Thursday, October 01, 2015

New Accessions: Dr. Marcus Horenstein Artifact Collection

I  recently acquired a very unique artifact collection, donated to us by the family of Dr. Marcus Horenstein.  Dr. Horenstein is a University of Oregon Medical School alumn, class of 1941.

Graduate Class photo, 1941
According to a few online medical practice profiles, Dr. Horenstein has been practicing medicine for 74 years and was an internist while he practiced.  The materials we acquired include 3 microscopes, 5 hydrometers and a wide variety of microscope pieces, such as filters, extra lenses, and replacement parts.

Bausch & Lomb; Tiyoda; and Zeiss

Profile view, same order as above
The bulk of the materials are the three microscopes and their attachments.  These are like the best-of-the-best of microscope history including a Tiyoda, Carl Zeiss Nr. 261031, and a Bausch & Lomb.  The Tiyoda looks like a pre-1950’s version, and came with the wooden storage case.  The Zeiss microscope appears to be the 1933 version which is famous for including the L-stand which had just become standard in microscope construction.  The Bausch & Lomb one is giving me a tougher time in identifying the year.  I want to say it is in the 1950’s range – but it’s hard to determine.  If anyone has any ideas, feel free to send them my way!
Polaroid, Microscope Polarizing Set No. 75

Lenses for the Zeiss

Spare parts for the Zeiss

In addition to the great microscopes and their attendant parts, we also received our first donation of hydrometers.  These hydrometers are from the 1st half of the 20th-century (sorry, couldn’t get any closer than that initially) and were used for measuring the density of fluid compared to water.  The hydrometer would be lowered into a fluid-filled container, usually a graduated cylinder, until the hydrometer floats freely.  A measurement is then taken based on where the surface of the liquid stands on the hydrometer.  This gives one the specific gravity of the fluid.


In discussing Dr. Horenstein’s use of the microscopes I was told that he frequently used them to test the water in the area for everything from contaminates to bacterial strains.  The microscopes along with the hydrometers were used to determine the quality of the water and what additional compounds were found within.

Investigation of these wonderful artifacts is possible by making an appointment with us.

All the best,

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Saturday, October 3rd: An Oregon Archives Month Celebration

Get up close and personal with us and ten other Portland-area archives at the City of Portland Archives & Record Center this Saturday, October 3rd, for "History: Feed Your Head," a celebration of Oregon Archives Month:
Your faithful HC&A staff will be on hand 11am - 3 pm to talk about our collections, exhibits, and show off some of our more fun and unusual artifacts, like this turn-of-the-century cupping and scarifier set!
For more information, check out or join the Facebook event