Microtome, The, is an instrument for cutting sections of specimens to be observed under the microscope. It consists essentially of a bolder for the specimen, and a rest for the razor. As a rule, the razor moves along the rest to cut the specimen, which is usually either frozen or hardened by some liquid such as alcohol, but sometimes it is the specimen which is moved against the razor. After the first cut, the specimen holder is raised by a micrometer screw through a distance equal to the thickness of the required section and another cut is made by the razor. By this means a section Of uniform thickness is obtained. Microtomes may be obtained which are quite simple in construction;
while others are of the most complicated design, and are provided with many adjustments. Consequently they vary enormously in price.