Tantalus Cup

Tantalus Cup

Usage conditions apply
This glass instrument—which was known as a tantalus cup or phythagorean cup, and which was used for parlor tricks and physics demonstrations—empties itself when the liquid reaches the height of the bend in the siphon. This example was used at Gettysburg College.
Ref: Benjamin Pike, Jr., Pike’s Illustrated Descriptive Catalogue of Optical, Mathematical, and Philosophical Instruments (New York, 1848), vol. 1, p.
Currently not on view
Object Name
tantalus cup
overall: 10 1/4 in; 26.035 cm
overall: 10 1/4 in x 5 1/2 in; 26.035 cm x 13.97 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
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Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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