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Leitz Stativ VI compound brass microscope, case, and accessories used by a Jewish family

Object | Accession Number: 2003.120.2 a-j

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    Leitz Stativ VI compound brass microscope, case, and accessories used by a Jewish family


    Brief Narrative
    Leitz brass compound microscope, with fitted case and accessories, that belonged to Gerard Fields. It is likely that the microscope was brought to the US by his father Edgar, a chemical engineer. Edgar and his wife Anna left Germany in 1933 for France rather than live under the Nazi regime. Germany occupied France in June 1940. After Edgar was demobilized from the French Army in 1941, he arranged for the family to go to the US. In December 1941, they sailed from Lisbon, Portugal, to Havana, Cuba, where they waited to receive US visas. In spring 1942, the family left for Chicago, joining Edgar's brother Gerard, who had emigrated in 1941.
    manufacture:  1914 September 22
    manufacture: Wetzlar (Germany)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Gerard Fields
    a. front, body, center, engraved : E. Leitz / Wetzlar / No 145843
    a. base, underside, engraved : 45
    b. top, back edge, engraved : 9
    c. top, engraved : 4 / T
    f. front, door, top edge, engraved : 145843
    h. front, top, center, black ink : Mikroskop Nr. 145843 / Vergrösserungen bei 170mm Tubuslange und 250mm Bildweite / (Wenn das Mikroskop mit Revolver versehen ist wird dur Tubusung / auf Strichmarke 152 gestellt.)
    h. front, center, chart, black ink : Objektive / Okulare
    h. front, bottom, black ink: Wetzlar, den 191 . E. Leitz
    h. front, bottom left, black ink: Zweig-Geschafte: / St. Petersburg / Woskrerski 11.
    h. front, bottom center, black ink: Berlin NW. / Luisenstrasse 45. / London, W.C. / 18 Bloomsburg Square.
    h. front, bottom right, black ink: Frankfurt a. M. / Neue Mainzerstrasse 24. / New York / 30 East 18th Street.
    j. front, right, black ink : grewinnen Sie Freude / an Ihrem korper durch / “Olbas – kosmetik”! [Win (they enjoy?) / your body through / Oblas cosmetics]
    k. top, engraved : 0
    l. front and back, engraved : 3 / E. Leitz / Wetzlar / T
    m. side, engraved : DRALLE
    o. top, label, black ink : 50 Stück / 18 m/m / vd(?)/Bis (handwritten)
    Subject: Edgar L. Bloomfield
    Manufacturer: Ernst Leitz
    Edgar Leo Blumenfeld (later Bloomfield) was born on July 20, 1903, in Kassel, Germany. His father Felix was a medical doctor. Edgar had a brother, Gerhard Max, born on March 3, 1906. Edgar studied chemistry in Stuttgart and Darmstadt and gained engineering expertise through work. From 1927-1933, Edgar was an engineer for Frankfurter Asbestwerke, in a plant that manufactured electro-motors. He was a recognized expert in the manufacture of asbestos. Edgar was a Freemason and member of the Grand Lodge Frankfurt. He married Anna Hanau in September 1932. Anna was born on March 27, 1906, in Schiffweiler, in Saarland, Germany. She had three brothers. Edgar and Anna settled in the Saar district, an industrial region on the French border that had been removed from German control and placed under a fifteen year League of Nations mandate by the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I (1914-1918.)

    In 1933, Hitler became Chancellor of Germany and soon the country was ruled by a Nazi dictatorship. Not wanting to live under Nazi rule, Edgar and Anna left for France that year. Edgar established a successful business, called Franciamiant, as a chemist, and an asbestos and mechanical engineer. In 1935, after the Saar voted to rejoin Germany, the French government gave Edgar and Anna the status of Saar refugees after they renounced their German citizenship. They received Nansen passports, issued to stateless refugees by the League of Nations. Their son, Gerard L., was born on August 20, 1935, in a suburb of Paris and was a French citizen. Circa 1939, Edgar’s brother Gerhard left Germany for Great Britain where he registered as a refugee from Nazi oppression and was exempted from internment. Gerhard served for the first nine months of the war with the Air Raid Warden Service, Civilian Defense.

