A SOUVENIER OF HUMAN CARNAGE – Microscope slides of falling ashes collected during the eruptions of Mts. Pelee and Souflier were sold as souvenirs of the great disaster.

SCALES – LEEUWENHOEK SAID EELS HAD THEM , BUT THE RABBIS RULED “NO WAY!”    The earliest microscope use discovered an eel’s skin contained hidden scales implying the snake-like fish should be kosher.

ERNST HAECKEL AND THE POLYCYSTINA  The glass houses of protozoa were made famous by the artistic skills of a German microscopist.

HANDHELD MAGNIFYING LENSES   Selected examples illustrating the development of high-quality low-power viewing devices.

KENTUCKY MEAT SHOWER – A NEW SAMPLE HAS BEEN FOUND   Investigating the mysterious event of 1876 has uncovered a documented specimen of what fell from the skies on that day. It is a ripped piece from an animal’s lung.

 MARY ANN ALLARD BOOTH   The life and achievements of America’s first woman microscopist of scientific stature.

PALMER SLIDE COMPANY    American glass manufacturing company developed a quality microscope slide for exhibitions.

VICTORIAN DRY-MOUNTED SLIDES OF INSECTS   Eighteenth-century England turns the microscope-slide mounting of insects into a high art form.

WALTER WHITE – FIRST TO MAKE MAIL-ORDER MICROSCOPE SLIDES   The english pharmacist who turned armature microscope-slide making into an international business.

      WHALEBONE SLIDES AND THOMAS D. RUSSEL    Microscope slide manufacturer mislabeled work allows greater insight into the process of English commercial slide making.

WOMEN DEVOTEES OF NINETEENTH-CENTURY MICROSCOPY  While working the shadows of famous men, women reached and educated the public about the advances science and microscopy were making during their times.

       JOHN BENJAMIN DANCER    His advances in microphotography, the first microfilm, and the history of the microdot.

KEEPING THE FAITH – ECCLESIASTICALY SPONSORED BOOKS ABOUT MICROSCOPY   Religion helped popularize biology among lay readers during the Victorian Era with interlaced scripture.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR   Links to other works on topics of natural history by Frank W. Reiser


ANTIQUE POOL AND BILLIARD BALLS MADE OF CLAY AND ELEPHANT IVORY   Manufactured by Hyatt – Peerless in Albany, New York, in 1906

MEDITERRANEAN SPOTTED COCKROACH   A new invasive species found in the North Eastern United States suburbs.


Searching an Invisible World is based on the author’s collection of science-related artifacts and publications from eighteen-hundred through the early twentieth century. The website’s objective is to display the assemblage during its organization into a self-supporting traveling public exhibition for public enjoyment and education. Contents of the website change weekly, documenting the progress toward achieving that goal. An inventory of items ready for on-site display can be found at the bottom of each topic page. The scope of the exhibit is restricted to artifacts contained within the privately owned collection. The exhibit’s scope is growing as new items are continually being added. I am a novice curator with much to learn so I look forward to your comments.

     Nineteenth-century microscopy is a vast topic. Input from anyone in the historical and scientific communities is dearly welcome. All intellectual and physical contributions to this work, fitting with the collection’s spirit, will be appropriately attributed if used.

Frank W. Reiser
Professor Emeritus
Department of Biology
Nassau Community College
Garden City, NY 11530

How to cite information used from the website:
 Reiser, Frank W. (2023) Searching An Invisible World.