Description (Brief):

In chemical parlance, a beaker is a cylindrical vessel, usually of glass, with a flat bottom. This example has a small beak (or pouring spout). It was made by Schott & Genossen, a firm in Jena that was founded in 1884 by Otto Schott (1851–1935), Ernst Abbe (1840–1905), Carl Zeiss (1816–1888), and Zeiss' son Roderick.

Description (Brief)

In 1881 Schott, a chemist from a family of glassmakers, and Abbe, a physicist with an interest in optics, formed a research partnership. Together they hoped to perfect a chemical glass formula for lenses in optical instruments like microscopes and telescopes. Their original goal was to develop glasses of high quality and purity with consistent optical properties. As their research expanded, they eventually developed the first borosilicate glasses. Their strength against chemical attack and low coefficient of thermal expansion made them better suited to the harsh circumstances of the chemical laboratory than any other glass.

Description (Brief)

Jena Glass was widely considered the best on the market until World War I.

Description (Brief)


Description (Brief)

“A Brief History of the Department of Chemistry at Penn.” University of Pennsylvania Department of Chemistry. Accessed March 20, 2015.

Description (Brief)

Baker, Ray Stannard. Seen in Germany. Chautauqua, N. Y.: 1908.

Description (Brief)

Cauwood, J.D., and W.E.S. Turner. “The Attack of Chemical Reagents on Glass Surfaces, and a Comparison of Different Types of Chemical Glassware.” Journal of the Society of Glass Technology 1 (1917): 153–62.

Description (Brief)

Hovestadt, Heinrich. Jena Glass and Its Scientific and Industrial Applications. London, New York: Macmillan, 1902.

Description (Brief)

Langhamer, Antonín. The Legend of Bohemian Glass: A Thousand Years of Glassmaking in the Heart of Europe. Czech Republic: Tigris, 2003.

Description (Brief)

Pfaender, H. G. Schott Guide to Glass. Springer Science & Business Media, 2012.

Description (Brief)

Walker, Percy H. Comparative Tests of Chemical Glassware. Washington, D.C.: 1918.

Date Made: after 1884

Maker: Jena Glasswork, Schott & Associates

Location: Currently not on view

Subject: Science & Scientific Instruments


See more items in: Medicine and Science: Chemistry, Science Under Glass, Science & Mathematics


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of University of Pennsylvania Chemistry Lab

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: CH.316050.078Catalog Number: 316050.078Accession Number: 217523

Object Name: Beaker

Physical Description: glass (overall material)Measurements: overall: 22.8 cm x 13 cm x 14.2 cm x 10.7 cm; 9 in x 5 1/8 in x 5 9/16 in x 4 3/16 inoverall: 9 1/4 in x 5 11/16 in x 5 1/8 in; 23.495 cm x 14.44625 cm x 13.0175 cm


Record Id: nmah_1907

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.