23 Feb 2019: No pockets to carry your pH meter? No worries.
29 Dec 2018: Invader Zim(m) viscometer.
23 Sep 2018: In 1967, Beckman’s Feedback profiled engineer Otto Haunold, whose dramatic escape from Hungary with his fiancée, Maria, was the subject of an earlier post.
1 Sep 2018: A 1962 issue of Beckman’s in-house publication, Feedback, touted the role of the Model G pH meter and DU spectrophotometer in Coca-Cola’s quality control process.
23 Aug 2018: In 1962, Chemical & Engineering News ran a photo of a “paper doll”: a woman modeling clothing made of chemically treated paper.
9 Aug 2018: If you peruse the Beckman Historical Collection, you will occasionally find items stamped as belonging to the company’s research library.
3 Aug 2018: Our digital repository includes only one creepy clown image from the Beckman Historical Collection.
18 Jul 2018: “Instrumental in your future.”
2 Jul 2018: The angry bird is back.
25 Jun 2018: “Nailed it.”
21 Jun 2018: I love these in-house publications produced by Beckman Instruments.
12 Jun 2018: A colleague shared some Google Analytics tidbits and, being very interested in the Digital Collections in general and the Beckman Historical Collection in specific, I spent some time perusing the pages that proved popular.
30 Apr 2018: The decades referenced in this manuscript by Noel B. Brayman (we think? But who am I to criticize? The handwriting’s better than mine) refer to changes in hydrogen ion concentration.
11 Apr 2018: The woman in this photograph is wearing clip on earrings.
5 Apr 2018: The gas chromatograph is supposed to be the focus of this photograph, but I can’t stop looking at the shag carpeting.
31 Mar 2018: Oklahoma: “it may not be so bad, once I become acquainted.”
21 Mar 2018: At first glance, this appears to be a Cold War goodwill gesture and photo opportunity.
19 Mar 2018: On Tuesday, March 20th, we’ll be screening The Instrumental Chemist: The Incredible Curiosity of Arnold O. Beckman.
15 Mar 2018: The guy in the sweater vest is very at ease with himself.
3 Mar 2018: In the pages of Chemical & Engineering News, the Ladies’ Entertainment Committee offered a “warm welcome to the feminine contingent” at the American Chemical Society’s 1962 meeting.
2 Mar 2018: All true Scotsmen use Helipot potentiometers.
28 Feb 2018: In the late 1950s, Beckman Instruments began expanding outside of the United States.
20 Feb 2018: This mid-century aerial photograph shows the Munich home of Beckman Instruments GmbH, the first overseas subsidiary of Beckman Instruments.
15 Feb 2018: This certificate congratulating customers upon the purchase of a Beckman pH meter also attempted to make future sales by touting the high quality of Beckman electrodes.
9 Feb 2018: Dear Reader, if you (like myself) are of A Certain Age, the purple text of this pH meter operating manual may fill you with fond memories of your school days and stacks of ditto worksheets.
6 Feb 2018: This 1981 advertisement shows off one of the features of our digital repository’s image viewer: rotation.
2 Feb 2018: This 1609 engraving shows off one of the features of our digital repository’s image viewer: zoom.
31 Jan 2018: This picture in our soon-to-be-unveiled digital repository is titled “Unidentified man operating a Rinse Tank Control System.”
29 Jan 2018: We hope that researchers will find our digital repository useful.
24 Jan 2018: So, what is a Cutoosy Pres. Pot?
10 Jan 2018: Dear Reader, I have a delightful story to share!
27 Dec 2017: One fun aspect of project work is becoming deeply familiar with a particular collection.
21 Nov 2017: The Beckman Historical Collection, predominately business archives, provide a taste of the behind-the-scenes work of R&D.
27 Oct 2017: This U.S. Army distillation unit was used to sterilize water in the field for use in intravenous injections.
19 Oct 2017: I love this circuit diagram for a laboratory model pH meter.
9 Oct 2017: Look at the cool…science…thingy.
25 Sep 2017: I love this picture because I’m pretty sure this woman is a killer android.
16 Sep 2017: It’s Collect Rocks Day, so let’s celebrate the collection of rocks in space!
27 Jun 2017: One of the most enjoyable parts of digitizing archival material is knowing that quirky little pieces of the past will be easily accessible to a wide audience.
25 Jun 2017: The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs trying to turn itself over.
16 Jun 2017: Let me present my nominee for Most 1950s Letter Ever, in which (Miss) G. F. Hulek explains that her boss is out of the office because he’s attending an atomic bomb test.
27 Apr 2017: Is your workplace filled with curious children on this Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day (April 27th)?
22 Mar 2017: I am a big fan of this 1976 ad.
15 Mar 2017: It’s Women’s History Month, but let’s also remember the gentlemen!
10 Mar 2017: It’s International Bagpipe Day (March 10th)!
7 Mar 2017: Why did the chicken cross the road?
16 Feb 2017: “Enter the ageless age”…which is best represented by sausages and a bikini-clad woman at the beach.
8 Feb 2017: The Boy Scouts of America was founded on this date (February 8) in 1910.
26 Jan 2017: If praising the “medium cost” of the Series 4200 seemed understated, in this 1966 ad Beckman touts the CG-5 as the “second-best gas chromatograph in the world.”
