Found in the lab, it looks like a round bottom flask with an extremely thin neck. Effectively a glass sphere about 60 mm in diameter with what looks like a capillary tube as the neck. Not sure whether it is a standard COTS item or custom glass. enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Might be a pyknometer -quite a bit bigger than what I've used before, though $\endgroup$ – Gerhard Oct 14 '15 at 18:11
  • $\begingroup$ Or possibly a hydrometer, if one believes the wiki page en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relative_density $\endgroup$ – Gerhard Oct 14 '15 at 18:17

We used to have glassware like that in our lab. It is basically an "unfinished" piece of glassware. In a nutshell, it was used to handle (collect, transport) gases.

It was easy and inexpensive for the glassblower to make several of those bulbs at a time; he'd make a variety of sizes. We'd keep them in a drawer and then before we used them we'd do some glassblowing ourselves and add the expensive part - a stopcock with a ground glass joint. Then, having already measured the volume, we could attach one to a vacuum line (no vacuum) with the stopcock open and feed a gas into the vacuum line, close the stopcock and remove the bulb. Knowing the pressure, temperature and volume, we knew how many moles of gas were in the bulb. We could then attach the bulb to a reaction flask and open the stopcock, so that a known amount of gas was used in a reaction.

Here is a simple picture, imagine the tube on the bottom is the vac line.

enter image description here

These bulbs were also used to trap gaseous reaction products by attaching the bulb with its stopcock and joint to a vac line along with a reaction flask. The bulb was cooled to the desired temperature and when the reaction produced gases, they could be collected in the cooled bulb.

  • $\begingroup$ Given the stuff we do in the lab, that sounds correct $\endgroup$ – Dirk Bruere Oct 14 '15 at 20:48

That piece of glassware is quite possibly a Florence flask. It has a round bottom and long neck, and is used to boil liquids.

To be fair, I have not seen a Florence flask with such a narrow and long neck, so there was probably a very specific need in the design of the glassware.

  • $\begingroup$ I never knew that was the name for such a flask! $\endgroup$ – Dirk Bruere Oct 14 '15 at 20:47

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