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A calorimeter measures the heat produced by the reaction of a substance with oxygen or another oxidant. Marcellin Berthelot (eminent French chemist) and P. Vielle described a successful form in 1885. Pierre Mahler (French civil engineer) introduced a modification of the Berthelot form in 1892. This was less expensive—it used porcelain (rather than platinum) to withstand the gases resulting from combustion—and was suitable for industrial purposes.
This example is of that type. The inscriptions on the main body read “L. GOLAZ CONSTR / 23 bis Av. du Pere de Monts... / Paris” and “Obus Calorimetrique / B.M. No. 521.” The inscription on the pressure gauge reads "ATMOSPHERES / L. GOLAZ PARIS." This example was made after 1891 (when Lucien Golaz took charge of the firm that his father had begun in 1830) and before the demise of the firm in 1919. The Baltimore Polytechnic Institute donated it to the Smithsonian in 1964.
Ref: M. P. E. Berthelot and P. Vielle, “Nouvelle method pour mesurer la chaleur de combustion du carbon et des composes organique,” Annales de chemie et de physique 6 (1885): 546-556.
M. P. E. Berthelot, Traité pratique de calorimetrie chimique (Paris, 1893), chapter 8.
Pierre Mahler, Contribution à l’Étude des Combustibles (Paris, 1892).
MM. A. Carnot and H. Le Chatelier, “Rapport... sur une Étude de Pouvoir Calorifiques de Combustibles Industriels , fait par M. Mahler,” Bulletin de la Société d’encouragement pour l’Industrie Nationale 7 (June, 1892): 317-319.
Currently not on view
Object Name
L. Golaz
place made
France: Île-de-France, Paris
overall; pressure gauge: 12 in x 11 in x 6 1/2 in; 30.48 cm x 27.94 cm x 16.51 cm
overall; bath: 23 1/8 in x 17 1/4 in x 13 1/4 in; 58.7375 cm x 43.815 cm x 33.655 cm
overall; cage: 12 1/2 in x 5 1/2 in x 3 in; 31.75 cm x 13.97 cm x 7.62 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Baltimore Polytechnic Institute
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Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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