20 Jan 2017: Sometimes an intellectually interesting object is visually uninteresting—perhaps by design.
3 Jan 2017: I can only conclude that the people who designed and approved this Chemical & Engineering News ad have never read The Iliad.
24 Dec 2016: Ladies, do you want to choose the most suitable Christmas presents for the special people in your lives?
22 Dec 2016: Are you doing some last minute Christmas shopping for the kids?
20 Dec 2016: Happy birthday to philanthropist and homemaker extraordinaire, Mabel Beckman, born on this day (December 20th) in 1900.
15 Dec 2016: Merry Christmas from the employees of National Technical Laboratories!
12 Dec 2016: You can see the purchasing manager’s house from here!
10 Dec 2016: Years before the Bonsai Kitten website, the Argus Chemical Corporation made it clear as PVC that their target customer was a dog person.
24 Nov 2016: Shortly after graduating from high school in 1918, Arnold Beckman joined the Marines.
17 Nov 2016: “High performance at medium cost.”
9 Nov 2016: Nothing against Dr. Sperber, as I’m sure he’s a perfectly nice guy…but Dr. Witt has fantastic facial hair.
1 Nov 2016: Here’s a very belated entry in the Othmer Library’s Word Challenge: My word is “flesh.”
25 Oct 2016: Paging Dr. Banner.
19 Oct 2016: Let’s talk about corporate art!
9 Oct 2016: It’s Fire Prevention Week (October 9–15) and I hope everyone is careful and vigilant.
3 Oct 2016: From the Department of Meaningless Milestones, my counter rolled over.
22 Sep 2016: Hey, look! Is that the same woman from the Glucose Analyzer ad?
27 Aug 2016: There are a lot of product photos in the Beckman Historical Collection, depicting instruments in studio and laboratory settings.
24 Aug 2016: An editorial in Chemical & Engineering News sparked a series of exchanges about the status of women in the field, the publisher’s political stance and responsibility to readers and potential advertisers, and the use of bikini-clad models.
22 Aug 2016: Happy National Tooth Fairy Day (August 22nd)!
20 Aug 2016: In this Chemical & Engineering News ad, Sinclair Petrochemicals updates Cleopatra’s barge with all sorts of consumer goods: a television, umbrella, guitar, and toys.
14 Aug 2016: I imagine the genesis of this ad from Chemical & Engineering News going something like this…
11 Aug 2016: Hey, look, another ad drawing on the history of science!
7 Aug 2016: So…yeah. That happened.
4 Aug 2016: Whoops! The Journal of Applied Spectroscopy did not do a good job of cropping this Beckman ad.
1 Aug 2016: It’s International Clown Week (August 1-7)!
24 Jul 2016: Happy birthday to Britton Chance, born on this day (July 24) in 1913, who lived a very full 97 years.
16 Jul 2016: A sighting of Beckman products in the wild: a Spinco peptide synthesizer was written up in Chemical & Engineering News in 1971.
7 Jul 2016: Chŏc lā tŏľ ōgy: these folks know how to get my attention—especially on National Chocolate Day.
28 Jun 2016: Part of the Beckman Legacy Project involves digitizing archival material for inclusion in a digital repository (coming to the general public in…2017? But trust me, it’ll be worth the wait.)
17 Jun 2016: It’s Eat Your Vegetables Day, and the good people of the Corn Products Company would like to remind you that corn is in everything.
15 Jun 2016: From the pages of Food Technology, I present C-list superhero VITAMIN A MAN!
9 Jun 2016: The periodic table of elements is an excellent example of the way in which scientific knowledge is contested.
7 Jun 2016: This is delightful enough to warrant a reblog.
28 May 2016: An undated pamphlet includes a map to the Cedar Grove Operations of Beckman Instruments, Inc. as well as a list of personnel.
20 May 2016: The internet informs me that the first individual cited for speeding in the United States was a New York City cab driver, detained after doing 12 in an 8 mph zone on May 20, 1899.
9 May 2016: What’s in a name?
1 May 2016: On May 1, 1840, the “Penny Black” stamp went on sale.
25 Apr 2016: Happy Belated Submarine Day (April 11th)!
9 Apr 2016: This pair of artifacts lets us talk about the archival process—specifically access/outreach and preservation.
31 Mar 2016: This 8-point list, handwritten in 1980, provides a retrospective on the development of Linus Pauling’s oxygen meter, a World War II military project with later civilian applications.
19 Mar 2016: This is not a woman who particularly wants to test glucose levels.
3 Mar 2016: Hey, look, a cat!
25 Feb 2016: Nothing says “TOUGH” like a font with rivets.
16 Feb 2016: Linus Pauling is “not at liberty at present to release any information” about his oxygen meter.
23 Feb 2019: No pockets to carry your pH meter? No worries.