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This is a Littrow-type spectrograph with a quartz lens, a quartz prism, a photographic plate, and an inscription reading “Adam Hilger LTD. London.” Hilger introduced the form in 1908, and was soon selling examples to academic and industrial laboratories around the world. The American Brass Company, then the largest brass manufacturer in the United States, bought this example in 1913, and used it “to check the purity of the copper and zinc that went into their products, and to search out the reasons for variations in their properties that could not be accounted for by ordinary chemical analysis.”
Ref. Adam Hilger Ltd., Spectrographs (London, 1912), p. E2.
Charles C. Nitchie, “The Earliest Industrial Spectrographic Installation in the United States,” Applied Spectroscopy 5 (1951): 3-4.
W. H. Bassett and C. H. Davis, “Spectrum Analysis in an Industrial Laboratory,” Transactions of the Institution of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers 68 (1923): 662-669.
Object Name
date made
Adam Hilger, Ltd.
place made
United Kingdom: England, London
overall: 7 in x 7 1/2 in x 79 in; 17.78 cm x 19.05 cm x 200.66 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Anaconda American Brass Company
Science & Scientific Instruments
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Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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