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Arnold O. Beckman, a professor of chemistry at the California Institute of Technology, established National Technical Laboratories in Pasadena, Ca., in 1935. That firm introduced the DU spectrophotometer in 1941. Using quartz rather than ordinary glass, this instrument extended observations into the near ultra-violet. The form remained on the market until 1976, with thousands of examples sold.
This early example came from Beckman Instruments. The inscription on an oval tag reads “BECKMAN / MODEL DU SERIAL 2960 QUARTZ SPECTROPHOTOMETER / NATIONAL TECHNICAL LABORATORIES SOUTH PASADENA, CALIFORNIA, U.S.A.”
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
National Technical Laboratories
place made
United States: California, Pasadena
overall: 22 cm x 81 cm x 28 cm; 8 11/16 in x 31 7/8 in x 11 in
overall: 8 13/16 in x 31 15/16 in x 10 1/4 in; 22.38375 cm x 81.12125 cm x 26.035 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Beckman Instruments
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Chemistry
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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