Tuesday, August 3, 2010
7000 of anything is a lot,
[Edited to answer a very good question, this was supposed to be part of the original post]
Q:Were these used as blanks to make needle styli for mechanical prep?
A:Yes, in fact, in the old days before drill bits or carbide were cheap enough or readily accessible enough, phonograph needles were used as a stylus to pick grains of rock from specimens. In lieu of the handy pin vises we use today, these styli would be pounded into a dowel rod, much like many inexpensive dissecting probes are constructed today.
Thanks to Dr. Wann Langston Jr. for comments on the historical background.