We are pleased to offer a collection of six prepared microscope slides containing samples from the first round the world oceanographic survey that of H.M.S. Challenger in the 1870’s – including from the Mills collection a sample from Raine Island a historically important location near the top of the Great Barrier Reef
1. By noted preparer Richard Suter of 10 Highweek Road London Diatomacea from the Atlantic Ocean 190 fathoms
2. An unknown preparer “Atlantic Soundings Challenger Expedition 1873” recommended for the polariscopic observation set in three small circular slips notes as 2300,1300 and 2800 fathoms
3. “Soundings H.M.S. Challenger Aug 26th 1875 Lat 11deg N Lon 152 deg W [South of Hawaii} – 2750 fathoms” prepared by a productive yet still anonymous preparer known as “Green Papers” by collectors
4. By preparer R.N. “Soundings 32 deg S 78 deg W 1350 fathoms Challenger” – the location of the Island of Juan Fernandos of Robinson Crusoe fame and the isolation of Alexander Selkirk by William Dampier. Nice examples of Foraminifera in small deep mount.
5. By leading Northern preparer Arthur Docherty of Manchester from Lat 7 deg N Long 144 deg W [Near Hawaii] a large sample of Forams in superb condition.
6. And the rare Raine Island – Great Barrier Reef Slide
On 31st August 1874 H.M.S. Challenger visited Raine Island situated at the northern outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef. Dredging was undertaken at 155 fathoms where the bottom was coral sand – this was recorded as Station 185. The site was prolific for forminifera. This historic slide was mounted by Arthur J Doherty who worked in Manchester during the second half of the 19th century. A label on the reverse indicates that it was once part of the great Mills collection of prepared microscope slides.
Stunning set of six offered as a collection
A piece of the History of Oceanography
The Challenger Expedition
The Challenger Expedition (1872-1876) organised by the Royal Society was the world first and greatest oceanographic survey – it effectively established the science. Commanded by Captain Nares (later of Artic fame) HMS Challenger circumnavigated the globe with its onboard laboratory making deep sea observations for the first time. Approaching from the East across the Pacific the Challenger reached Raine Island on the outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef at the end of August 1874. Dredgings were taken and observations made and recorded by crew member Lord Campbell in his “Log Letters from the Challenger” a copy of which we are never without.
Lord Campbell’s “Log Letters” record the arrival at Raine Island .. “We Steered for the entrance through the “Great Barrier” reef, 1,300 miles away (they had just left the New Hebrides), where we arrived on the 30th (August 1874), sounding the day after we left in deeper water than we have forun for some time – 2,650 fms., – and six times afterwards in somewhat lesser depths, in which we twice trawled. On that evening we passed Raine Island, which lies on one side of the entrance through and into the maze of reefs, and anchored close to it on a coral patch that night. Raine Island is a small extent of sand on the top of a coral reef, having on some parts of it a foot deep of soil, and is marked by a large beacon-tower built with coral rock by two men-of-war, assisted by artificers from Brisbane in ’48. Wheeling over the ship and island in countless thousands were sea-birds, boobies, terns, frigate- and tropic- birds….. The next morning the ship got under way, and a number of us landed on Raine Island – a wonderful sight indeed! As we landed the terns rose en masse in a cloud, really darkening the light, and perceptibly fanning the air with their wings as they hovered, screaming shrilly, above us.
SO SORRY SOLD TO A TOP BUYER