Freezing microtome, London, England, 1883–1885

Active selection in cart:
Freezing microtome, London, England, 1883–1885. Invented in 1881, this type of freezing microtome used ice and salt to freeze animal and plant specimens to be sliced for microscope slides. Ice and salt were replaced by a removable ether spray in 1883. Freezing hardened and preserved the specimens’ structure quickly. Chemical preservation usually took six weeks but by using ether the process took a matter of seconds. Once frozen, a razor, operated by hand and secured by a tripod, moved across the top of specimen, creating slices. The slices were then mounted, stained and studied under the microscope by histologists. The knife and tubing is missing. Valentin knife. Contributors: Science Museum, London. Work ID: zhbezbuf.

Free public domain image

To download this free image, please register (this takes just 30 seconds) or log in.

Video guide

This is one of 931,463 free hi-res public domain images, selected from major public collections to complement the Look and Learn archive, and to save you time and money. Typically, it may be used for any purpose, but users should check the precise terms and satisfy themselves that the intended use will not infringe the rights of any third party.

Buy products

You can buy personalised gifts, including t-shirts, tote bags and mousemats, featuring this image from our print partner, Zazzle:

Choose products

Can we help?

Look and Learn is one of the world’s leading sources of historical and cultural images for personal and commercial use. Feel free to contact us with any questions or requests.