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W. Rutt ~ an early microscopist and collector
Over the years, I have occasionally purchased slides with the initials WR, or the initial and name W.Rutt, always in the same hand writing, added on the slide. The slides thus marked were all produced from a period estimated to be from the mid to late 1840s to possibly the 1860s.  They are often from known early preparers, including C.M. Topping, and a rare signed preparation by William Darker. The papered examples are marked with ink, while the plain glass examples (unpapered) are engraved with a diamond point... obviously a collector marking his slide collection.

For some reason, I had the vague recollection of having seen the name before, but couldn't place where. As luck would have it, not too long ago, I was going through a package of documents and papers I had acquired some years earlier, and there it was... W. Rutt as one of the original 10 founding members of the Hackney Microscopical Society in 1853. Another of the original members was W. Smart, whose printed secondary labels will be familiar to anyone that collects these old slides. Most of the other 8 original founding members are also recognizable figures in the world of science and culture from that period in Victorian England. Any additional information on Mr. Rutt would be most welcome!

I have included an image of the original "Statement of Formation" document below for those that may be interested. Additionally, a pdf file of the document can be found here.