Water testing kit, England, 1920-1940
The kit contains equipment needed to examine water supplies at their source. It includes a spirit lamp, measuring cylinders, a tripod, ceramic dish, filter paper, a range of chemicals and printed sheets to record results. This kit was sold under the brand name ‘Soloid’ for £105 pounds, a considerable amount of money at the time. The kit was probably produced for use by the water companies that supplied people’s homes. Such water testing shows a marked change from the situation a century earlier, when the quality of the water being drunk was of little concern to the companies selling it. Unfortunately, a number of diseases are transmitted through water including cholera and dysentery. In Britain a series of cholera outbreaks throughout the 1800s eventually led to major improvements in the quality of water supplied.
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piece of laboratory glassware used to accurately measure out volumes of chemicals for use in reactions. They are generally more accurate and precise for this purpose than flasks.
Glossary: water testing kit
Glossary: filter paper
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Infectious disease with symptoms including diarrhoea, bleeding, and abdominal cramps. It spreads in contaminated food and water, especially in the tropics.
Glossary: spirit lamp
A lamp, used in laboratory work, which burns alcohol as fuel.