microscope slide labels... suggestions requested

richard clopton rclopton at hoss.unl.edu
Sun Aug 22 16:11:27 EST 1993

Just a suggestion for making microscope labels:

We ran into the same problem using laser printed labels, and solved
it by going back to the old zoologists:

from Gray's "The Microtomist's Formulary and Guide" (1954)

we used formula V.22.3, Martin's Adhesive:

Formula: water 30, gum arabic 30, gelatin 15, glycerol 1.5, camphor 0.1

Let gelatin soak in additional water overnight.  Drain.
Dissolve gum arabic in warm water (30).
Melt drained gelatin (which will have expanded, bringing more water into the
final mixture).
Mix melted gelatin with warm gum.  Add glycerol and camphor.

We substituted thymol for camphor, and have had no troubles.

Store Martin's Adhesive in a closed bottle.  To use it, set it in a dish
of hot water until the gelatin melts and simply coat the back of your label
page.  After the adhesive drys, cut out the labels, and wet with water (or
spit, although the stuff tastes like old stamps).  It takes a few trys 
to figure out how much adhesive to coat with and how much water to stick
the labels on with, but once you get the feeling, you can't beat it.

We have slides that are two years old and labeled with this stuff: you really
have a hard time scraping the labels of with a razor blade-> and even then,
they don't come off readily or in one piece.  I'm a parasitologist, so I use
this stuff to stick labels to glass slides:  I don't know how it would work
for any other surface.

Good luck.

R. E. Clopton
rclopton at hoss.unl.edu

Rich Clopton           # "The principle value of facts is that they give
University of Nebraska #  us something to think about."
Parasitology/InvertZoo #                     -R. E. Snodgrass  
rclopton at hoss.unl.edu  # 

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