Small World

I have a new toy:

My parents, who are, shall we say, “getting on”, and who are less capable physically than they once were, have moved to smaller quarters, and needed to get rid of some of their stuff. Some was sold, some thrown out, and some redistributed to friends and family. My father, not needing it anymore, entrusted to me his microscope.

Now this isn’t just any old microscope. It’s a Wild M20, made in Switzerland, and considered by many to be the finest optical microscope ever made. My father bought it in London, his hometown, in the 1950s, when he was just beginning his career as a medical researcher. Though it is not particularly large, it is surprisingly heavy, and its dense metal body is finished in deep, lustrous black. Its interlocking parts, even after fifty years, move with exquisite precision, and without the slightest play. The optics are incomparable. Though it is a purely functional object, I find it almost hypnotically beautiful.

I know little about the practical techniques of microscopy, but I intend to learn. What a gift! I think of the legions of the curious throughout the ages who would have given their eyeteeth for such an instrument, and feel that I owe it to them to learn to use this fantastic tool, and to use it reverently and well.

You can read about the Wild M20 here, and here.

Thanks, Dad.

One Comment

  1. Bill says

    What a wonderful gift. You will discover a world of totally different and fascinating beauty, and you will find that there is so much of the world that revolves below our vision yet keeps the rest of it going.

    Enjoy! You have been blest.

    Posted December 5, 2005 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

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