Theoretically a simple microscope can be made as powerful as a compound microscope, but in practice the minute size required by the simple lens to give the highest power makes it almost impossible to be used. However, a lens having a reasonable magnifying power can be made in a few minutes for almost nothing. Take a piece of glass tubing, heat one place in a hot flame, hold one end and pull on the other and draw the heated place down to a fine string as shown in Fig. 1. Take about 3 in. of this fine tube and heat one end which will form a glass bead as shown in Fig. 2. This bead is the lens. When in this form it can be used only in an artificial light coming from one direction, but if you take a piece of cardboard and bore a hole in it a little smaller than the bead on the glass tube which is forced into the hole, Fig 3, you can use this mounted lens in ordinary daylight. In this case a mirror must be used to reflect the light up through the lens. It is difficult to see anything at first, as the lens must be held very close to the eye, but in practice you will soon learn to see the object as it appears enlarged.

Lens Formed by Heat

Lens Formed by Heat

If you soak a little dried grass or hay in water for a few days and look at a drop of this water, germs in various life forms can be seen. The water must be put on the lens. One thing to remember is that the smaller the lens, the greater the magnifying power. --Contributed by Daniel Gray, Decatur, Illinois.