chapter  19
18 Pages

Evolution of Cosmetic Microbiology Beyond Agar Plating

ByPhilip A. Geis

The early 1880s were pivotal years for microbiology, bringing two simple but defining innovations that established procedures that both enabled our science and persist today as effective technological limits (1). First hausfrau-turned-laboratory technician Fannie Hesse proposed the use of agar over the problematic gelatin as the basis for culture on solid media. A few years later, the Prussian Richard Petri introduced what is now called the Petri plate, replacing the cumbersome gelatin-coated slide/bell jar combinations employed until that time with a portable and effective means of studying and maintaining pure cultures. Combined, these established a standard of practice that remains central to our science.