Horizontal sections of the head of a 35-year-old male, in Atlas of head sections. Dissection by Sir William MacEwen, drawing by Flora MacEachran, photogravure by Messrs Annan of Glasgow, published Glasgow, 1893.
Surgeon William MacEwen prepared slices of frozen human brains made sequentially across the head at different angles. Frozen slices were used to preserve the shape of the brain, which otherwise ‘sinks by its own weight and becomes distorted’ when removed from the skull.
Fifty-three of MacEwen’s samples were photographed and reproduced using the photogravure technique, in which a photographic image is reproduced using a copper plate. The effect produces extremely rich dark tone and high contrast with the lighter areas.
MacEwen edited the photographs to outline areas such as the borders between different tissue types. Flora MacEachran, about whom we know very little, made a line-drawn key to show the different features in each photograph.
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