MICSCAPE - Exploring the miniature world

Issue 269 : August 2018 (ISSN 1365 - 070x) Monthly, next issue September 13th 2018.

Update August 26th. A note on Van Leeuwenhoek day Sept. 7th. See In Focus section below.

Using a Mobile Phone?
Our Mobile site is here.

Main Menu
Home (Microscopy-UK)
Article library / Issue archive
Micscape Back Issues

Search site


Clubs / Socs (Pro/Am)

Micropolitan Museum

Microscopy Primer

Pond life ID kit


Smallest page on the web

3D Images Online

3D Microscope Online

Pippa's Progress

Little Imp CD contents free - old microscope catalogues and books (ex. Steve Gill)

About Micscape

Micscape Contacts
Micscape Editor:
David Walker

Please do not contact the above for image permissions. Each article contributor retains the copyright to their material so should be contacted directly via the link in the relevant article. Thank you.

Comments on Micscape and contributions welcomed.
Contributions: Any modern format welcomed i.e. pdf. doc/docx with embedded images, or html + jpegs.


New material

Silver acetate crystals - Ruud Herold (Netherlands) shares a simple way of preparing these crystals for study prompted by a description of a qualitative test for acetic acid in an old textbook. PDF

Frieseke & Hoepfner Microscope. An interesting model from a little-known maker - Peter Guidotti (USA) describes and illustrates a well made stand from this maker. PDF

From the archives. A slim issue so the complete issue from September 2008 is shared below. (The recent heatwave in many areas of Europe hasn't been conducive to sitting in front of a PC, including for the webmasters!)

A key to the genera of rotifer Bdelloidea. Part 1 - Walter Dioni (Mexico) shares the first of a three part series on the biology and identification of this class of rotifer. (The author has shared the original French version on the Microscopies website.)

A scanning electron microscope in the dining room - Ted Kinsman (US) shares his experiences of running a 1982 SEM in a domestic environment, with overview of specimen preparation procedures and an image gallery.

S-glutamic acid - Robert Pavlis (USA) describes polar studies with this chemical which is readily available from e.g. food stores.

Eight petrographic and student polar microscopes from the golden years - Greg McHone (Canada) shares an illustrated survey of commonly found models from major makers.

A close-up view of the 'pin cushion' flower - Brian Johnston (Canada) illustrates the features of this attractive plant on the macro and microscopic scale.

Nineteenth century British microscopy and natural history: Part 9 - Richard Howey (USA) continues his series on fascinating aspects of old journals.

A close-up view of the 'Japanese Pieris' - Brian Johnston (Canada) illustrates the attractive features of this plant.

A crystalline herbal and bestiary: A journey to an alien world Part 8 - Richard Howey (USA) concludes his illustrated fantasy where the author visits an alien planet with a local host describing its exotic fauna and flora.

The horseman of the apocalypse. A microscopic view. Part 1 - Manuel del Cerro (Canada) describes and illustrates some prepared slides of diseases that have devastated mankind.

Diatom Pleurosigma angulatum - a versatile 'demonstration' subject - David Walker (UK) illustrates how this common diatom slide can be used to illustrate some principles of optical microscopy and assess contrast enhancement techniques.

    In Focus
    Wim van Egmond, one of our regular contributors has suggested the following and writes on Facebook:
    "This is the idea, it is still a couple of weeks to go but: September 7th is Van Leeuwenhoek Day. Then we'll celebrate the discovery of the micro world. On September 7th, 1674 Antoni van Leeuwenhoek wrote the letter to the Royal Society that contained the first description of microbes. It's the discovery of the micro world, the birth of microbiology. In this letter he described how he set out to investigate why the water of the Berkelse Meer, a lake near Delft, turned whitish during summer. He filled a little bottle and examining the water with his self-made microscope he found green tendrils, spirally wound serpent wise, made out of interconnected little balls. And between these he found many little animals, some as small as a thousandth the size of the smallest animals he had seen on the crust of cheese.

    The 'whitish water with green tendrils' we can now identify as a cyanobacteria bloom with the helical colonies of Dolichospermum. The little animals are impossible to identify from the description but were probably a mix of single cellular organisms like Euglenas, ciliates, green algae and microscopic animals like rotifers.

    We celebrate Van Leeuwenhoek Day by taking out our microscope to a local pond or lake, fill a bottle, make a slide and show everyone who is passing by the wonders of the micro world. With a microscope anyone can make discoveries. In case you don't have a microscope, just use your imagination and celebrate the day microbes were discovered in a way you feel is appropriate. And don't forget to share it."

