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Antique Microscope Slides MICROSCOPE SLIDES:

SPECIMENS PREPARED FOR VIEWING UNDER A MICROSCOPE

    © 2012-2015 by the Author.   (part of www.microscope-antiques.com)


HISTORY OF MICROSCOPE SLIDES

Permanent slides or specimens meant for long-term viewing are not known from the seventeenth century (1600's). The earliest extant slides date from the eighteenth century (1700's), but relatively few of these are known and only a few are in this collection. The earliest known slides were simply pieces of bone, ivory or even wood with a specimen; the earliest examples in this collection date to the eighteenth century. These slides had specimens simply mounted either on top, or (later) for transmitted light, between two pieces of mica. Later, glass slides were used. Once glass slides became used for this purpose, mica coverslips were used with glass slides, or two slides were simply used with the specimen in-between. Some of these double-slides are in this collection. When glass coverslips were finally used, their thickness varied greatly; for sometime, the use of mica as a coverslip overlapped with the use of glass slips. Much later as methods to produce them became less complicated, standard thicknesses became available. In rough order of appearance, specimens were therefore first mounted either in individual cells or bone sliders; initially opaque, then also for transmitted light. Next came glass slides but of variable size and thickness; specimens were first opaque and then seen between two slides or with mica coverslips at first; later as the process for manufacturing thin glass became cheaper, glass coverslips finally appeared. Slide size initially varied but the the standard 1 x 3 inch slide eventually became the usual, though occasional idiosyncratic mounts persisted, either by certain mounters, or for certain purposes. Todays standard is the 1 x 3 inch slide (25 x 75 mmm), usually 1 mm thick. Common thicknesses of coverslips today are number 1.5 (0.17 mm thick) and number 1. In the nineteenth century however the thickness of the coverslips varied so much that for high power high resolution work, a coverslip gauge was sometimes used to measure the thickness and adjust the high power objectives.

For a detailed history of this topic the reader is referred to Dr Brian Bracegirdle's excellent books: 'Microscopical Mounts and Mounters' Published by the Quekett Microscopical Club in 1998, and, 'A History of Microtechnique: the evolution of the microtome and the development of tissue preparation,' Second Edition, 1987, Science Heritage, Lincolnwood Il 1987. Both are available from Savona Books in the UK and the Gemmary in the USA. The reader is also referred to websites devoted to the topic: A Cabinet of Curiosites and Historical Makers of Microscopes and Microscope Slides and the links from these sites. In general, Dr Bracegirdle's book on slides gives excellent information, but since it was published it has inspired many to delve further and as a result much more has been learned, sometimes revealing new information which may change or add to Bracegirdle's original information. Much of this is published in the Journal of the Quekett Microscopical Club, and also various online sources. Whenever I am aware of this information, I have incorporated this information into this site. If I have made an error, or if you have different information, please contact me.


MICROSCOPE SLIDES AND MOUNTS IN THIS COLLECTION

This collection contains microscope slides which date from the 18th,19th and 20th centuries. A few of the specimens in this collection were mounted on bone 'sliders.' A few of the idiosyncratic round Ypelaar-type mounts are also in the collection. Because of the the thousands of slides in this collection, not every slide can be shown or even listed, but as feasible they will be added as time permits. An effort will be made to include the most important and most interesting slides first.

Included are slides from the collection of a Mr W. Rutt which were purchased intact in their original cabinet along with Mr Rutt's little notebook and accompanying papers. A founding member of the Hackney Microscopical Society, his collection contains mounts of the period, frequently dated to the 1850's. Among the mounts are some by the hon. secretary of the society, Freeman C.S. Roper, a contributor to many scientific articles relating to microscopy during the second half of the 19th century and the author of one of the earliest bibliographies of books on the subject of microscopy. Another biologist whose slides were also found in Rutt's cabinet was Mr R.S. Boswell, whose name is also found in publications of the time and was also listed as a supplier of slides by Mr Rutt. Along with slides by William Darker and also by Cornelius Poulton, slides by the better known maker C.M. Topping are also plentiful in the collection as are the typical deep-well corrosion slides of Alexander Hett, and Microphotographs by J. B. Dancer. Some slides were likely prepared by Rutt for his own personal use, and still others may be by makers not yet firmly identified. The slides by Poulton are unsigned but can be identified by the letter accompanying the collection. This letter signed by Poulton, referring directly to the numbers on the slides, lends further support to Howard Link's original idea that similar numbered slides were by Poulton (based on a trade label found on the back of one). It is interesting to note that a few of the slides in this collection were more of a 'souvenir' or collector's item rather than of high value as a microscopical specimen. These included a C.M. Topping slide of the beard of 'Thomas Beaufort, second son of John of Gaunt-buried 1428, exhumed 1772.' This slide is now part of Howard Lynk's collection and can be seen here. Another example is a slide of 'mummy cloth.' All in all, Rutt's collection, along with the accompanying documents, give some insight into the amateur microscopists of the 1850's and their sources of slides. When time permits, a dedicated web page will be published, devoted to Rutt's Collection.

