We have a fascination with Victorian and Edwardian era scientific equipment, and these microscope slides are a perfect example of why. Each slide is housed in a gorgeous paper cover, framing the sample inside.
Victorian Microscope Slides has an amazing collection of microscope slides and samples from 1830-1900. That's when commercial manufacture began, thanks to a few entrepreneurial souls. The paper covers were originally a practical concern, a way to fasten the mica over the sample to the slide. But even after other methods of mounting became available, the paper covers remained as a means of self-expression.
It's easy to get lost in the Victorian slide site; in addition to slides from individual mounters, the site has slides featuring old botany samples, crystals, fossils, insects, as well as a few more unusual samples like lion whiskers, radium, and decomposed glass from Pompeii.