One of the best labs I ever took as an undergraduate was an advanced cytology lab where we learned to use the electron microscope.1 Part of the process was preparing thin sectioned material and that involved making our own glass knife that would cut very thin slices from wax-embedded tissue.
Here's a video from Leica showing how it's done today.2
I was reminded of this recently when I had occasion to refer to an electron micrograph taken by Harrison Latta. Latta invented the glass knife back in 1949. You can read about his discovery in this tribute to him on the University of California, Los Angeles, website.
This is one of those simple technological innovations that made a huge difference but would never have been recognized by the Nobel Prize committee.
1. Yes, they had electron microscopes back in those days!
2. You can also buy diamond knives but that's a lot less fun.