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RCA EMU-2B transmission electron microscope, United States, 1946

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A technician (represented by a mannequin) is examining a bacteriological sample from a patient under an early post-war electron microscope. The sample is shown on a fluorescent screen and can be photographed for further study. Instead of using light beams to look at an object, electrons are used. Samples of blood, saliva or urine are taken from patients and the bacteria present are then grown and studied under the microscope to identify the cause of someone’s illness. This example was made by the Radio Corporation of America (RCA).

Object number:

A601105

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Glossary:

Glossary: electron microscope

An electron microscope uses a beam of electrons, instead of light, to produce highly magnified images of objects. As electrons have a much smaller wavelength than visible light, this allows a much higher resolution to be achieved

Glossary: bacteriology

The study of a group of single-celled organisms called bacteria.