The Microscope and how to use it 


Dr. Georg Stehli

Paperback: 157 pages 

Publisher: Dover Pubns; ISBN: 0486225755; (June 1970)

This book covers apparatus care and use, simple (temporary) preparations of various kinds of specimens, microphotography (though superficially), but the best part is the appendix on microtome technique which presents a full procedure for fixing, dehydration, and paraffin infiltration.

Here are the chapter titles:

1. The Microscope and Essential Tools
2. How to Use the Microscope
3. Examining Simple Preparations
4. Insect Preparations
5. Exploring a Drop of Water
6. The Structure of Plants
7. The Structure of Animals
8. Bacteria
9. Microphotography
Appendix. Microtome Technique
with Index.

In its English translation, this book is a good introduction to microscopy and microtechnique but suffers from two problems:

1. The translation from the German is sometimes awkward and not always clear as to meaning (I have read the book in German as well);

2. The book makes reference to chemicals which cannot be obtained by private individuals in the US. Some chemical references are also no longer available: "wood vinegar", given by Dr. Stehli as a constituent of Pfeiffer's Fixative for algae, does not exist anywhere on this side of the Atlantic. Wood vinegar is actually a literal translation of the German "Holzessig" and is apparently an impure form of glatial acetic acid (which is available, but again not to individuals).

Students who have access to a college laboratory or who can order chemicals through a third party will be very happy with this book. The information on basic setup of a microscope, hand-cutting sections and preparation of fresh (as opposed to fixed) specimens is excellent.