Unidentified Slide-makers “S” and “C”
last quarter of the 1800s

by Brian Stevenson
last updated November, 2017

These two late Victorian-era slide makers presumably had last names that begin with the letters “S” and “C” (Figures 1 and 2). Their full names have yet to be identified, but a few educated guesses can be made about them:

Both probably had their labels produced by the same printer. They may have known each other, or one copied the other, but it is likely that they lived near each other.

Duplicates are not known. This, and the general finish of the slides, suggest that they were microscope enthusiasts, but were not professional slide-makers.

Two dated slides by “C” are known (Figure 1), 1888 and 1892.

I acquired a large number of “S” slides in a box that was initially sold by a chemist (pharmacist) in Didsbury, a town outside Manchester, England. This suggests that the two people lived in or around Manchester.

The variously-colored ringing on their slides is reminiscent of slides made during workshops of the Manchester Microscopical Society.

Any thoughts from readers will be gratefully entertained.

Figure 1. Examples of slides by “S” and “C”. Maker “S” employed two types of label, with and without the words “section of”. Some of the specimens, such as the stained human and sheep tissues, were available as ready-to-mount items from microscopy suppliers, so they do not necessarily mean that “S” had access to fresh human tissue.


Figure 2. “Challenger Soundings”, a strew of diatoms, spicules, etc., by “S”. The H.M.S. Challenger undertook an extensive cruise between 1873 and 1876, exploring the Ocean floor around the world. For quite some time afterward, material from that expedition was in high demand by microscopists.



Bracegirdle, Brian (1998) Microscopical Mounts and Mounters, Quekett Microscopical Club, London, page 184, plate 40-A