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Minot-Zimmermann-type microtome, Leipzig, Germany, 1908-1918

The animal or plant tissue to be sliced into thin sections is placed on a block over a stationary knife. By turning the large handle, the specimen moves up and down over the knife. Once cut into sections the specimens were mounted on slides, stained and studied under the microscope. Invented by C S Minot around 1886, the model underwent modifications including one by Zimmermann in 1908. Zimmermann’s adaptation improved the cutting accuracy. The Minot microtome was also adapted to cut large sections of brain tissue.

Object number:

1889-14 Pt1

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Glossary: histology

The study of the structure of tissues by means of special staining techniques combined with light and electron microscopy.

Glossary: microscopy

The use of microscopes to study objects or samples. The three major types of microscopy are optical, electron and scanning probe microscopy.

Glossary: microtome

An instrument used to cut thin sections of biological material so that they can be examined under a microscope.