Early microtome, England, 1825-1835

1825-1835 in England
Andrew Pritchard

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Early form of section machine with knife (this is a microtome).
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Early form of microtome by Andrew Pritchard, c.1835

This type of microtome was devised by Andrew Pritchard (1804-1882) to cut thin sections of wood. The date of the invention is uncertain, although research suggests that it pre-dates 1835.

This microtome was designed to cut slices of wood. Attached to a piston screw, which moves the sample up and down, the piece of wood is cut in slithers by a double-handled knife. This is the first type of microtome made to be screwed to the edge of a table so it does not move during the cutting operation.

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Object Number:
metal and steel
razor: 4 mm x 310 mm x 41 mm, .25kg
razor blade: 130 mm
On loan from Urban Pritchard

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