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 glass flask, known as a Florentine 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-bottomed, dark green flask has a very long neck of uneven diameter.

One of Black's major contribution to science was the development of the theories of latent and specific heat and this flask would have been used in an experiment to determine the latent heat needed to melt ice into water.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-190-001-237-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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