MICROSCOPE SLIDES BY APPROXIMATE DATE OF MANUFACTURE
Note that dates are exact when known, or approximated by best estimate
Estimates are indicated by c.(circa) preceding the date
makers name was determined by signature or unique features; if only by features, the maker name is followed by '(A)' (attributed)
Click on a picture to see more images of slides and details.
EIGHTEENTH CENTURY (1700'S)
DATE COUNTRY ORIGIN MOUNTER SELLER OWNER TYPE SUBJECT IMAGE OF SLIDE IMAGE OF SUBJECT
c. 1760 ENGLISH UNKNOWN UNKNOWN UNKNOWN SET OF TRANSPARENT BONE SLIDERS WINGS, SEEDS ETC 1760 Bonesliders 1760 Bone slidersB
c.---- ENGLISH UNKNOWN ---- ------------- ------------- ----- ----- -----
NINETEENTH CENTURY (1800'S)
DATE COUNTRY ORIGIN MOUNTER SELLER OWNER TYPE SUBJECT IMAGE OF SLIDE IMAGE OF SUBJECT
c. 1865 GERMAN (FOR ENGLISH MARKET) THIERSCH SMITH & BECK - TRANSPARENT INJECTION CAT MEDULLA (actually spinal cord) cat medulla slide cat medulla image
c. 1865 GERMAN THUM ------ - TRANSPARENT MOUNT DIATOM TYPE SLIDE 100 FORM Thum Type Slide Thum Diatom Type Slide Image
c. 1890 ENGLISH FREDERIC ENOCK ----- - TRANSPARENT MOUNT FAIRY BEETLE (Trichopterhyx atomaria) Enock Fairy beetle Slide Enock Fairy Beetle Image
TWENTIETH CENTURY (1900'S)
DATE COUNTRY ORIGIN MOUNTER SELLER OWNER TYPE SUBJECT IMAGE OF SLIDE IMAGE OF SUBJECT
c. 1930 AMERICAN WOLLENSAK ------ '' Wollensak Microscope slides ----- ----- -----
-----------------  microscope ----- ----- -----
------  microscope ----- -----

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MICROSCOPE SLIDES BY COUNTRY OF ORIGIN (COO)
Note that COO's are determined by established data or, when not certain by features of construction usually associated with the attributed (a) country. To jump to the COO of your choice click on one of the following links:
U.S.A. ENGLAND FRANCE GERMANY JAPAN
Click on a picture to see more images of slides and details.
AMERICAN (U.S.A.)
DATE COUNTRY ORIGIN MOUNTER SELLER OWNER TYPE SUBJECT IMAGE OF SLIDE IMAGE OF SUBJECT
-----------------  microscope -----
-----------------  microscope -----
-----------------  microscope ----- -----
ENGLISH (GREAT BRITAIN)
DATE COUNTRY ORIGIN MOUNTER SELLER OWNER TYPE SUBJECT IMAGE OF SLIDE IMAGE OF SUBJECT
c. 1760 ENGLISH UNKNOWN UNKNOWN UNKNOWN SET OF TRANSPARENT BONE SLIDERS WINGS, SEEDS ETC 1760 Bonesliders 1760 Bone slidersB
c. 1890 ENGLISH FREDERIC ENOCK ------ - TRANSPARENT MOUNT FAIRY BEETLE (Trichopterhyx atomaria Enock Fairy beetle Slide Enock Fairy Beetle Image
FRENCH (FRANCE)
DATE COUNTRY ORIGIN MOUNTER SELLER OWNER TYPE SUBJECT IMAGE OF SLIDE IMAGE OF SUBJECT
GERMAN (GERMANY)
DATE COUNTRY ORIGIN MOUNTER SELLER OWNER TYPE SUBJECT IMAGE OF SLIDE IMAGE OF SUBJECT
c. 1865 GERMAN (FOR ENGLISH MARKET) THIERSCH SMITH & BECK - TRANSPARENT INJECTION CAT MEDULLA (actually spinal cord) cat medulla slide cat medulla image
c. 1865 GERMAN Thum ------ - TRANSPARENT MOUNT DIATOM TYPE SLIDE 100 FORM Thum Type Slide Thum Diatom Type Slide Image
JAPANESE (JAPAN)
DATE COUNTRY ORIGIN MOUNTER SELLER OWNER TYPE SUBJECT IMAGE OF SLIDE IMAGE OF SUBJECT

