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 cells using impedance measurements in 1948. The first automated blood cell counter based on the Coulter Principal was introduced in 1956, and majority of cell counters used today are still based on this technology . These devices count and size blood cells at the rate of thousands per second providing greater speed, convenience and accuracy over the classic 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.
1971: BUN Analyzer
The Beckman BUN analyzer provided rapid, convenient and accurate measures of urea nitrogen in blood, where abnormal levels indicated kidney malfunction.
1971: Beckman KliNa Flame Photometer
This instrument provided automated sampling, dilution and analysis of sodium and potassium or sodium and lithium with answers digitally displayed and printed.
1973: Century SS-1 pH Meter
A high-impedance millivoltmeter that displays the values on a front panel.
1973: Model 4500 Digital pH Meter
This digital version of the Beckman pH Meter is used for in-vitro diagnostic pH testing and other types of potentiometric measurements.
1975: Beckman Airfuge Ultracentrifuge
This compact, tabletop ultracentrifuge reaches speeds of up to 110,000 rpm providing enhanced accuracy of patients test results.
1986: Pocket pH Meter
The pocket-sized pH Meter was made possible by replacing the vacuum tubes and large batteries of previous pH Meters with automatic circuitry. The pocket pH Meter was used to check the pH levels swimming pools.
1993: P/ACE 5510 Capillary Electrophoresis system
Preceded by the 2000 and 5000 models, this model employed a powerful separation technique resulting in quicker analysis times.
1995: Oligo1000M DNA Synthesizer
This instrument synthesized as many as eight DNA molecules at the same time. It provided more options and flexibility than the original 1000 model released three years earlier.
1996: Avanti J-30I Centrifuge
The display model has a V-shaped cutaway that allows viewers to see the interior mechanics of the instrument that isolates and separates solid particles from fluids. The centrifuge was primarily used by hospital labs and blood banks to prepare blood samples for testing and by research labs to purify cells, proteins and nucleic acids.
1999: COULTER® AcT Diff 2 Hematology Analyzer
This affordable, easy-to-use system offered a small sample volume in both open and closed analysis modes, a wide operating range and multiple output formats.