Barbara McClintock's microscope, 1940s-50s
A pioneer geneticist, McClintock won a Nobel Prize in 1983 for her discovery in the 1940s and 1950s of moveable or "jumping" genes in corn plants. After her death in 1992, the Smithsonian began a search for objects related to her work. The Carnegie Institution of Washington, which had funded McClintock's research, donated her favorite microscope in the hope that it would "help to inspire generations of young people to emulate Dr. McClintock's dedication to science."
Science and Scientists, Women's History