top of page

C. Baker, Moginie Traveller's Microscope, ~1870

The Baker Moginie-style traveling microscope is one of the first attempts to create a sturdy field microscope for professional use. It was designed by William Moginie in 1867 and manufactured by Charles Baker. It is described in Baker's 1868 catalog and is today frequently referred to as a Baker Mogine-style or more simply a Mogine microscope. J. Newton Tompkins described this field microscope in an 1867 article published in the Journal of the Royal Microscopical Society entitled: "On a Travelling Microscope". It is also described and illustrated in Hogg's, "History of the Microscope" 6th ed. of 1867. The microscope was designed to be carried in a cylindrical telescope leather case. In 1870 Moginie designed a larger edition of this microscope, which is the type seen here. As it was common at this time for contemporary microscope makers to freely copy each other's work, Baker's newly designed field microscope was freely copied by others including John Browning, and J. Swift, the models of whom are also seen in this collection.

The larger Moginie is a substantial microscope, and this microscope (only with the addition of rack and pinion coarse focusing instead of the fine focusing mechanism) was used by pioneer British mycologist Dr. Mordecai Cubitt Cooke (1825-1914), for microscopic inspection of fungi. Cooke was the founder of the Quekett Microscopical Club and Club President from 1881 to 1883. He noted that he used this microscope for over 30 years to produce over 15,000 drawings. Cooke sold the Wisley Gardens instrument for 10 pounds to the Royal Horticultural Society a year before his death in 1914.

Mordecai Cubitt Cooke and his Baker-Moginie microscope

ReferencesWhipple: 851; ; Billings: P. 53, Fig. 99, AFIP 49243-60-4713-32; Stevenson;  Kreindler & Goren.

bottom of page