Flask, used by Joseph Black

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possibly made at Leith

Postcard of Flask, used by Joseph Black.
© National Museums Scotland

Flask, used by Joseph Black

This flask was used in classroom demonstrations or experiments by Professor Joseph Black (1728-99) at Edinburgh University. It was made in the late 18th century, possibly at Leith.

The round flask is of thick dark-green glass. The neck is broken close to the body.

With his separation and identification of the first gas distinct from air (carbon dioxide), Black may be considered the father of pneumatic chemistry. Other gases, notably oxygen and nitrogen, were discovered in quick succession by other scientists.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-190-000-927-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1858.275.39
Date: 1766 - 1799
Late 18th century
Material: Glass
What: Flask / receiver
Subject: 4. CHEMISTRY, Apparatus and instruments, general (Departmental Classification)
Who: Edinburgh University (Owner)
Joseph Black (Owner)
Where: Scotland, Midlothian, Edinburgh, Leith
Description: One of a collection of apparatus and instruments from Edinburgh University used by Professors Black, Hope and Gregory - 10 flasks or receivers used by Dr Joseph Black, 1766 - 1799, probably Leith made
  • Anderson, R. G. W. 'A Source for 18th century Chemical Glass' in Dragoni, G., McConnell, A. & Turner, G. L'E. (eds.), Proceedings of the Eleventh International Scientific Instrument Symposium, Bologna, 1991. Bologna: 1994, pp 47-52 
  • Anderson, R. G. W., The Playfair Collection. Edinburgh: 1978, pp 136-7 & 142-7 
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