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Date Made/Found: 1861/1862
Previous owner: Probably Dr Henry Clifton Sorby FRS , British, 1826 - 1908
Manufacturer: Smith, Beck & Beck
Department: Natural History
Accession Number: TZ11977
Is this the microscope that made Sheffield's steel industry the envy of the world? The microscope is believed to have belonged to Henry Clifton Sorby. Although there's no documentary proof, it closely matches the description of an instrument he purchased in 1861 and curators at the museum have referred to it as the Sorby microscope for at least 100 years.

In 1863, Sorby used his microscope to perfect a method for calculating the precise amount of carbon needed to turn iron into high quality steel, removing much of the guess work from the process. Unfortunately, although circumstancial evidence suggests that this 'scope was Sorby's 'scope, we can't yet be absolutely certain without more research.
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