    Update August 26th. Wim has prepared an illustrated pdf article summarising the historical background to this event. Click here.


    We are delighted to receive contributions small or large from microscopy enthusiasts whether a novice or expert. If you have an image, tip or article, why not share it, this magazine is what you make it!

Look for that elusive article on our site:
Micscape Magazine past issues online
(read articles online using the original illustrated index for each month).
Article Library (browse articles by category)
Automated Search (a search engine for keyword searches in all articles)
Contributor index (a list of all Micscape contributors to date)
News - special notices - misc.

External links. Updated June 2016. Below are some of our favourites, which includes sites with extensive links and/or resources for the optical microscopy enthusiast.

External Microscopy forums: Places to discuss the hobby or to raise queries.
forums, galleries, articles on macroscopy and photomicrography.

Yahoo groups: a 'P' denotes current and archived messages are public i.e. not limited to members.
Amateur Microscopy P (started November 2008)
Yahoo Diatom Forum P
Microscope P (>1500 members, very active)
Wild M20 microscope
microcosmo (for Italian speaking enthusiasts)
CombineZ P stacking software forum created by the software's author

Facebook groups:
Amateur Microscopy (>1000 members, very active)

'Forum for marine, freshwater and terrestrial algae'. Access to Archives possible for non-subscribers.
Diatom-L 'Research on the diatom algae.' Access to Archives for subscribers only. Link was current March 2016. Many online diatom resources point to an outdated Indiana Univ. listserver. (With thanks to Rob Kimmich for the current link.)

Mikroskopie-Treff.de (Extensive German microscopy forum; some English categories.)
Mikrobiologische Vereinigung München e. V. Wide range of articles and resources in German.
Le Naturaliste French based forum and image gallery for micro / macro but open to non French speaking international contributors.

Other sites (also see Societies and Clubs page.)
Royal Microscopy Society Journal, 'infocus' and other resources for members and the community.
Quekett Microscopical Club Journal, Bulletin and meetings for members.
Light Microscopy Forum links and articles
Little Imp Publications public domain books collated by Steve Gill formerly on CD and now free on Micscape.
Mikroskop Museum German website with resources on microscopes / makers .
Molecular Expressions awesome optical microscopy resources
Dennis Kunkel's SEM images stunning images
Diatoms Ireland - resource site by Leszek Wolnik
Leitz museum an illustrated resource compiled by Robert Allen
Microbe hunter microscopy enthusiast website, forum and magazine edited by Oliver Kim
Microscopies online magazine and Forum for French speakers
Micrographia articles, projects for the enthusiast
Microscopy Today
journal with online archive
Modern Microscopy
online journal by McCrone Group
Fun Science Gallery projects, articles on optics in English and Italian.  
Independent Generation of Research (IGoR) - Wiki style resource for citizen scientists to share their work.
Lens On Leeuwenhoek - extensive resource online by Douglas Anderson
Collected Letters of Antoni van Leeuwenhoek ('Alle de Brieven ..') transcribed and free online at DBNL.
A Cabinet of Curiosities a resource on Victorian microscope slides by Howard Lynk
Klaus Kemp's 'Diatoms' website - offers regional strews and arranged prepared slides of diatoms, an 8 form test slide, radiolaria, insect scales etc and prepares arranged slides on commission.
'Diatoms Ireland' resource by Leszek Wolnik
Historical makers of microscopes and microscope slides Brian Stevenson's extensive resource .
Victorian slide makers
Cambridge rocking microtome resources including manual
www.willemsmicroscope.com Dutch enthusiast Willem Cramer's website
David Jackson's Better Microscopy blog. Regularly updated free resources extending from his 'Better Microscopy' series of books.
Stefano Barone's Diatom Shop
sale of his own prepared and arranged slides of diatoms, radiolaria and forams.
Stefano Barone's 'Microworlds' blog regularly updated blog and diary where Stefano showcases and discusses the typical examples of the slides he has prepared.

parent site coordinator:
Maurice Smith

Microscopy-UK and Micscape - established 1995
Micscape is a free magazine for enthusiasts funded by Microscopy-UK and dedicated to non-commercial microscopy.
© Onview.net Ltd, Microscopy-UK, and all contributors 1995 onwards. All rights reserved. Main site is at www.microscopy-uk.org.uk