Graduated cylinder

Description (Brief)
This object is a 25 mL graduated cylinder made from Pyrex glass. Graduated cylinders are column-shaped vessels with a base for stability. They are used for measuring volumes of liquid, but are less accurate than volumetric glassware.
Pyrex has its origins in the early 1910s, when American glass company Corning Glass Works began looking for new products to feature its borosilicate glass, Nonex. At the suggestion of Bessie Littleton, a Corning scientist’s wife, the company began investigating Nonex for bakeware. After removing lead from Nonex to make the glass safe for cooking, they named the new formula “Pyrex”—“Py” for the pie plate, the first Pyrex product. In 1916 Pyrex found another market in the laboratory. It quickly became a favorite brand in the scientific community for its strength against chemicals, thermal shock, and mechanical stress.
This object is part of a collection donated by Barbara Keppel, wife of C. Robert Keppel. Robert Keppel taught at the University of Nebraska-Omaha after receiving his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, and his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from M.I.T. The glassware in the Keppel collection covers the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Dyer, Davis. The Generations of Corning: The Life and Times of a Global Corporation. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.
Estridge, Barbara H., Anna P. Reynolds, and Norma J. Walters. Basic Medical Laboratory Techniques. Cengage Learning, 2000.
Jensen, William B. “The Origin of Pyrex.” Journal of Chemical Education 83, no. 5 (2006): 692. doi:10.1021/ed083p692.
Kraissl, F. “A History of the Chemical Apparatus Industry.” Journal of Chemical Education 10, no. 9 (1933): 519. doi:10.1021/ed010p519.
National Museum of American History Accession File #1985.0311
Ridley, John. Essentials of Clinical Laboratory Science. Cengage Learning, 2010.
“University of Nebraska Omaha.” 2015. Accessed May 4.
Currently not on view
Object Name
graduated cylinder
date made
after 1916
Corning Incorporated
Physical Description
pyrex (overall material)
overall: 8 5/8 in x 2 in; 21.9075 cm x 5.08 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Science & Scientific Instruments
Science & Mathematics
Science Under Glass
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Chemistry
Science Under Glass
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Barbara A. Keppel

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