balsam bottles

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Several years ago I had to find some of those funny glass bottles for mounting
medium for one of my locum tenens clients. They were in the standard catalogs
like S/P then.

That was when I found out they were called "balsam bottles". I'd been using
those things in surgical pathology for thirty years and didn't know the name
for them!

I told my wife, who is a Ph.D. geneticist who was a biology major in college
(I majored in German) and she thought it was very funny that I didn't know

You have to be older than me to remember Canada balsam, that incredibly
fragrant mounting medium that took a month to dry, and destroyed most stains
within a few years. Slides were usually "cured" in a 37 degree incubator,
which acquired the most wonderful aroma. We still had one of those when I
began my residency in 1964, and it was still in use, though it was torn out in
a renovation soon after.

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Knoxville TN.

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