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Specific gravity beads

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probably made in Greenock

Specific gravity beads
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Specific gravity beads are used to measure the density of a liquid at a given temperature and thus its alcohol content. These beads were made around 1820, probably by Greenock glass-blower, Joseph Manticha, who emigrated to Scotland from Italy.

The glass beads are contained in a wooden box. The box holds 11 of a set of 12 beads ('29' is missing). A printed label inside the lid has the maker's name and directions to prove spirits with beads '22' to '32' and '34'.

From the late 18th century, immigrant Italians arrived in Britain in some numbers. The particular trades they brought with them were glass-blowing and carving and gilding, which extended naturally into looking-glass and barometer manufacture.

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