1. It was accidentally found that methods of silvering synaptic end-feet sometimes blackened Golgi's ‘internal reticular apparatus’ in neurones of the central nervous system of the cat.
2. A method of achieving this consistently was worked out: (a) paraffin sections are coated with a collodion membrane; (b) the collodion membrane is soaked in silver nitrate; (c) the silver nitrate is reduced to metallic silver with a buffered formaldehyde solution; (d) steps (b) and (c) are repeated until the sections appear quite black; (e) the silver attached to structures other than the Golgi apparatus is removed with a ferricyanide/thiosulphate bleach; (f) the section is ‘toned’ with gold chloride, fixed in thiosulphate, and washed thoroughly; (g) the section is dehydrated, cleared, and finally mounted in Canada balsam, DPX, or similar media. Results: Golgi-apparatus, black; connective-tissue fibres, black; axons, grey to black; everything else is light grey or colourless.
3. A tentative hypothesis is advanced to explain the results obtained.
4. The following advantages are claimed for the new method: the cytoplasmic reticulum thus blackened resembles that seen in living neurones with the interference microscope; special methods of fixation are not required; the cytoplasmic reticulum of given cells can be studied before and after silvering; and serial sections of the same piece of tissue can be used for histochemical purposes.