Please help me identify some ancient lab equipment from these photos.
February 9, 2009 11:02 AM   Subscribe

Can somebody help me identify this ancient lab equipment? I'm doing some research and have posted two photos to my flickr account, here and here. (PS, I know what the typewriter is!) Thanks!
posted by soulbarn to Science & Nature (13 answers total)
Front middle of the first picture, just to the left of the typewriter, looks like a dessicator. Here is a link I found on a Google Image Search to a picture of the kind we have in our lab.
(Sorry if you already knew what this was -- there are several things in your pictures and I'm not sure which ones you want identified.)
posted by rio at 11:21 AM on February 9, 2009

Looks like I spelled that wrong...should be desiccator. Also, here's the wikipedia link for a description of how it is used.
posted by rio at 11:27 AM on February 9, 2009

I'll second the desiccator, looks like a giant version of the 1 cuft one I have.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 11:32 AM on February 9, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks - the only thing I recognize is the typewriter!

I'm not sure why some people are getting private and some not. Ever since Yahoo took over Flickr....

I'm glad they don't own MeFi.
posted by soulbarn at 11:46 AM on February 9, 2009

A couple more things: In the first picture, in the back, the two metal sticks with metal pieces attached to the tops look like extra tall ring stands with clamps.

In the second picture, on the right wall in the back corner, might be a board for drying glassware (drying rack).

Other than that, I'd need to see a closer, better picture of the more major pieces. Individual pictures of each item you can't I.D. would really help, with details like brand name, any numbers/attached measuring devices, etc.
posted by rio at 11:57 AM on February 9, 2009

N'thing the desiccator. The other stuff is too hard to see - blurred out by something in the foreground, or too far away to make out details. Any chance of taking a few closeups and posting them?

I'll take a stab at the wooden cabinet with glass walls, though - it might once have held a balance. To measure weights accurately you need to protect the balance from drafts (and vibration, although these cabinets wouldn't help with that). Some beautiful old double-pan balances from the early 20th Century came in equally beautiful wooden cabinets like this.
posted by Quietgal at 11:59 AM on February 9, 2009

I have no idea what the equipment is, but it looks like your original Flickr links are being reported as private because you linked to the large size image, but you don't allow non-contacts/friends/family from downloading your pictures. See Flickr download prefs, if you're logged in to Flickr. The later links that worked didn't specify the "sizes/l" part of the URL, so it went to the default size which is always available.
posted by skynxnex at 12:25 PM on February 9, 2009

Mod note: Updated the links to omit the size specification, per skynxnex's comment above.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:29 PM on February 9, 2009

I agree with Quietgal that the glass case may have held a balance.
posted by sero_venientibus_ossa at 1:02 PM on February 9, 2009

Is there any way to get a closer view or to blow the pictures up? The first one is really too small to get a good look at the equipment.
posted by bonehead at 2:02 PM on February 9, 2009

The desiccator could also be a vacuum chamber used to pull embedded air out of a compound. They do have a name that I have forgotten.
posted by Raybun at 2:19 PM on February 9, 2009

(That's a degasser, raybun, or possibly a vacuum dessicator)
posted by bonehead at 2:43 PM on February 9, 2009

On the file cabinet in the second picture, I think is a water bath of some sort. In the first picture on the left, I think it is a rather fancy balance. The first picture, the strange looking item might, just might, be a mixer of some sort. But I'm not going to bet anything larger than a quarter on that.

Nthing the desiccator. We have a bunch of those in my lab.
posted by sciencegeek at 5:22 PM on February 9, 2009

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