    In September 1939, Germany invaded Poland. France and Great Britain declared war. Edgar joined the French Army. In May 1940, Germany invaded France, which surrendered in June. Edgar was officially demobilized on February 26, 1941. Also in February, Edgar submitted applications for US visas for the family. Edgar’s brother Gerhard had reached the United States in November 1940, and settled in Chicago. He Americanized his name to Gerard Bloomfield. Gerard was also an asbestos engineer and had obtained a position in that field. Gerard supplied affidavits of support for Edgar and his family. Their visas were approved May 23 and they were to pick them up the next day. However, new regulations were suddenly received by the Consulate, and now State Department approval had to be obtained before Edgar could receive the visas. They refiled with the State Dept. in July. But after a long wait, they had no visas and the situation for Jews in German occupied France was getting very dangerous. Edgar’s sponsors got him tourist visas for Cuba. The family travelled to Lisbon, where they boarded a ship for Havana, arriving in December 1941. In the spring, they received their US visas and left on April 18, 1942, for Chicago. They left many possessions in France, which were shipped to them in Chicago in 1951. Edgar, 53, died in an industrial accident ca. 1956. Anna later remarried. Gerard later changed his name to Gerard Fields.

    Physical Details

    English German
    Tools and Equipment
    Object Type
    Microscopes (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    The k-v component designations have been added for cataloging purposes only.
    a. Brass, cylindrical, compound microscope with a black painted, cast iron, tripod base with a horseshoe shaped foot and curved arm. At the base of the arm is an extension rod with an end bracket, with a rotating rod attaching a circular, clear glass mirror set into a metal holder. Above the rod, extending from the arm, is the block mount for a stage (b). At the top of the arm is a brass block with a curved front edge. The large, tubular, microscope body has a ridged, brass strip screwed to the back which attaches to the curve in the block. A metal rod with a large ridged knob at both ends passes through the block. The knobs are coarse adjustment screws, that turn to lower or raise the microscope. An objective (l) screws into the bottom. A brass draw tube, with a ridged ring above a threaded bottom end, screws into the top of the body. The top of the draw tube is open to insert an eyepiece (c or k).
    b. Heavy, flat, rectangular, black painted brass colored metal stage for a microscope (a.) with a central viewing hole. Along the back underside edge are 5 small holes: 3 center holes hold metal posts. The center post is a large threaded adjustment screw with a knob, flanked by 2 short posts with slotted tops. Anchored in front is a flat, narrow, flexible metal arm with a small end post. On the left center is a domed, rotating, metal disc with a ridged edge with a ring of 5 beveled holes with different diameters; engraved around the holes is a line with 5 small depressions. As the disc turns, the arm post slides until it hits a depression, locking the disc in place and aligning a disc hole with the central viewing hole.
    c. Microscope eyepiece with 2 convex, clear, glass lenses, mounted in a black painted, brass colored ring screwed into the threaded ends of a hollow, silver colored metal cylinder. The top ring has raised, ridged edges around a flat disc with a small center lens. The bottom ring has a ridged edge and holds a large lens.
    d. Small, silver colored metal microscope stage clip with a narrow, flat, metal plate. One end is fixed around a short post with a flat, circular head. The other end curves up slightly.
    e. Small, silver colored metal microscope stage clip with a narrow, flat, metal plate. One end is fixed around a short post with a flat, circular head. The other end curves up slightly.
    f. Upright, rectangular, varnished, brown wooden case for a microscope (a) with a 2 hinged front door, dovetail joints, and a glued back panel. The front has a keyhole lock plate. A skeleton key (i), is tied with string to a C shaped metal carrying handle screwed to the top center. The interior has velvet lined, wooden inserts to secure the microscope (a) and accessories (b-g.) Across the base is a horizontal panel to hold down the microscope stand. A set of runners in the top left support a flat holder (g.) A small block with slots to hold 2 stage clips (d-e) is anchored in the top right. Two horizontal runners are screwed on the right to hold stage (b). There are 2 additional supports on the door; abive these are 2 parallel, flat, metal holders to hold an information card (h). There are stickers on the exterior and penciled inscriptions.
    g. Brown wooden panel with a rounded end and 4 circular openings; 2 holes are slightly smaller. A narrow ridge is cut around the interior of the smaller holes to support an eyepiece.
    h. Small light brown treated paper card with a preprinted grid, with manufacturing information and handwritten inscriptions.
