Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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James Smith (d. 1870)

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A famous microscope and instrument maker

1826 Smith made a new form of microscope stand to Lister's design, intended to provide the greater stability demanded by the increased magnification that could be achieved.

1840 James Smith constructed quarter-inch objective lenses based on Joseph Jackson Lister's idea; these became popular with microscopists. Over the next four decades, with Lister's designs commercially available, the microscope became a serious scientific instrument in many fields, notably in medicine and public health, and it reached its limit of resolution in the 1880s.

1843 Took as an apprentice Richard Beck

1845 Optician, of 50 Ironmonger Row, Old Street[1]

1847 Smith went into partnership with Beck - Smith and Beck, and subsequently Smith, Beck and Beck

1865 Retired from the company which became R. and J. Beck

1870 Died

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1845 commercial directory
  • Biography of Joseph Jackson Lister, ODNB [1]