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.
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.
Jena Glass was widely considered the best on the market until World War I.
“A Brief History of the Department of Chemistry at Penn.” University of Pennsylvania Department of Chemistry. Accessed March 20, 2015. https://www.chem.upenn.edu/content/penn-chemistry-history.
Baker, Ray Stannard. Seen in Germany. Chautauqua, N. Y.: 1908. http://hdl.handle.net/2027/nyp.33433043165608.
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.
Hovestadt, Heinrich. Jena Glass and Its Scientific and Industrial Applications. London, New York: Macmillan, 1902.
Langhamer, Antonín. The Legend of Bohemian Glass: A Thousand Years of Glassmaking in the Heart of Europe. Czech Republic: Tigris, 2003.
Pfaender, H. G. Schott Guide to Glass. Springer Science & Business Media, 2012.
Walker, Percy H. Comparative Tests of Chemical Glassware. Washington, D.C.: 1918. http://hdl.handle.net/2027/mdp.39015086545707.
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