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Optical Bench (Jules Duboscq)

University College

A wooden box which contains a number of instrument pieces forming components that make up an optical bench. Fitted into the bottom of the box are one track for the light bench and two mounting brackets.

Supported upright by a wooden frame cut with holes of varying sizes are a large number of different types of lenses, each set in a brass surround. These include: four larger lenses (one with frame only), one large brass lens with a measurement grid, two small lenses, two Brewster-Angle polarizers (one with black backing and two without), one crystal holder, one Nicol Prism, one metal rod, one metal joint, one large brass scope with interior lenses, one lens attachment with slide rule, one brass two-pronged attachment, and one lens/crystal (?).

Also in the box are six crystals: one quartz (mounted with optic axis parallel to bench axis), one quartz (mounted perpendicular – crystal missing), one quartz (two crystals of different rotations mounted together), 1 tourmaline (mounted parallel), one unmounted crystal, and one unidentified crystal, one of which may be a mask. Alongside these are seven pieces of mica: two disks, three sheets (one unmounted and found mounted; one of these is labelled “lambda/4 plate / moorhouse”.

Accession Number: 2009.uc.1

Alternative Name:

Primary Materials:

Wood, Metal: Copper Alloy, Glass, Mica, Paper


The wooden box is labelled “1” on the front left.

Dimensions (cm): Box: 46 x 23 x 14.5


To permit a variety of optical investigations and experiments.


Missing: stand (base and column) to support track, piece to complete crystal holder, instruction booklet. The key to the box is also missing.

Associated Instruments:

Manufacturer: Jules Duboscq & Ph. Pellin, Paris

Date of Manufacture: 1883-1886

Provenance: Department of Physics

Additional Information and References:

Historical Notes: