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Usage conditions apply
Joseph W. Lovibond was a brewer in Salisbury, England, who sought a way to control beer quality by matching each batch to a color standard. In 1886, after some 20 years of experimentation, he obtained a British patent on a device that compared the color of a beer sample with the color made by a combination of two or three glass filters of various intensities of magenta, yellow, or cyan.
Lovibond introduced his Tintometer to the market in 1887, describing it as a “new instrument for the analysis, synthesis, matching, and measurement of colour.” It soon found uses in numerous industries. Eimer & Amend in New York claimed in 1895 that it was “Invaluable to Chemists, Dyers, Brewers, Sugar Refineries and Flouring Mills.” Moreover, its “method of expressing the composition of any given color with mathematical precision” gave a “new power” to colorimetric investigation. Tintometer, Ltd., was established by Lovibond in 1896 and is still in business today.
This example was used at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The inscription on the base reads “THE TINTOMETER LTD. SALISBURY ENG. RD. NO. 710856.” That on the view reads “THE TINTOMETER LTD, SALISBURY, ENG. B. 1587.”
Currently not on view
Object Name
Tintometer, Ltd.
place made
United Kingdom: England, New Sarum
Associated Place
United States: New Jersey
slide holder: 3.5 cm x 2.5 cm x 3.2 cm; 1 3/8 in x in x 1 1/4 in
each dish: 8 mm x 28 mm x 57 mm; 5/16 in x 1 1/8 in x 2 1/4 in
overall closed: 7.7 cm x 8.3 cm x 47 cm; 3 1/16 in x 3 1/4 in x 18 1/2 in
overall; tintometer: 3 in x 3 3/8 in x 18 1/8 in; 7.62 cm x 8.5725 cm x 46.0375 cm
overall; box of parts: 2 in x 3 7/8 in x 2 7/8 in; 5.08 cm x 9.8425 cm x 7.3025 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Transfer from U.S. Food and Drug Administration
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Chemistry
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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