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Object in Focus - Stanhope Pipe

This is a Stanhope viewer. They were invented by Rene Dagron in 1857 to enable viewing of microphotographs.

Microphotos are about 3mm squared and were developed as a novelty but you might know microphotography in the form of microfiche or film. It has also been used in cases of espionage.

Dagron modified a Stanhope lens and attached the microphotographs at the end, bypassing the need for a microscope. The lens was small enough to be mounted in jewellery and all sorts of miniature objects.

The Stanhope viewer in Dacorum Heritage’s collection is in the form of a pipe and has a view of St Mary's Church, Hemel Hempstead.

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