If you look around in any chemistry, physics or biology laboratory, you will come across an iconic piece of equipment. Undeniably, you will not be able to see any science laboratory without the glass tubes or the test tubes. This is an important piece of equipment that is both humble and extremely useful. For generations, the test tube has played a crucial and an integral role in experiments. This symbolic equipment is required to hold substances, transfer liquids and even mix lifesaving solutions. With this being said, let’s take few minutes to read more about the evolution of this equipment. The story behind this piece of lab equipment is rather interesting.
How did it begin?
Some say that the history of the test tube dates back to the period of alchemists. This would be the medieval period. During this time, the alchemists used a variety of glassware to carry and store their chemicals. Unfortunately, none of these glassware choices were safe or designed for the purpose. The chemicals used during experiments can be toxic, acidic and destructive. It is important to transport and store these chemicals intact. This is why special glassware is required.
The first test tube was designed to solve the problems faced by the alchemists. The test tube was founded during the early 1800s. The very first test tube had a cylindrical design. It had a rounded bottom and a lipped top. These are two characteristic features you will find in any test tube, even today! The design makes using the test tube for scientific purposes easy. Researchers find it easy to mix and transfer solutions.
How the life of the test tube changed?
Indeed, the life story of the test tube changed with time. In the 20th century, the test tube becomes a true and an important symbol in the science industry. Today, you will never find a scientist without this piece of equipment. For instance, the apparatus is used by millions of chemists for mixing and heat chemicals. Test tubes are designed with heat resistant materials. And, you have a range of heat resistant materials to choose from. The test tube plays an integral role in other scientific applications too. All disciplines of physics and biology have benefited from this apparatus.
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration if someone tells you that the test tube has helped in many scientific breakthroughs and priceless discoveries.
Adding more value to the test tube!
A strong idea associated with this piece of apparatus would be the “test tube babies”. Yes, you read it right. Women who are unable to bear a child can make use of test tube babies. The babies are conceived through special methods in Vitro Fertilization. In simpler terms, fertilization that happens in the glass. The world’s first test tube babe was “Louise Brown”. She was born in the year 1978. Since this year, so many babies have been born through IVF treatments.
After all, Dolly, the world’s first cloned sheep was born in a test tube.