    i. Silver colored metal, 3 bit skeleton key with 4 teeth, a round bow and a banded, cylindrical shank, with a circular pin hole at the end. The key opens case (f) and is tied with string to the top handle.
    j. Unfolded, light brown paper 4 page brochure with herbal remedy information in German on both sides, and red inked distribution stamps.
    k. Microscope eyepiece with 2 convex, clear, glass lenses mounted in a black painted, brass colored metal ring screwed into a hollow, silver colored metal cylinder. The top ring has a raised, ridged edge around a flat disc with a small center lens. The bottom ring has a ridged edge and holds a large lens.
    l. Microscope objective with a small, clear, glass lens set into a silver colored metal cone at the top of a hollow brass cylinder with wide, ridged rings and a threaded, open bottom end. The interior is painted black. A convex, clear glass lens is set inside the cylinder, at the level of the lower, exterior ring.
    m. Small, hexagonal clear glass bottle with a cylindrical neck and circular mouth with a thick rim.
    n. Irregularly shaped, flat, clear glass 1-sided mirror fragment.
    o. Small, square, light brown cardboard box with lid and base, covered in purple textured paper with a label on the lid. Four square, cardboard inserts twice the height of the base are glued inside.
    p. Flat, clear, rectangular, glass microscope slide with a specimen suspended in dried yellow adhesive and covered by a clear glass coverslip with a green label with handwritten specimen name and date.
    q. Thin, flat, clear, rectangular, glass microscope slide with a small, thin, square, clear glass coverslip stuck to a dried yellow adhesive, with a blank, green, square paper label with black lines glued to the top.
    r. Flat, clear, rectangular, glass microscope slide fragment with a green paper label glued to the top with handwritten date and specimen name. The lower section is broken off.
    s. Flat, clear, rectangular, glass microscope slide fragment with a green paper label glued to the top, with handwritten date and specimen name. The lower section is broken off.
    t. Eight pieces of irregularly shaped, flat, clear glass from broken microscope slides. The pieces vary in size and are attached to adhesive tape.
    u. Lightweight, light brown, rectangular, wooden box base with dovetail joints and adhered sides. The top is open. One short end is missing.
    v. Rectangular, black speckled brown cardboard box base and lid. The lid has notches on each long end for ease of removal. Sides are folded and stapled, with adhesive tape. It contains several yellowed fragments of newspaper from 1954 and has an inscription on the lid.
    a: Height: 11.750 inches (29.845 cm) | Width: 4.500 inches (11.43 cm) | Depth: 5.625 inches (14.287 cm)
    b: Height: 1.375 inches (3.493 cm) | Width: 6.750 inches (17.145 cm) | Depth: 3.625 inches (9.208 cm) | Diameter: 1.000 inches (2.54 cm)
    c: Height: 1.375 inches (3.493 cm)
    d: Height: 0.875 inches (2.223 cm) | Width: 0.375 inches (0.953 cm) | Depth: 2.250 inches (5.715 cm)
    e: Height: 0.875 inches (2.223 cm) | Width: 0.375 inches (0.953 cm) | Depth: 2.250 inches (5.715 cm)
    f: Height: 13.750 inches (34.925 cm) | Width: 6.125 inches (15.557 cm) | Depth: 7.375 inches (18.733 cm)
    g: Height: 0.250 inches (0.635 cm) | Width: 1.250 inches (3.175 cm) | Depth: 6.250 inches (15.875 cm)
    h: Height: 3.250 inches (8.255 cm) | Width: 3.875 inches (9.843 cm)
    i: Height: 0.750 inches (1.905 cm) | Width: 0.375 inches (0.953 cm) | Depth: 2.250 inches (5.715 cm)
    j: Height: 9.250 inches (23.495 cm) | Width: 12.000 inches (30.48 cm)
    overall : metal, wood, glass, paper, ink
    f. left side, light red sticker, black ink: W 518550 / 1 / ALLIED VAN LINES / 165 / PAT. NO. 3.489.433
    f. left side, white and orange sticker, white, orange, and black ink : BEKINS / Pc. No. 036
    f. bottom, underside, pencil : 145843 / 46(?) / 60 / ?
    g. front end, pencil : 145843
    h. front, center, chart, handwritten, ink : 0 II / 3 40 100
    h. front, bottom, handwritten, ink : 22. IV 1914
    j. front, stamped twice, red ink : Zum Spanischen Garten / Frankfurt a.M. – Heimat / Linter den Akazien No. 1 [Spanish Garden]
    p. top, label, handwritten, black ink : 1893 / kreuzspinne / (Zoologi) [cross spider / (Zoology)]
    r. top, label, handwritten, black ink : 1893 J. P. (?) / Trichine [trichina worm]
    s. top, label, handwritten, black ink : 1893 / Pediculus / Vestimenti / (Zoologi) [lice / Zoology]
    t. bottom, underside, corner, handwritten, pencil: 1.50
    v. top, pencil : DADDY’S / EUROPE!!! / Oldies / Walh Schwaig (?) / München
    v. end, handwritten, black ink : X

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The microscope was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2003 by Gerard Fields.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this artifact has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2022-07-28 18:29:48
    This page:

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