Gossip meeting “Sections”

Tuesday 9th July 2019

Nearly everyone who has any microscope slides has some sections in their collection, so we were hoping for some interesting exhibits at this meeting in room PA135 in the Natural History Museum and we were not disappointed. After a brief introduction, everyone who had brought slides described their exhibits, and then we had a chance to examine them all using some of the Club’s microscopes.

Maurice Moss, Pam Hamer and Jacky McPhersonMaurice Moss, Pam Hamer and Jacky McPherson

David LinsteadDavid Linstead

Lisa and Nigel Ashby

Lisa AshbyLisa Ashby

Lisa has problems with her neighbour’s cat, and is hoping to build up a collection of slides of every part of a cat, including ones sold by Watson. She also brought some Watson sections of plants.

Lisa Ashby’s Watson slidesSome of Lisa Ashby’s Watson slides

Watson injected kidney sectionWatson injected kidney section

Nigel is actively collecting Watson equipment, and brought along a microtome that was used to make thin sections with a cut-throat razor. Nigel also showed a Watson catalogue with details and a drawing of the microtome.

Watson Cathcart-Darlaston microtomeNigel Ashby’s Watson Cathcart-Darlaston microtome

Cathcart-Darlaston microtome in Watson catalogueCathcart-Darlaston microtome in Watson catalogue

Joan Bingley brought a box full of botanical sections by past and present Quekett members, including Alan Cruse, Colin Kirk and John Wells, which we could admire under one of the Club’s stereomicroscopes. The specimens included conceptacles of seaweed, leaf galls from oak and pear, larch flowers and pine cones.

Joan BingleyJoan Bingley

Joan Bingley’s slidesJoan Bingley’s slides

Joan also brought 2 relevant books, An Atlas of Plant Structure by Brian Bracegirdle & Patricia Miles, and British Plant Galls: Identification of galls on plants and fungi by Margaret Redfern & Peter Shirley.

Daisy Cadet has been a work experience student in the Natural History Museum with Alex Ball, working on SEM-photogrammetry, and also spent some time in the Sackler Laboratory looking at her slides and at tardigrades. Daisy brought along a box of old slides that had belonged to her grandfather, who had been a Quekett member, and they attracted a lot of interest from the Club’s slide collectors. Her grandmother had been a member too. Daisy has an Instagram account @dizzy_microscopy.

Daisy CadetDaisy Cadet

Joan Bingley, Daisy Cadet, Dennis Fullwood and David LinsteadJoan Bingley, Daisy Cadet, Dennis Fullwood and David Linstead

One of Daisy Cadet’s old slidesOne of Daisy’s old slides

Dennis Fullwood showed a wooden box “Pathological Preparations from the Human Subject” of slides by Arthur C. Cole with a printed label listing the contents. Slides by A. C. Cole are not unusual, but none of us had seen a boxed set before.

Dennis FullwoodDennis Fullwood

Dennis Fullwood’s set of A. C. Cole histology slidesPart of Dennis Fullwood’s set of A. C. Cole histology slides

Dennis also brought a selection of other sections from his collection, with a thin LED light ox to display them.

Dennis Fullwood’s slidesSome more of Dennis Fullwood’s slides of sections

Pam Hamer is interested in rocks and minerals, but many of them need specialised equipment to make thin sections because they are so hard. However, she has managed to produce sections of relatively soft materials such as limestone and a soft black stone from Robin Hood’s Bay. Pam used small diamond files intended for sharpening knives, with glass glue as a mountant, and although her sections are not very thin they do reveal details such as fossil remains and oolyths.

Pam HamerPam Hamer

Pam Hamer’s slidesPam Hamer’s slides

Mini Diamond File SetMini Diamond File Set

Pam Hamer’s photosPam Hamer’s photos

Jacky McPherson continued Lisa’s cat theme with a slide of “Tubercle Cat-Pu Lung”; PU usually stands for perineal urethrostomy, so the lung connection is unclear.

Jacky McPhersonJacky McPherson

Cat-PU lung tubercleCat-PU lung tubercle

Jacky also brought a slide of mouse ileum that we cannot tell you about because the work has not been published yet.

Stephen Parker only brought one slide, but it was a spectacular longitudinal section of an entire young mouse. The slide was made by Lieder in Germany, sold by Microslides of Oxford, and came from Brian Bracegirdle’s estate. The specimen was much too big for a compound microscope so Stephen provided one of the Club’s stereomicroscopes for viewing it.

Stephen ParkerStephen Parker

Stephen Parker’s mouse sectionStephen Parker’s mouse section

Alan Wood brought a dozen slides of sections of animal, vegetable and mineral specimens, including a slug by Mike Smith, Magnolia wood by Ernie Ives, grape hyacinth flower head by Colin Kirk,  snail tentacle by T. Gerrard & Co., and staurolite schist that could be by C. H. Caffyn. Alan provided a Trecker portable microscope with a fixed magnification of ×35 for viewing them.

Alan Wood’s exhibitAlan Wood’s exhibit

Alan Wood’s slidesAlan Wood’s slides

Alan has been working on a way to take photomicrographs at meetings, and tried out a Canon EOS 5D Mark II with an Olympus OM Zuiko 50 mm f/1.8 standard lens and a Leitz Periplan 519750 eyepiece, an afocal arrangement that produces some vignetting.

Afocal equipment for photographing slidesAfocal equipment for photographing slides

Stained wood section, showing vignetting and field curvatureStained wood section, showing vignetting and field curvature

Report and most photographs by Alan Wood

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