Microtome blade in wooden box

Zoology

Accession Number: 2016.zoo.12.1-2

Instrument Name: Microtome blade in wooden box

Description:

2016.zoo.12.1 Wooden box: This box holds the microtome blade. It has two metal claps on the front.

2016.zoo.12.2 Microtome blade: This metal blade is a wedge microtome knife, with one edge being thicker, and the other edge very thin and sharp. On one end of the blade is a hole, likely where the handle for the blade would be screwed in, although it appears that the handle for this blade is missing.

Primary Materials: Wood, metal

Markings:

2016.zoo.12.1 Wooden box: in the lower right hand corner of the lid of the box is written “Dr. Parsons’”. On the inside of the box, in the upper left corner is written in pencil “8 1/2″.

Dimensions (cm):

Box: Height = 5.5, Width = 4.5, Length = 19; Microtome blade: Height = 3.5, Width = 0.1-1, Length = 17

Function:

A microtome blade is used as part of a microtome in order to create very thin slices of specimens as part of the process of making microscope slides. This microtome blade is a wedge shape, although microtome blade can also have a planar concave shape or a chisel shape. This type of microtome blade would have to be manually re-sharpened in order to stay sharp enough to slice thin layers of specimens embedded in paraffin.

Condition:

2016.zoo.12.1 Wooden box: The box is in good condition, no signs of damage.

2016.zoo.12.2 Microtome blade: The blade has some rusting across the larger edge, as well as where the handle would be screwed in.

Associated Instruments: Microtome

Provenance:

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

Donated to UTSIC: No