Graham condenser

Description (Brief)
This object is a Graham coil condenser made from Pyrex glass. A Graham condenser is used to cool and condense a gas back to a liquid, often as part of the process of chemical distillation. The piece consists of a coiled glass tube through which the gas travels. The coil is surrounded by a jacket of water that helps to cool the gas.
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.
Sources:
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.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
1931-1985
maker
Corning Incorporated
Physical Description
glass (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 46.3 cm; 18 1/4 in
ID Number
1985.0138.19
catalog number
1985.0138.019
accession number
1985.0138
subject
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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