Modified boiling flasks

Description (Brief)
This modified boiling flask is made of Pyrex glass. The boiling flask, also known as a round bottom flask, is a chemical vessel with a spherical body and a cylindrical neck. It is most often used when heating solutions, particularly for distillation.
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.
Dyer, Davis. The Generations of Corning: The Life and Times of a Global Corporation. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.
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.
Currently not on view
date made
Corning Incorporated
Physical Description
glass (overall material)
overall: 16.5 cm x 22.5 cm x 7 cm; 6 1/2 in x 8 7/8 in x 2 3/4 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Barbara A. Keppel
Science & Scientific Instruments
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Chemistry
Science & Mathematics
Science Under Glass
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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