Microscopic investigations

The investigations are ongoing through our Pharmatrans project. Dr. Magó Andrea Beatrix, chemistry researcher at the Restoration and Investigations Department of the National Museum of Transylvanian History, has performed microscopic analyses under transmitted, reflected, and polarized light on several textile, paper, thread and materia medica samples from the 18th century medicine chest in the collection of the museum. Though microscopy does not always clarify the structure of apothecary preparations (especially powders), it does confirm in some cases that the preserved contents match the historical inscriptions (the structure of the mustard seeds is very clear, for example). Dr. Magó has also discovered that the paper employed as cover for the containers was handmade, our of vegetal fibres (was made out of rags (old clothes were recycled, shredded and made into a paste, leaving colored microfibres in the structure of the paper). The investigations have also stressed the structure of the thread used for securing the paper covers (made of twisted fibers). The investigations were performed using an OLYMPUS CX33 microscope and a polarizing NIKON-OPTIPHOT2-POL microscope (working condition with one Nicol and cross Nicol).