Microscope & Camera Collections

Microscope & Camera Collections

The Stampfli Microscope Collection

In 1966, Wendell P. Stampfli, M.D. donated the collection of microscopes to the Grinnell College biology department. The group contains a replica of a significant early microscope, as well as microscopes considered to be at the forefront of technology in their time. When asked why he collects microscopes, Dr. Stampfli responds, "I believed that this instrument had done more for human welfare than any other. People collect great books and works of art because of a desire to acquire the creations of great persons of history. In time, roles change, and the collector becomes the willing steward whose duty and responsibility is to maintain the collection and safely pass it on to future generations. " Dr. Stampfli dedicated the collection to Grinnell College in memory of his father, Wendall P. Stampfli, Sr.

Text from the Grinnell College Stampfli Microscope Collection brochure, published by the Office of Alumni Relations and Development.

Visit the Grinnell College Stampfli Microscope Collection in the Robert N. Noyce '49 Science Center. Enter through the west doors (they face Alumni Recitation Hall), bear right—toward the atrium—and proceed down a short stairway. The collection runs along the first floor atrium hallway and continues directly above on the second floor. Informational brochures are pocketed at each end of the display and detailed descriptions of the microscopes are available from staff in Science 1232.

Published in the Laurel Leaf campus publication, May 2004

Oelke '28 Camera Collection

William Oelke (1906 - 1988), Grinnell '28, who was a member of the Grinnell College Chemistry Department faculty from 1931-1973, was also an ardent amateur photographer and collector of old cameras. A portion of his collection-along with his picture and bio sketch-is on display in the Noyce Science Center. The display includes the following: (a) turn-of-the-century box cameras and several view cameras and supplies used by professional photographers of that period, (b) a panoramic camera with a 1930s picture of Grinnell's central campus that was taken with the camera, (c) several examples of Kodak cameras from the 1890-1920 period and a few later models, and (d) a variety of other cameras from the first half of the 20th century, ranging from early German cameras (including several models of Zeiss cameras) to unique cameras for special purposes.

View the Grinnell College Oelke '28 Camera Collection in the Robert N. Noyce '49 Science Center. Enter through the west doors (they face Alumni Recitation Hall) and ascend the stairway up to the second floor hallway.

Contributed to the Laurel Leaf campus publication, June 2004, by Luther Erickson, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry