Contact UsDr. Jim Osborne
Location: Building 535
Email: jim_osborne[at symbol]kgi.edu
Instruments on Display (1930—1970)
1935: Acidimeter - Arnold Beckman's Acidimeter, later named pH Meter, measured the acidity and alkalinity of lemon juice. The pH Meter represented the first direct application of electronics to chemical measurement and sparked a chemical revolution.
Today, the Beckman pH Meter is used in monitoring water quality, soil, sewer and waste disposal, food and beverage processing and blood analysis.
1937: pH Meters - Beckman introduced the Model G and Model M pH Meters, which produced faster, more accurate readings and were less costly to maintain and easier to carry.
1941: DU Spectrophotometer - Beckman produced the first affordable commercial spectrophotometer that revolutionized laboratory testing. Biological assays to determine the chemical makeup of solutions or substances that previously had taken weeks became available in minutes, thanks to this technology.
Spectrophotometry has a wide range of uses in research and industrial labs from understanding the photochemical properties of chromophores to measuring the vitamin content, color and nutrients in foods.
1943: Oxygen Analyzer - Beckman and Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling were working independently on prototypes of an analyzer to measure the oxygen content of air in submarines. They wound up collaborating, and the first model bearing both their names was shipped in 1943. Their individual prototypes are also on display.
The first commercial oxygen analyzer was used to help hospital staff accurately monitor oxygen levels in incubators to reduce the risk of blindness among premature infants.
1960: First Automated Blood Cell Counter - Wallace Coulter invented a way to count and size particles using impedence measurements while working with the U.S. Navy to improve paint adherence to battleship hulls. The first automated blood cell counter based on the Coulter Principal was introduced in 1949. It could count and size blood cells at the rate of thousands per second providing greater speed, convenience and accuracy over the prevailing manual method using a microscope and hand counter.
1961: Model DB-GT Spectrophotometer - Solid state electronics ensured stable operation of this spectrophotometer. All components, including a lamp power supply, were housed in a single compact instrument case. The DB-GT could be easily converted to a recording spectrophotometer by connecting it to a Beckman 10-inch laboratory recorder.
Mid-1960s: Beckman Model LS 100C Liquid Scintillation Counter - This instrument detects the frequency and intensity of light flashes caused by radioactive decay. It is used to measure radioactivity in drinking water, gases and other substances.
1968: DSA-560 Discrete Sample Analyzer - This instrument was Beckman's entry into clinical chemistry analyzers. It processed more than 100 samples per hour for 25 chemistries.
1969: Glucose Analyzer - Prior to having this instrument, clinicians had to perform time-consuming tests on a patient's blood sample. Using a novel enzyme rate-sensing system, this analyzer could measure blood-sugar levels in extremely small samples in one minute. It was a life saver because it quickly determined the treatment needed for patients in diabetic or insulin shock.