I recently found a piece of older glassware in our lab and nobody seems to know what it is. It appears to be some sort of condenser; however, it does not have both the in and out little notches on it.

It is open on both ends and has one smaller opening coming off the side toward the top. The inside of the tube is similar to the look of a condenser, but not exactly.

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1 Answer 1


Oh, beautiful to be young :) This is a vacuum pump. You plug the top part into a water tap. There's a slit in the middle of the inner tube of this "condenser", it creates suction = vacuum when you pump water through it. The side arm is for the receiver of said vacuum. What a lovely relic!

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ These things still exist, though they are not commonly made of glass. Metal and plastic are more common. They are also called water aspirators. $\endgroup$
    – Ben Norris
    Jul 1, 2016 at 22:36

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