- Description (Brief)
- This object is a centrifuge tube made of Pyrex glass. A centrifuge tube is a specialized test tube designed to hold samples in a centrifuge. Centrifuges spin samples at great speeds in order to separate the constituents of the sample by density.
- 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.
- National Museum of American History Accession File #1985.0311
- “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
- centrifuge tube
- date made
- Corning Incorporated
- overall: 4 3/4 in x 15/16 in; 12.065 cm x 2.38125 cm
- overall: 4 3/4 in x 1 in; 12.065 cm x 2.54 cm
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- Credit Line
- Gift of Barbara A. Keppel
- Science & Scientific Instruments
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History
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