Books Received | Published:

The Histological Investigation of Disease

Nature volume 50, pages 218219 | Download Citation



HISTOLOGICAL methods have become so perfected during recent years that we are apt to forget that there was an age of discovery when microtomes, special dyes, celloidin and paraffin were unknown. In the days of Max Schultze, of Schwann and Virchow, tissues were cut free-hand with an ordinary razor; for the purpose of embedding, pieces of carrot and liver were used, and stains were not dreamt of. Solutions of salt, acetic and mineral acids and iodine were the only reagents employed, and gradually carmine came in use. Yet that age turned out its heroes in such men as von Bäer, Remak, Schwann, Max Schultze, Johannes Müller and Virchow, who with tools and media which we are unable to use now, observed appearances and processes which have remiined the corner-stones of normal and morbid histology. We are apt to forget their deeds as being antiquated. Gradually stains were introduced, and these led to fresh discoveries. Dr. Klein's work on histology, begun in Strieker's laboratory, is a permanent testimony of what a practised hand can do without our modern microtomes, embedding methods, and multitude of stains. Hæmatoxyline and carmine were the only dyes used. Since then various kinds of microtomes, simple and complicated, have been designed, and every laboratory possesses apparatus for cutting in paraffin, celloidin or ice, and instead of two simple stains, almost numberless reagents are a necessity for the modern worker.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

About this article

Publication history




  1. Search for A. A. KANTHACK in:


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing