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BRASS BOTTERILL TROUGH by the original makers

c. 1885


brass botterill trough


XXXX microscope

botterill case


Viewing moving organisms with a microscope has always been a challenge. Various types of apparatus have been devised to contain and/or restrain such organisms. They vary from a simple small container to more sophisticated compressoria. One type of container is a trough and the type invented by Botterill and made originally by Thompson & Capper. The Botterhill trough was first reported in the JRMS Volume 3, part 1, pages 148-149 in 1880. In the 1880 report it specified the outer trough plates be made of brass, but they were soon offered made of Vulcanite as well and the 1893 listings by Watson offered them in Vulcanite. The apparatus consists of two pieces of thin glass separated by a piece of 'India Rubber' and these resting inside the container of two plates with a circular cutout with bevelled edge. Three screws apply pressure to keep the apparatus water-tight. The thickness of the rubber can be varied to suit the thickness of the animal being studied. The apparatus can be disassembled easily to allow the plates and rubber to be cleaned or replaced. According to George Davis, in 'Practical Microscopy of 1889, this device was first manufactured by Thomson and Capper of Liverpool, who also were the first to make Botterhill's 'Microscopic Life Slide' an example of which is also in this collection. The Life slide was noted in the 'English Mechanic and World of Science of June 3, 1881 page 298. For the Vulcanite version see the Watson version of this trough.