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Histological Samples from Cancer Study

Health Sciences · IHPST

A red-brown coloured cardboard document box contains 53 paper inserts. The box is very tightly packed. The box is marked “FK-6 to FK-7”. These inserts have pockets stapled to the surface. These pockets hold glass histological slides. The inserts contain varying numbers of slides. A few of the slides are broken. The inserts are marked with codes ranging from “FK6A-1 to FK7L-9”. One insert is blank.

The slides contain purple-red histological preparations beneath a coverslip that has been fixed in place by a yellowing adhesive. Each slide has a code, corresponding to a section code on the corresponding insert” and a date scratched into its surface. The dates range from May 26th, 1939 to September 25th 1939.

Accession Number: 2019.ihpst.101

Alternative Name:

Primary Materials: Glass, Prepared Organic Tissue (Mouse)


The box is marked “FK-6 to FK-7” on a label on the right side.

The inserts are marked with codes ranging from “FK6A-1 to FK7L-9”

“Dr. Franks” is written on the upper-left corner of each insert, except for one, which is marked with “Mr. Miller”.

Each slide is marked with a date and code corresponding to its place in the insert.

Dimensions (cm):

(Box) Height = 26.5, Width = 13, Length = 33.3.


This is part of a historical collection of histological slides created during early cancer research. The slides show prepared mouse tissue.


Good: The lid of the box has become detached at the hinge. Around 10 glass slides are substantially broken. Others have chips to the slide or cover glass. One slide, “K7C-9// 18-7-39” is completely destroyed and its shards have been discarded.

Associated Instruments:


University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine

Date of Manufacture: 1939


This box of slides was acquired from Marnee Gamble, Special Media Archivist at the University of Toronto Archives & Records Management Services (UTARMS), on January 9th, 2019.

It belongs to a much larger collection of histological slides, comprising around 100 such boxes, that was created by Dr. Wilbur Franks (1901-1986) and his coworkers during their research into an immunological treatment for cancer.

Additional Information and References:

Franks, Wilbur R. and H. J. Creech. “Chemoantigens and Carcinogenesis: I” <i>The American Journal of Cancer</i> (1939), 203-212.

Creech, H. J. and Wilbur R. Franks. “Compounds Synthesized from Proteins and Carcinogenic Hydrocarbons.” <i>The American Journal of Cancer</i> (1937), 555-562.

Historical Notes:

Prof. Wilbur R. Franks was a professor at the University of Toronto’s Banting and Best Department of Medical Research when these slides were created. These relate to his work on developing synthetic antigens as a treatment for cancer.

This research is briefly described <a href= “”>here</a> in the digitized Faculty of Medicine Report of the Dean for 1937/1938, as well as in the references listed above.