The beaker is one of the most common pieces of glassware found in the laboratory. It’s a vessel with straight sides and a wide mouth; it can be unmarked or graduated. It can also be tall and narrow or small and wide, with or without a spout.
The beaker featured here was made by Jena Glass Works, a company founded in 1884 for the production of a new type of glass developed by Otto Schott and Ernst Abbe. The new material, which was designed to be an improvement in optical glass, turned out to be useful for chemical glassware as well. It was vastly more resistant to chemicals and thermal and mechanical shock than ordinary glass. The Jena Glass Works held a virtual monopoly in the production of chemical glassware for laboratory use until World War I.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Physical Description
glass (overall material)
overall: 13.7 cm x 8.9 cm; 5 3/8 in x 3 1/2 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Science & Mathematics
Artifact Walls exhibit
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Chemistry
Artifact Walls exhibit
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of University of Pennsylvania Chemistry Lab
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