Volumetric flask

Volumetric flask

<< >>
Usage conditions apply
Description (Brief)
This object is a 50 mL volumetric flask made from Pyrex glass. Volumetric flasks are calibrated with great accuracy, for the purpose of preparing dilutions and solutions of a precise volume.
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.
This object is part of a collection donated by Barbara Keppel, wife of C. Robert Keppel. Robert Keppel taught at the University of Nebraska-Omaha after receiving his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, and his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from M.I.T. The glassware in the Keppel collection covers the 19th and early 20th centuries.
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.
Markel, Howard. “Science Diction: The Origin Of The Petri Dish.” ScienceFriday.com. December 16, 2011. http://www.sciencefriday.com/segment/12/16/2011/science-diction-the-origin-of-the-petri-dish.html.
National Museum of American History Accession File #1985.0311
Petri, R.J. “Eine Kleine Modification Des Koch’schen Plattenverfahrens.” Centralblatt Fur Bacteriologie Und Parasitenkunde 1 (1887): 279–80.
“University of Nebraska Omaha.” 2015. Accessed May 4. http://www.unomaha.edu/college-of-arts-and-sciences/chemistry/student-opportunities/scholarships.php.
Currently not on view
Object Name
flask, volumetric
date made
after 1916
Corning Incorporated
Physical Description
pyrex (overall material)
overall: 5 1/2 in x 2 in; 13.97 cm x 5.08 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Barbara A. Keppel
Science & Scientific Instruments
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Chemistry
Science Under Glass
Science & Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

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.


Add a comment about this object