Humboldt State University

Robert A. Paselk Scientific Instrument Museum

Early North Coast Scientific Instruments

c. 1850 – c. 1950

Richard Paselk, Curator

Instruments for Personal Observations & Curiosity

A variety of scientific instruments have long seen use in the home or in public to satisfy curiosity or aid education. Microscopes and weather instruments are among the most common.

Microscope kits abound in today’s toy stores for enticing children’s interest in science and nature. The “toy” microscope displayed contrasts with many modern instruments for children in its high quality optics and beautiful construction. Its size and simplicity indicate its market. The universal ball-joint microscope aimed at the public fascination with microscopy in the 18th and early 19th centuries. The beautiful finish and walnut case appeal to the eye while providing a quality instrument to satisfy the user’s curiosity.

The barograph is used to forecast weather for the public and the professional. The high quality mahogany case and thick beveled glass in this example provide aesthetic appeal for home or business. This instrument resided in a Eureka Old Town jewelry store window—providing a service to mariners on shore (predicting the weather), and bringing them to a business window with other enticements, perhaps even a purchase.

Museum Home

 HSTC icon
HSTC (1921-34)
HSC 35-53 icon
HSC (1935-1953)
HSC 54-73 icon
HSC (1954-1973)

© R. Paselk

Last modified 20 February 2012