Test Tube

Test Tube

<< >>
Usage conditions apply
Downloads
Description
The test tube is one of the most commonly used pieces of laboratory ware, available in many sizes ranging from less than 1 inch to 6 inches in length. Test tubes are the perfect shape and size to hold small amounts of substances, usually liquid, which are then manipulated in some way, such as being placed over the flame of a Bunsen burner.
The earliest English account of test tubes, and wooden test racks that hold tubes upright so their contents would not spill, appears in A System of Theoretical and Practical Chemistry (London, 1803) written by Frederick Accum, a German “operative chemist” who offered chemicals, books, lessons, and apparatus from his shop in Compton Street, Soho. Since Accum never claimed to have invented either form, we might assume that both were known to practical chemists and others who seldom discussed their work in print. Indeed, Accum may have learned about test tubes during his apprenticeship in a pharmacy in Hanover.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
test tube
Associated Place
United States: New Jersey
Physical Description
glass (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 2 1/2 in x 5/16 in; 6.35 cm x.79375 cm
ID Number
CH.315121.061
catalog number
315121.061
accession number
215563
Credit Line
Gift of University of South Carolina
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Chemistry
Science & Mathematics
Artifact Walls exhibit
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.

Comments

Add a comment about this object