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Review of "Cours de microscopie complémentaire des études médicales, anatomie microscopique et physiologie des fluides de l'économie. à" by M. Donné and Leon Foucault (1945-1846)
The Medical Examiner: A Monthly Record of Medical Science, New Series, Volume 3, No.XXVIII, April, 1847, p.224-226
Cours de microscopie complémentaire des études médicales, anatomie microscopique et physiologie des fluides de l'économie. à Atlas du cours de microscopie exécuté d'aprÞs nature au microscope daguerréotype Par M. Donné, Docteur en Medecine, ex-chef de Clinique de la Faculte de Paris, Professeur particulier de Microscopie, &c., et Leon Foucault. Fol. P. 30. Paris, 1845-846.
The text of the Cours de microscopie of M. Donné was published in 1844, in Paris, but the Atlas before us hias only just been completed. M. Donné has long been celebrated for his chemical and other investigations into the nature of certain of the animal secretions, and especially of the milk. His Memoire sur le Lait was published many years ago, and has been exhausted he informs us; and it was in consequence of his having been invited to issue a new edition of it, that he determined to reproduce it in a separate work, and to associate with it his microscopic researches into the different fluids of the economy. Accordingly, the Cours de microscopie contains the whole of his examinations of mucus, urine, sperm, milk, &c.
"These researches" he observes "extended and perfected as far as it was practicable for me since my first publications, united with the physiological considerations and practical applications that flow from them, form the principal portion of the lectures which I now reproduce." p. 9.
In his introduction to the "Cours" M. Donné announced, that an Atlas would be added to the work, and that it would present an innovation." It will comprise,"he remarked, "figures of two orders the one will be executed according to the ideas I have formed of the intimate slructure of the microscopic objects depicted: these systematic figures are intended to elucidate the descriptions in the text, and to complete them. Alongside these figures will be placed others representing accurately the objects independently of all interpretation. To attain this result I have been desirous not to trust either my own hand or that of a designer, always more or less influenced by the theoretical ideas of the author. Profiting by the marvellous invention of the daguerreotype, the objects will be reproduced with a rigorous fidelity unknown hitherto by means of photographic processes." And he subsequently added :
"The first trials which I made to apply the daguerrean method to the reproduction of microscopic objects will be recollected. Four years ago I had the honour to present to the Académie des Sciences a daguerreotype microscope, by means of which I had obtained the images of several objects of natural history, and of certain tissues, such as the osseous and the dental. Since then, these trials have been resumed by a young savanl, a distinguished amateur of photography. The results obtained by M. Leon Foucault with the daguerreotype microscope, not only on solid objects, but on the intimate particles of fluids, such as the blood corpuscles of different classes of animals, the globules of milk, mucus and pus, zoospermes, &c.,are truly most remarkable, and all give a special value to our Atlas. Our collection of designs is not yet complete, but what we already possess permits us to announce to micrographers results altogether worthy of their attention and interest."
The atlas before us is the one promised in the "Cours," and certainly the promises are well fulfilled. The representations of the fluids microscopically examined are beautiful, and their truthfulness cannot admit of question. Portions of the objects seen in the field of the microscope have not been selected; the whole field is given as it presents itself to the eye of the observer, and hence a much more correct idea is formed of the object than if as in the case of the blood corpuscles detached portions were selected.
The plates are twenty in number, and afford varied and well executed representations of the blood corpuscles of man and certain animals; the circulation of the blood in the frog's tongue; mucous globules; epidermic cells; vibratory cells of the mucous membrane; pus globules; crystallization of healthy saliva; crystals of cholesterine; globules of yeast, and of fermenting diabetic urine; crystals of nitrate of urea; the crystallization resulting from the evaporation of the urine of a patient affected with typhoid fever; crystals of uric acid; divisions of the micrometer; pulverulent crystallization of urate of ammonia from ihe urine; minute crystals of uric acid proceeding from the decomposition of urate of ammonia by acetic acid; crystals of oxalate of lime from the urine, and of ammoniaco-magnesian phosphate; white filaments, such as are found in the first drops of healthy urine at each emission; blood corpuscles presenting the annular form which they affect when in contact with urine; zoospermes of man and certain animals; crystallization of healthy urine evaporated on a plate of glass; ovulum of the rabbit in and out of the Graafian vesicle; ovula of the frog and salamander; globules of cow's milk; casein coagulated owing to the decomposition of milk and mixed with milk globules; globules of healthy human milk and of that of the ass and goat; the colostrum of the human female; milk of a woman delivered eight days, and not giving suck; muscae volitantes; globules of potatoe starch; blood corpuscles of the salamander; and pollen grains of the flower of the mallow. Great variety of illustration is presented; and both "Atlas" and "Cours" ought to be in the possession of every histologist and microscopist.