[Histonet] acid-cleaned slides --a walk down memory lane.

Bryan Llewellyn llewllew <@t> shaw.ca
Mon Sep 25 15:47:50 CDT 2006

Oh, yes, I used to make 2x2 slides, both from mounted sections, stained and 
coverslipped, and by photographing off a computer screen.  The first ones I 
made were from 2x2 pieces of glass made to look good by covering the edge 
with tape after the Canada Balsam dried.  Later I progressed to the luxury 
of using glass film mounts for 35 mm with a fancy plastic surround, which 
occasionally softened from the xylene if I put the glass back too soon.

Text slides were made from Kodak lith film developed in a high contrast lith 
developer from text typed onto white paper, or from Letraset plastic 
letters.  They were colored in bulk by soaking the film in a dilute orange G 
solution.  Highlighting was done with a paint brush and solutions of basic 
fuchsin, light green etc.  It used to take longer to make a series of slides 
than to write and give the lecture ten times over.  I still have some of 
them stashed away.  Once computers with flat screens (relatively) became 
common I used to prepare the text on a black screen, with fancy fonts and 
coloured text and photograph with a macro lens (otherwise used for flowers) 
for 2 seconds so the scan lines would not show.

The last talk I gave requiring projection was about a year ago and I used a 
series of web pages and a browser with a computer projector and screen.  It 
took all the fun out of it!

About adhesive slides;  I never used to buy them as I always found a really 
clean slide caused the tissue to adhere quite well in nearly all cases. 
However, I did notice that the outward facing surface of the first and last 
slides in a box were often incredibly sticky.  This was the surface in 
contact with the plastic film wrap.  The slides were those most inexpensive 
ground edge slides made in Germany.  I used to save them for those special 
cases we all love.  Once the tissue touched the slide it could not be moved, 
i.e. no repositioning allowed.  The only way to get the section off the 
slide was to scrub it with tissue paper.  The scrubbing did not remove the 
sticky surface no matter how hard I pressed, and the slide could be reused. 
I always presumed there was some deposit transferred from whatever material 
the plastic film was made from.  Whatever it was, it was the most effective 
adhesive I ever came accross.

Bryan Llewellyn

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Cheryl" <tkngflght <@t> yahoo.com>
To: "RENEE FISHER" <rfisher <@t> gbmc.org>; <histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu>
Sent: Monday, September 25, 2006 11:39 AM
Subject: [Histonet] acid-cleaned slides --a walk down memory lane.

> Renee--a short history of slides in histology....may want to save it for 
> happy hour. Of course there are members on our 'net who can take this 
> story farther back but in the interest of time:
>  Long before you probably knew there was such a thing as a Histologist, 
> slides came to us in boxes full of dust, dirt and oil deposited by the 
> process of breaking them into slides, etc.  These were the days of diamond 
> pens, steel knives and there weren't such a thing as 'frost' slides, 
> coverslippers or slide printers other than the techs who didn't write in 
> cursive!  We used to acid clean all of our slides before use (usually an 
> acid alcohol or aqueous acid rinse--depending on oil/finger oil 
> contamination--followed by lots of dH2O rinsing & a drying oven).  This 
> was before many advancements in our science in the days when you had your 
> morning coffee on TOP of your microtome and albumin was the adhesive of 
> choice.
>  Slide production improved, then came frosted glass tops and then PAINTED 
> colored tops we could use out of the box!!!  This was AWESOME.  In the 
> late 70s/early '80s someone (anyone know who came up with this?) figured 
> how poly-L-lysine could be used in solution to charge the surface of a 
> slide without interfering with staining the way albumin did. We cleaned 
> our slides again, to prepare them for dipping in poly-L-lysine!  What a 
> marvelous thing!
>  Now with incredible high-tech production methods, there are all sorts of 
> specialty slides available, made more consistently than we could ever 
> produce by hand.  Our time is saved and the products WORK, leaving time 
> once in a while for a trip to the break room for coffee (most labs still 
> run on ample supplies of coffee and chocolate.)  If you were to acid clean 
> any of these treated products, you'd likely remove what you've paid so 
> dearly to obtain--a slide designed to grab and hold on to that tissue!!
>  I didn't attend this year's NSH (disappointing but no one to hold down 
> the fort) so perhaps I missed something and have dated myself 
> unnessecarily.  (Waiting with anticipation for Joe's comments on 
> histo-dating :) )  I WOULD like to hear if there is anyone who used to 
> make 2x2 mounts for slide conference still out there??!! LOL!
>  Hope this helps--sorry if it didn't.
>  Cheryl
> Cheryl Kerry, HT(ASCP)
> Full Staff Inc.
> Staffing the AP Lab by helping one Tech at a time.
> 281.883.7704 c
> 281.852.9457 o
> admin <@t> fullstaff.org
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