Compound microscope used to examine meat, France, 1851-1900

Made:
1851-1900 in France
maker:
Unknown

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Compound monocular microscope, French, second half of 19th century

The inspection of meat was important due to the potential dangers associated with the product. For example, there have been numerous outbreaks of trichinosis due to poor meat hygiene. Trichinosis is an infection of the intestines that results in diarrhoea, muscle pains, fever, dehydration and swelling around the eyes. It is caused by a parasitic worm called Trichinella spiralis. Humans can swallow the larvae if it is present in raw or undercooked meat. Once in the stomach the worms hatch.

Meat inspections in abattoirs are one way to prevent outbreaks of the disease. This microscope has a glass plate with a grid etched on to its surface, which would have allowed close, systematic examination of meat samples.

Details

Category:
Microscopy (Wellcome)
Object Number:
A56771
Materials:
brass, glass, incomplete, iron
type:
compound microscope
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • optical instrument
  • microscope
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • optical instrument
  • microscope
status:
Loan: Wellcome Trust

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