Bottle containing mercury

Made:
1904
maker:
Pierre Eugène Marcellin Berthelot

Sealed, stoppered bottle containing mercury in the bottom and labelled C2 H2 5 avril 1904 belonging to Marcelin Berthelot

This stoppered glass bottle (with mercury in the bottom) may contain acetylene and is labelled with its chemical formula.

Marcelin Berthelot synthesized acetylene in 1860 and later in 1862 from its elements. At that time he stubbornly clung to the old value of 6 for the atomic weight of carbon, common in the early 19th century, thus he considered acetylene to have the formula C4H2. He adopted the modern value of 12 for the atomic weight in 1891, after which he would have used the correct formula of C2H2 for acetylene, as found on the label.

Details

Category:
Experimental Chemistry
Object Number:
1977-162
type:
bottle
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • container - receptacle
  • vessel
credit:
On loan from the Wellcome Institute

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