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Optical Bench

The optical bench is commonly used in physics labs today, and consists of a long, rigid member with a linear scale applied to it. Holders for light sources, lenses and screens are placed on the apparatus so that image formation can be observed. A typical nineteenth century optical bench is shown below. This was made by the Geneva Society for the Construction of Instruments of Physics and was in the collection of Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine when I photographed it in 1979.