A modified araeometer has been recently patented by Aug. Eichhorn, in Dresden, Germany (Deutsches Reichs-Patent, No. 49,683), which will prove a great boon to chemists, distillers, physicians, etc., as it affords an easy means of determining the specific gravity of liquids, especially such of which only small quantities can be conveniently obtained.

With the ordinary araeometers, as hitherto constructed, a considerable quantity of the test fluid is required, and an elaborate calculation necessary for each determination. In the new araeo-picnometer these drawbacks are ingeniously avoided, so that the specific gravity of any liquid can be quickly and easily obtained with astonishing accuracy.

The new and important feature of this instrument consists in a glass bulb, c - see accompanying sketch - which is filled with the liquid whose gravity is to be determined. Thus, instead of floating the entire apparatus in the test fluid, only a very small quantity of the latter is required, an advantage which can hardly be overestimated, considering how difficult it is in many instances to procure the necessary supply.

Device Illustration.

The glass bulb, c, when filled with the test fluid, is closed by means of an accurately fitting glass stopper, d, and the instrument is then placed in a glass cylinder filled with distilled water of 17.5 deg. temperature (Centigrade). The gravity is then at once shown on the divided scale in the tube, a. The lower bulb, f, contains some mercury; e is a small glass knob, which serves to maintain the balance, while b is an empty glass bulb (floater).

These instruments are admirably adapted for determining the gravity of alcohol, petroleum, benzine, and every kind of oil, also for testing beer, milk, vinegar, grape juice, lye, glycerine, urine, etc.

As the process is an exceedingly simple one and free from the drawbacks of the araeometer, we are justified in concluding that the araeo-picnometer will soon be in general use.


Petrographical Laboratory, School of Mines, Columbia College.