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Smee begins by presenting a method of preparing sections of bone by cutting portions with a saw and polishing them with a piece of smooth leather before placing them in glass slides. He then presents observations on bone samples viewed under a microscope, describing the irregular canals in the bone (Haversian canals) and the whiteness of the corpuscles. Upon observing the corpuscles he makes four conclusions: that earthy matter pervades every part of the bone; that the corpuscles may exist without earthy matter being present; that the corpuscular canals communicate with the Haversian canals; that the corpuscles present themselves as opaque in 'fresh' bones and as transparent in bones that have been boiled. He describes unsuccessful attempts at filling the bone cavities with a coloured substance.

There are markings throughout the paper indicating where plates should be placed to accompany the text. Annotations in pencil throughout. Followed by an appendix and a covering letter dated 28 November 1839.

Subject: Physiology / Osteology

Received 24 November 1839. Read 5 December 1839. Communicated by Peter Mark Roget.

Written by Smee at the Bank of England [London].

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Earliest possible date
18 November 1839
Physical description
Ink and graphite pencil on paper
Page extent
28 pages

Creator name

Alfred Smee

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Alfred Smee, Unpublished paper, 'On the structure of normal and adventitious bone' by Alfred Smee, 18 November 1839, AP/23/40, The Royal Society Archives, London,, accessed on 20 April 2024

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