Filtering flask

Description (Brief)
This object is a modifed 250 mL Erlenmeyer flask made of Pyrex glass. The Erlenmeyer flask is named for Emil Erlenmeyer (1825–1909), a German organic chemist who designed the flask in 1861. The flask is often used for stirring or heating solutions and is purposefully designed to be useful for those tasks. The narrow top allows it to be stoppered, the sloping sides prevent liquids from slopping out when stirred, and the flat bottom can be placed on a heating mechanism or apparatus.
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.
Ridley, John. Essentials of Clinical Laboratory Science. Cengage Learning, 2010.
Sella, Andrea. “Classic Kit: Erlenmeyer Flask,” July 2008.
Currently not on view
Object Name
flask, filtering
date made
Corning Incorporated
Physical Description
pyrex glass (overall material)
overall: 147 mm x 87 mm; 5 13/16 in x 3 7/16 in
place made
United States
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Science & Scientific Instruments
Science & Mathematics
Science Under Glass
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Chemistry
Science Under Glass
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of University of Pennsylvania Chemistry Lab

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