Strops (2), leather / metal, made by A H Christian & Son, 1916-1975, used by Granville TAFE, Granville, New South Wales, Australia, 1980-1996
Microscopes and the equipment used to prepare specimens for microscopic analysis are vital tools for many areas of scientific study. Students can learn the basics of using microscopes in a few lessons but it takes years to master the many facets of microscopy. Today the preparing and viewing of biological and other specimens under a microscope plays an important part in the study of science at schools, universities and TAFEs and for scientific research.
A microtome is a mechanical instrument used to cut biological specimens into very thin segments for microscopic examination. A sample of tissue is prepared and placed in paraffin wax block. These are mounted on the microtome which is then cut into very fine sections using the microtome blade. The block moves up and down in a vertical plane in relation to the knife and therefore cuts flat sections. These sections are very thin and translucent and are used to be observed under a light microscope.
These strops were used with the microtome which are part of a group of microscopes, lenses and other scientific tools donated to the Museum by the Granville TAFE. The objects are an example of equipment used in science education in New South Wales from the late 1980s to late 1990s.
Written by Erika Dicker
Assistant Curator, 2007.
Made by A. H. Christian & Son in New South Wales, Australia, between 1916-1975.
These strops would have been used by science students to sharpen the blade of a microtome.
Used by students in the Applied Science Department at Granville TAFE, New South Wales, between 1980-1996.