Simple microtome and razor, England, 1865-1900
This simple type of microtome was invented by Richard Beck, a microscope maker, sometime before 1865. This is one of the few remaining examples. The animal or plant tissue to be sliced is placed on the brass cylindrical well, which can be moved up and down. The specimen is cut by an ordinary razor, operated by hand, sliding upon the flat top surface. Sliced samples were then prepared on slides, stained and studied under the microscope. The user had to hold the microtome carefully in one hand and the razor in the other to prevent the razor slipping dangerously. The razor, made by a Sheffield firm Joseph Rogers & Son, may have been made at an earlier date.
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