A few years ago Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust’s held a ball to mark their 10th anniversary to help to raise money for the purchase of a microscope for use in neurosurgery. The aim of the appeal was to raise £304,369 to fund a new state-of-the-art neurosurgical microscope that uses fluorescent light technology to improve surgery for brain tumours and brain aneurysms.
I have two microscopes in the Hospital Archives, they were both used at the ‘old site’ in Griffith and Hatton Wards – I know this as the names are stamped on the boxes. They date; I think, from the mid 1920’s and were made by the Ernst Leitz Optical Works in Germany. The box also contains extra lenses and as far as I can see the microscopes still work.
I then found a record in the Minute Book of the Hospital that on 8 May 1867 Mr Wallis was instructed ‘to procure a microscope for the Physicians, the cost not to exceed £7.’
I am sure that when the microscope was purchased nearly 150 years ago that it was going to be used to help the staff of the Hospital to treat people in much the same innovative way as the neurosurgery microscope will do today.