Assay Flask

The term "assay" implies an analysis for only a certain constituent (or constituents) of a mixture. A good example is the assay of an ore for gold. That sort of assay would be done using a dry method, i.e. heating the ore in a crucible.
An assay can also be performed using a wet method. A good example is the extraction of an alkaloid from dried plant material. The plant sample is placed in a vessel into which a solvent is introduced. The active constituent is separated from the sample and extracted by chemical means.
The flask featured here, with its sloping sides and narrow mouth, is used for the wet assay method. The sample and solvent would be combined in this vessel. Additional apparatus would be used for the separation and extraction of the active constituent.
Currently not on view
Object Name
flask, assay
Physical Description
glass (overall material)
overall: 168 mm x 89 mm; 6 5/8 in x 3 1/2 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Chemistry
Science & Mathematics
Artifact Walls exhibit
Energy & Power
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Barbara A. Keppel
Additional Media

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