Rocking Microtome

Production date
Circa 1960s
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Object detail

Heavy, rectangular black metal base with rounded ends. Two sets of silver screws are mounted at the rear, behind two metal arms which share a pivot point. One arm is attached to a spring at one end, and a length of thin cord at the other. The second arm ends in a thick screw mount with a silver metal disc on one end. The disc sits on a second, black disc to which is attached a lever. This lever acts to pull the thin cord attached to the first arm, and thus to reposition this arm.
CH classification SCIENCES Instruments General microtome
Production date
Circa 1960s
L350 x W160 x H190 mm
Media/Materials description
Cast iron
<on plaque> Cambridge \ INSTRUMENT CO., LTD., \ LONDON & CAMBRIDGE \ [cam logo] \ SERIAL NO C619933 MADE IN ENGLAND
<on black disc> CAMBRIDGE 1 DIV.= .002MM [series of marks in approx. 4mm increments] MICROTOME
History and use
The Cambridge Instrument Company 'Rocking microtome' is a device used to create thin sections of samples for the purposes of microscopy. To slice sections, microtomes make use of diamond, glass or steel blades.
The microtome is a standard piece of laboratory equipment and the Cambridge 'Rocking Microtome' was the most popular type throughout much of the 20th century. Although more technologically complex types of microtome are now available, this model of microtome, dating to the 1960s, continues to be a staple in many labs.

Uploaded to the Web 27 May 2011.
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