Microtome

Zoology

Accession Number: 2016.zoo.8

Instrument Name: Microtome

Description:

This microtome sits on a long rectangular base, and the design features hand-operated shuttles or carriages (2) that can be adjusted to accommodate different angles and thickness of cuts. The shuttle on the higher portion of the microtome has a large wing nut. The shuttle on the lower portion of the microtome contains the micrometer disc. The micrometer disc, which can be adjusted to get a thicker or thinner slice of the specimen depending on what is desired, is engraved with the roman numerals V, X, and XV. On either side of the micrometer disc are the numbers 1, 5, 7.5, and 15 (although these numbers do not match up with their corresponding roman numerals). Just below the shuttle with the large wing nut is a ruler that measures from 0-19 centimetres.

Primary Materials: Metal

Markings:

Engraved adjacent to the ruler, “R. Jung, Heidelberg, 5111″. Directly below the large wing nut is engraved “R. Jung, Heidelberg.”

Dimensions (cm): Height = 19, Length = 33, Width = 9

Function:

A microtome is an instrument used to create very thin slices of specimens as part of the process for creating microscope slides. This one appears to be a type of sledge microtome, where the sample is fixed in place and is moved forth and back across the knife to cut the sample embedded in paraffin. This type of microtome is often used to prepare larger samples, and harder samples such as wood or bone.

Condition:

This microtome is in good condition, but has some rusty areas along the sides, especially near the base and in the crevices between the parts of the microtome. The microtome has a layer of dirt and dust.

Manufacturer: R. Jung

Provenance:

This microtome was part of the University of Toronto’s Zoology Department.

Additional Information and References:

R. Jung was one of the major manufacturers of microtomes in the early 1900s.

Donated to UTSIC: No