Box of Glass

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Description (Brief)
Joseph Priestley (1733–1804) used this assortment of glass objects in his Northumberland, Pennsylvania laboratory. Priestley, the noted chemist whose accomplishments include the discovery of oxygen, was born in England. He lived and worked in Birmingham for many years, but his views as a Dissenter and an advocate of the French Revolution incited an angry mob into burning down his house and laboratory. In 1794 he fled to America, eventually settling in Northumberland, near Philadelphia. His great-great-granddaughter, Frances Priestley, donated his surviving laboratory ware to the Smithsonian in 1883.
National Museum of American History Accession File #13305
used by
Priestley, Joseph
Physical Description
glass (overall material)
box: 11 1/2 in x 10 in x 2 1/2 in; 29.21 cm x 25.4 cm x 6.35 cm
glass pieces: 27 in; 68.58 cm
cylindrical tube: 27 in; 68.58 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Miss Frances D. Priestley
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Chemistry
Science & Mathematics
Joseph Priestley
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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