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Curiosity & Collaboration:
The Work of Michael Potter
(1924–2013)

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Olympus BH-2 Microscope, c. 1985

14.0038.001

“He would jump up from the scope, pulling his hair, and get all excited about a number of different experiments.” Dr. Gary Jones, NCI

Michael Potter's Microscope

Donated by Dr. Beverly Mock

Scientists are often associated with microscopes, and in some cases, for good reason. Dr. Michael Potter was usually at his laboratory bench using his Olympus BH-2 Microscope. The BH-2 was part of the first Olympus series that allowed a microscope to the transformed to meet many specifications by switching the microscope head lens modules. And the stage could be easily moved on a vertical or horizontal axis. The BH-2 offered many combinations including mechanical and circular stages, binocular and trinocular observation tubes, and contrast equipment for phase contrast, differential interference contrast, darkfield, fluorescence, and polarized light. These contrasts were possible because of the extra barrel length of the objectives. This microscope captured a wide market-share and was well-used by Potter.

Learn more about the BH-2 in this Olympus Microscope manual in pdf format, hosted on Alan Wood's website (7.43 MB)

Tumor cells

Micrograph of Plasma Cells

U.S. National Library of Medicine

Potter was usually at his laboratory bench using this microscope. Shown are plasma cells with darkly stained nuclei. The clear spots next to the nucleus are perinuclear “hoffs” and are filled with newly synthesized protein, in this case, antibody.

side view of microscope

Donated by Dr. Beverly Mock

side view of microscope

Donated by Dr. Beverly Mock

side view of microscope

Donated by Dr. Beverly Mock

side view of microscope

Donated by Dr. Beverly Mock

Artifacts