“IM” – The Toymakers of Nuremberg

During the 18th and 19th centuries, toymakers in the Nuremberg area of Germany produced a wide range of instruments, generally carved from wood. Among these were 4 different styles of compound microscopes, including those based on the microscopes of Thomas Culpeper from the early 18th century as well as “sentry box-type”, “solar” and “side pillar-type”.

The makers of these microscopes are not known, but many of the microscopes  are stamped with initials on the base. As well as “IM” within a circle, “JFF” inside a heart and (apparently later versions) “ICR” within a circle are known. Whether they refer to individuals, to factories or even regions is not known.