be microscopists of a century ago. Whilst they contain excellent material that has not really dated their main value is with the book collector. The books were designed so that any ‘grammar school kid’ should have one. There are many illustrations of what is to be found in the country, at the pond, at the seaside and indoors in a half hour ‘lesson’. These three volumes are dated 1905, 1912 and the sixteenth edition. All are hard backed and with the same number of pages - 118. They should be kept together.

Price £55.00

Peacocks Elementary Microtechnique

We have already stated the excellence of this book for specimen preparation elsewhere on this page and the description still stands and is reproduced next - this is a book that from the microscopy perspective should have never been allowed to go out of print. To get the best out of a microscope is all about how the specimen slides are prepared, and this is what the book tells you about and is an absolute mine of information. If slide preparation is your area of concern this book is the answer. This is the 4th edition and has been revised by Saville Bradbury in 192. It contains all the original information plus additional. It is also a much bigger book with larger font, Hard backed 276 pages with an index.

Price £22.00

Practical Microscopy

Written by F Shillington Scales in 1926, this book follows the classic pattern of the time. The first section deals with how to use a microscope and taking photographs with it, and the second section deals with the full range of specimen preparation. The interesting thing is that a book that is now a century old is still very relevant for two reasons. Firstly the laws of optical physics have not really changed during that period and neither have the principles of specimen preparation - visit any histology laboratory in any hospital path lab and the core of the specimen preparation remains the same. Hard backed with good illustrations  - 326 pages with index.

Price £15.00

The Microscope

Written by the Honourable Mrs Ward, this book concentrates on descriptions of microscopic objects of special interest and beauty. For example insect wings, insect eyes, scales, hairs and feathers, crystals and pond life. Several excellent colour plates of the authors drawings. Hard backed 154 pages with index. A book ahead of its time.

Price £12.00

The Great Age of the Microscope

This is an essential book for the antique microscope enthusiast. Written by G L’E Turner, it catalogues the microscope collection of the Royal Microscopical Society through 150 years. Hard backed with 379 pages and an index, it contains a photograph and description of each microscope in the collection which totals 450 microscopes and accessories. Condition as new.

Price £22.00