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August 3, 1984

History of Staining

Author Affiliations

University of Chicago Hospitals and Clinics

JAMA. 1984;252(5):691. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350050079039

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This is the third edition of a book whose previous editor was Dr H. J. Conn. The current edition was initially being written by Dr R. D. Lillie, but was completed by the current authors following Dr Lillie's death in 1979; the first chapter is appropriately dedicated to him and reviews his life and works. There follows a series of 20 relatively short chapters (averaging about five pages each) dealing with the development of classes of various dyes and their applications, intermingled with short chapters on some of the "greats" in the field, which have a strong biographical content.

While interesting to read, the book becomes frustrating when attempts are made to use it as a reference source. If tempted to look up mucin stains, for instance, mucicarmine, PAS, or Alcian blue-high iron diamine, one finds they seem either not to have been mentioned or just touched on. In a