Rocking microtome, England, 1930-1950

1930-1950 in England
Cambridge Scientific Instrument Company Limited

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Rocking Rotary Microtome by Cambridge Instrument Company. Serial No. C683200, c1968.. Side view. Grey background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Cambridge Instrument Co. Ltd. rocking microtome serial no. C487604, with knife

The razor of this microtome is fixed and the specimen to be sliced for microscopic examination passes up and down in an arc of a circle across the razor in a rocking motion. Fixed on to a table, the ribbons of specimen fell to the desk top then were cut and mounted on to slides. Typical specimens include human and animal body tissues and plants which could be studied by histologists in laboratories and, later, hospitals.

The rocking microtome was invented by Sir Horace Darwin (1851-1928), the son of Charles Darwin. It was sold from 1885 onwards and was still available in the early twentieth century.


Object Number:
base & lever & bar, iron and block holder, metal
University of Birmingham (Medical School)

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