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This online exhibit features antique scientific instruments that were made in 19th and early 20th century Europe and America. These instruments were used in the science labs at Washington and Lee University (W&L) in Lexington, Virginia, until they were replaced by more advanced technology.

This site was created by Yolanda Merrill, humanities librarian, with extensive help from Thomas Williams, professor emeritus of physics, and from Thomas Greenslade, professor emeritus of physics at Kenyon College. Technical help was provided by Brandon Bucy, senior academic technologist. For questions or comments, contact Yolanda Merrill.


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Lightbulbs in Stand

Lightbulbs in Stand.JPG

These light bulbs were manufactured around 1905. They can be dated by the construction of the filament.  To learn more about antique light bulbs,…

Balance with Weights

Balance with Weights.JPG

The simplest type of balance, the equal-arm, or beam, balance, is an application of a lever. A uniform bar, the beam, is suspended at its exact center…

Edison Projecting Kinetoscope

Film Projector.JPG

This picture should be rotated 90 degrees clockwise to show how the instrument was actually used. This kinetoscope was manufactured by Edison Mfg, Co,…