Glinsky distilling tube

Description (Brief)
Glinksy’s dephlegmator dates from 1875, a time when the burgeoning field of organic chemistry led to a proliferation of distillation apparatuses specifically designed for the laboratory. Distillation is the process of separating a mixture of liquids with different boiling points through evaporation and condensation. Liquids with lower boiling points vaporize first, rise through the distillation apparatus, and recondense to be collected in a separate container.
A dephlegmator is a specific kind of distillation column. It utilizes separate chambers to promote multiple condensations and vaporizations during the distillation process, leading to a more efficient separation of the mixture’s components. Glinksy’s dephelgmator features spherical glass beads as separations between its chambers.
This object was used at the Chemistry department at the University of Pennsylvania. Chemistry has been taught at the University since at least 1769 when doctor and signer of the Declaration of Independence, Benjamin Rush (1746–1813), became Professor of Chemistry in the Medical School. A Chemistry department independent of the Medical School was established by 1874.
“A Brief History of the Department of Chemistry at Penn.” University of Pennsylvania Department of Chemistry. Accessed March 20, 2015.
Glinsky, G. “Ein Verbesserter Apparat Zur Fractionirten Destillation.” Justus Liebig’s Annalen Der Chemie 175–76 (1875): 381–82.
Krell, E. Handbook of Laboratory Distillation. Elsevier, 1982.
Lintern, A.C. 2006. “Dephlegmator.” A-to-Z Guide to Thermodynamics, Heat and Mass Transfer, and Fluids Engineering: AtoZ.
Young, Sydney. “The Relative Efficiency and Usefulness of Various Forms of Still-Head for Fractional Distillation, with a Description of Some New Forms Possessing Special Advantages.” Journal of the Chemical Society 75 (1899): 679–709.
Currently not on view
Object Name
distilling tube
date made
after 1875
Physical Description
glass (overall material)
overall: 17 3/4 in; 45.085 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Science & Scientific Instruments
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Chemistry
Science & Mathematics
Science Under Glass
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center


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