Lovibond Tintometer


Joseph W. Lovibond, a brewer in Salisbury, England, sought a way to control beer quality by matching each batch to a color standard. In 1886, after some 20 years of experimentation, he obtained a British patent on a device that compared the color of a beer sample with the color made by a combination of two or three glass filters of various intensities of magenta, yellow, or cyan.

Lovibond introduced his Tintometer to the market in 1887, describing it as a “new instrument for the analysis, synthesis, matching, and measurement of colour.” It soon found uses in numerous industries. Eimer & Amend in New York claimed in 1895 that it was “Invaluable to Chemists, Dyers, Brewers, Sugar Refineries and Flouring Mills.” Moreover, its “method of expressing the composition of any given color with mathematical precision” gave a “new power” to colorimetric investigation. Tintometer, Ltd., was established by Lovibond in 1896 and is still in business today.

The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute bought this example in 1914 for the use of William Pitt Mason, a chemistry professor and pioneer in the field of water and waste chemistry. It came to the Smithsonian in 1981. An inscription reads “J. W. LOVIBOND PATENT TINTOMETER THE TINTOMETER LTD. SALISBURY No. 1913.”

Ref: The Tintometer Ltd.,< i>Colour Measurement (Salisbury, 1931).

Date Made: ca 1914

Maker: Tintometer, Ltd.

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United Kingdom: England, New Sarum

Subject: ChemistryColorOptics


See more items in: Medicine and Science: Chemistry, Saccharimeters, Measuring & Mapping


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Department of Chemistry

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1981.0496.01Catalog Number: 1981.0496.01Accession Number: 1981.0496Serial Number: 1913

Object Name: Tintometer

Physical Description: mahogany (overall material)brass (overall material)Measurements: base holder: 170 mm x 73 mm x 16 mm; 6 11/16 in x 2 7/8 in x 5/8 infolded: 85 mm; 3 3/8 inreflector frame: 180 mm x 207 mm x 127 mm; 7 1/16 in x 8 1/8 in x 5 inmeter: 299 mm x 63 mm x 40 mm; 11 3/4 in x 2 1/2 in x 1 9/16 inbase pesestal: 123 mm x 307 mm x 12.6 mm; 4 13/16 in x 12 1/16 in x 1/2 inbase arm: 178 mm x 27 mm; 7 in x 1 1/16 in

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a0-e98f-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_381

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