An extract from 'The student and intellectual observer of Science, Literature and Art' 1869

Contributed by Mike Samworth

"The total number of diatoms is more than 450, and they are grouped in four series. With dark-ground illumination, and a low objective, the whole are brought simultaneously before the eye in a singularly beautiful way, and it is exceedingly interesting to contrast the varied forms presented by this remarkable family of silex-secreting plants. Each of the four series will be found composed of diatoms arranged in six lines, one under the other, like the pages of a book. Fine specimens of Eupodiscus argus mark the beginning and the end of the series, and the "Systematic catalogue", issued with the slide, admits of easy reference.

The richness of this slide is astounding. they are grouped in families, and it is thus easy to compare the different families together, and note what characteristics their species bear in common, and how they differ from other groups. We cannot imagine that any large number of slides, requiring such a remarkable combination of patience and skill, will be issued. Ours is numbered thirty, and we do not envy the preparer his laborious job. We used to think a good deal of a half a dozen or a dozen diatoms elegantly arranged; but to persuade hundreds of these minute objects to stand in order, with military precision, was what we never expected to see.

Of course there will be many who will desire to possess this slide, simply on account of its rarity and beauty; but its scientific value will also be appreciated, and we trust microscopists will not underrate the value of a systematic collection because they have it on a single piece of glass, instead of scattered through a cabinet full of drawers."

Readers may not be aware that excellent diatom slides, including exhibition slides, can be obtained from Klaus Kemp.


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