Lab Glassware

Derek Lowe at In the Pipeline has a wonderful essay on lab glassware. bq. Glassware Geek Next year will mark the 25th anniversary of the first chemical reaction I ever did in a research lab. So I've been around, but I'm not old enough to remember the days before standard glass fittings. I think you have to go back to the 1950s for that, back to the days of rubber stoppers and hand-bent glass tubing. bq. Nope, for my entire lab lifetime it's been standardized glass joints. Those of you in the labs will have hardly given a thought to these, since they're part of your everyday experience, but I find that nonscientists are often quite taken by these. The joints are just ground glass (the "frosted" look as you'd see in a decorative mug), made to a standard diameter, angle, and length. (Here are some shots of equipment with them.) They make all flasks, adapters, columns, condensers and what-have-you interchangable, no matter where you bought it. You can assemble anything you feel like assembling, as long as you have the pieces and the patience. It's like glassware Lego. Wonderful stuff. I used these fittings too when I was studying Biology although we were still required to do a bit of glassblowing and that art has some amazing practitioners -- even today.

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on January 27, 2005 10:49 PM.

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