Monday, April 25, 2011

Letter of the Day: April 25

Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 00611

The Warren Anatomical Museum
Boston, Apr. 25, 1895

Maj. Walter Reed:
Surg. U.S. Army:
Curator of the Army Med. Mus.

My dear Sir:

The fine photographs of the skull with osteitis deformans have been received, and will you please accept my thanks for them for the Museum. The process is evidently the same as in the skull in our collection, whatever designation may be given to it. And certainly they are both extremely interesting specimens.

I have also to thank you for calling my attention to formaline as hardening agent, and am using it very extensively. It certainly preserves the color relations of the specimens and their general shape better than alcohol.

I have hardened the specimens in toto in formalin (5%) from 24 hours to several weeks, then then cut the specimens, washed with water and preserved them permanently in 80% alcohol, as from it's higher index it gives a rather more brilliant medium in the jars. In this way have been obtained some beautiful sections of cancer of the liver, tubercular glands, large carbuncles of the neck, tumors, &c.

I use it also entirely for hardening for histological examination in practically the same way, and find that it give fine preparations when stained quite deeply with haemotoxylon (Delafield's) 1/2 hour and afterwards with {new]? Guisen's piczo-fuchsin counter stain- (150 c.c. jot. vol. acid piczo, 3 cc sah. vol acid fuchsin) 3 to 5 minutes.

Hoping that you will always bear me in mind if anything new of value comes up in the way of preserving specimens. I remain

Yours very very truly
W.F. Whitney

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