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MICROSCOPE SLIDES BY MOUNTER
Note that makers are determined by signature on the instrument, or attributed(A) to a particular maker by certain known important features of construction; otherwise the maker is listed as unknown.
Click on a picture to see more images of slides and details. Click on a letter to jump to last names starting with that letter:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W XYZ
A
DATE COUNTRY ORIGIN MOUNTER SELLER OWNER TYPE SUBJECT IMAGE OF SLIDE IMAGE OF SUBJECT
B
DATE COUNTRY ORIGIN MOUNTER SELLER OWNER TYPE SUBJECT IMAGE OF SLIDE IMAGE OF SUBJECT
C
DATE COUNTRY ORIGIN MOUNTER SELLER OWNER TYPE SUBJECT IMAGE OF SLIDE IMAGE OF SUBJECT
D
DATE COUNTRY ORIGIN MOUNTER SELLER OWNER TYPE SUBJECT IMAGE OF SLIDE IMAGE OF SUBJECT
E
DATE COUNTRY ORIGIN MOUNTER SELLER OWNER TYPE SUBJECT IMAGE OF SLIDE IMAGE OF SUBJECT
c. 1890 ENGLISH FREDERIC ENOCK ------ - TRANSPARENT MOUNT FAIRY BEETLE (Trichopterhyx atomaria Enock Fairy beetle Slide Enock Fairy Beetle Image
F
DATE COUNTRY ORIGIN MOUNTER SELLER OWNER TYPE SUBJECT IMAGE OF SLIDE IMAGE OF SUBJECT
G
DATE COUNTRY ORIGIN MOUNTER SELLER OWNER TYPE SUBJECT IMAGE OF SLIDE IMAGE OF SUBJECT
H
DATE COUNTRY ORIGIN MOUNTER SELLER OWNER TYPE SUBJECT IMAGE OF SLIDE IMAGE OF SUBJECT
I
DATE COUNTRY ORIGIN MOUNTER SELLER OWNER TYPE SUBJECT IMAGE OF SLIDE IMAGE OF SUBJECT
J
DATE COUNTRY ORIGIN MOUNTER SELLER OWNER TYPE SUBJECT IMAGE OF SLIDE IMAGE OF SUBJECT
K
DATE COUNTRY ORIGIN MOUNTER SELLER OWNER TYPE SUBJECT IMAGE OF SLIDE IMAGE OF SUBJECT
L
DATE COUNTRY ORIGIN MOUNTER SELLER OWNER TYPE SUBJECT IMAGE OF SLIDE IMAGE OF SUBJECT
M
DATE COUNTRY ORIGIN MOUNTER SELLER OWNER TYPE SUBJECT IMAGE OF SLIDE IMAGE OF SUBJECT
N
DATE COUNTRY ORIGIN MOUNTER SELLER OWNER TYPE SUBJECT IMAGE OF SLIDE IMAGE OF SUBJECT
O
DATE COUNTRY ORIGIN MOUNTER SELLER OWNER TYPE SUBJECT IMAGE OF SLIDE IMAGE OF SUBJECT
P
DATE COUNTRY ORIGIN MOUNTER SELLER OWNER TYPE SUBJECT IMAGE OF SLIDE IMAGE OF SUBJECT
Q
DATE COUNTRY ORIGIN MOUNTER SELLER OWNER TYPE SUBJECT IMAGE OF SLIDE IMAGE OF SUBJECT
R
DATE COUNTRY ORIGIN MOUNTER SELLER OWNER TYPE SUBJECT IMAGE OF SLIDE IMAGE OF SUBJECT
S
DATE COUNTRY ORIGIN MOUNTER SELLER OWNER TYPE SUBJECT IMAGE OF SLIDE IMAGE OF SUBJECT
T
DATE COUNTRY ORIGIN MOUNTER SELLER OWNER TYPE SUBJECT IMAGE OF SLIDE IMAGE OF SUBJECT
c. 1865 GERMAN (FOR ENGLISH MARKET) THIERSCH SMITH & BECK - TRANSPARENT INJECTION CAT MEDULLA (actually spinal cord) cat medulla slide cat medulla image
c. 1885 GERMAN THUM ------ - TRANSPARENT MOUNT DIATOM TYPE SLIDE 100 FORM Thum Type Slide Thum Diatom Type Slide Image
U
DATE COUNTRY ORIGIN MOUNTER SELLER OWNER TYPE SUBJECT IMAGE OF SLIDE IMAGE OF SUBJECT
V
DATE COUNTRY ORIGIN MOUNTER SELLER OWNER TYPE SUBJECT IMAGE OF SLIDE IMAGE OF SUBJECT
W
DATE COUNTRY ORIGIN MOUNTER SELLER OWNER TYPE SUBJECT IMAGE OF SLIDE IMAGE OF SUBJECT
XYZ
DATE COUNTRY ORIGIN MOUNTER SELLER OWNER TYPE SUBJECT IMAGE OF SLIDE IMAGE OF SUBJECT


