Topographical Anatomy of the Brain.

Dalton, John Call, 1825-1889.

Philadelphia: Lea Brothers & Co., 1885.

In three volumes:

vol. 1.: [iii]-vi, [2], 56 p., 10 double plates.
vol. 2.: iv, [57]-107, [108-112] p., 15 double plates.
vol. 3.: iv, [113]-175 p., 23 double plates ; 36 cm.

Titles of the volumes:

vol. 1.: Series A: Exterior Convolutions of the Hemispheres.
vol. 1.: Series B: Horizontal Sections.
vol. 1.: Series C: Vertical Sections.

Photographs : 48 photographic plates (heliotypes), each plate opposite to a schematic drawing with explanatory text.

Photographer: O. G. Mason.

Note: There is excellent biographical material on Dalton that is available on the internet.

The photographs are of a superlative order and beauty, and made from specimens and cross-sections which could not be duplicated out of hand. — Choulant-Frank, page 409.

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Handsome anatomical renderings of the human brain which was sectioned according to a recipe described by Dalton as follows:

The fresh brain supported by the calvaria is immersed, with the base upward, in a fluid of a little less than its own specific gravity. The saline solution above mentioned (sodium chloride solution sp. gr. 1026), mingled with a small quantity of glycerine, is the most serviceable for this purpose. The ventricular cavities are then injected with a warm solution of gelatine by means of a fine canula introduced into the infundibulum, which should be preserved entire for that purpose. The injection should be continued until the ventricles are moderately filled and the gelatine begins to exude between the crura cerebri and the hippocampal convolution; after which the brain is placed in a refrigerator and the gelatine allowed to solidify. This secures the normal condition of the internal parts.

The next operation consists in imbedding the brain in a mass of gelatine, of about its own consistency, in a metallic framework so constructed as to allow of successive sections in the horizontal or vertical plane. The arrangements for cutting the sections were not quite the same for the different series, but we have no space for the details. In cutting, the knife and the section were flooded with equal parts of glycerine and water. The sections were allowed to remain for twelve hours in a refrigerator immersed in the saline solution before being photographed.

Only two hundred copies of the atlas were reportedly issued, after which Dalton destroyed the plates. His stated intent was to obviate a cheapening of the book art which would have made it available to a wider audience. Although loftily subscribed at twenty-four dollars for the three volumes, demand was such that the publisher was able to procure thirty-six dollars for the remaining sets.


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