The title says it all. We could conceive a good number of other possibilities. Why did Erlenmeyer arrive at this design?
Imagine a time when magnetic stirrers were unknown. You, or your lab assistant, would mix solutions in suitable glassware, shake manually, put it aside and then observe a change.
An Erlenmeyer flask is much more suitable than a simple beaker
- the flat bottom gives it a stable stand on the bench
- the narrrow neck allows to hold and shake a large flask with one hand
- the conical shape prevents spills when the flask is shaken circularly