MICROSCOPE SLIDES BY TYPE
Note that this classification is based on traditional categories, but is somewhat arbitrary.
Click on a picture to see more imagees of slides and details.
TYPES: ...YPELAAR TYPE...OPAQUE BONE SLIDERS... TRANSPARENT BONE SLIDERS... SMALL GLASS SLIDES... SMALL WOODEN SLIDES... STANDARD SIZE OPAQUE SLIDES... STANDARD TRANSPARENT SLIDES... OPAQUE INJECTIONS AND CORROSIONS... TRANSPARENT INJECTIONS... MICROPHOTOS... ARRANGEMENTS (ESPECIALLY BUTTERFLY SCALES AND DIATOMS)... TYPE SLIDES... LARGE WOODEN SLIDES FOR SOLAR MICROSCOPES... KIDNEY STONE WHOLE MOUNTS...
YPELAAR TYPE
DATE COUNTRY ORIGIN MOUNTER SELLER OWNER TYPE SUBJECT IMAGE OF SLIDE IMAGE OF SUBJECT
BONE SLIDERS-OPAQUE
DATE COUNTRY ORIGIN MOUNTER SELLER OWNER TYPE SUBJECT IMAGE OF SLIDE IMAGE OF SUBJECT
BONE SLIDERS-TRANSPARENT
DATE COUNTRY ORIGIN MOUNTER SELLER OWNER TYPE SUBJECT IMAGE OF SLIDE IMAGE OF SUBJECT
c. 1760 ENGLISH UNKNOWN UNKNOWN UNKNOWN SET OF TRANSPARENT BONE SLIDERS WINGS, SEEDS ETC 1760 Bonesliders 1760 Bone slidersB
SMALL GLASS SLIDES
DATE COUNTRY ORIGIN MOUNTER SELLER OWNER TYPE SUBJECT IMAGE OF SLIDE IMAGE OF SUBJECT
SMALL WOODEN SLIDES
DATE COUNTRY ORIGIN MOUNTER SELLER OWNER TYPE SUBJECT IMAGE OF SLIDE IMAGE OF SUBJECT
STANDARD SIZE GLASS SLIDES-OPAQUE
DATE COUNTRY ORIGIN MOUNTER SELLER OWNER TYPE SUBJECT IMAGE OF SLIDE IMAGE OF SUBJECT
STANDARD SIZE GLASS SLIDES-TRANSPARENT
DATE COUNTRY ORIGIN MOUNTER SELLER OWNER TYPE SUBJECT IMAGE OF SLIDE IMAGE OF SUBJECT
c. 1890 ENGLISH FREDERIC ENOCK ------ - TRANSPARENT MOUNT FAIRY BEETLE (Trichopterhyx atomaria Enock Fairy beetle Slide Enock Fairy Beetle Image
INJECTIONS AND CORROSIONS-OPAQUE
DATE COUNTRY ORIGIN MOUNTER SELLER OWNER TYPE SUBJECT IMAGE OF SLIDE IMAGE OF SUBJECT
TRANSPARENT INJECTIONS
DATE COUNTRY ORIGIN MOUNTER SELLER OWNER TYPE SUBJECT IMAGE OF SLIDE IMAGE OF SUBJECT
c. 1865 GERMAN (FOR ENGLISH MARKET) THIERSCH SMITH & BECK - TRANSPARENT INJECTION CAT MEDULLA (actually spinal cord) cat medulla slide cat medulla image
MICROPHOTOGRAPHS
DATE COUNTRY ORIGIN MOUNTER SELLER OWNER TYPE SUBJECT IMAGE OF SLIDE IMAGE OF SUBJECT
ARRANGEMENTS-INCLUDING BUTTERFLY SCALES AND DIATOMS
DATE COUNTRY ORIGIN MOUNTER SELLER OWNER TYPE SUBJECT IMAGE OF SLIDE IMAGE OF SUBJECT
TYPE SLIDES
DATE COUNTRY ORIGIN MOUNTER SELLER OWNER TYPE SUBJECT IMAGE OF SLIDE IMAGE OF SUBJECT
c. 1885 GERMAN THUM ------ - TRANSPARENT MOUNT DIATOM TYPE SLIDE DIATOM TYPE SLIDE 100 FORM Thum Type Slide Thum Diatom Type Slide Image
SOLAR MICROSCOPE SLIDES (WOODEN)
DATE COUNTRY ORIGIN MOUNTER SELLER OWNER TYPE SUBJECT IMAGE OF SLIDE IMAGE OF SUBJECT
KIDNEY STONE WHOLE MOUNTS
DATE COUNTRY ORIGIN MOUNTER SELLER OWNER TYPE SUBJECT IMAGE OF SLIDE IMAGE OF SUBJECT