University of Vermont

Vermont Quarterly

Favorite Thing

Antique Spectrometer
Photograph by Sabin Gratz '98


Favorite Thing

As the steel framework of UVM STEM future rises next door, a window into UVM STEM past is found in the Physics Museum tucked away on the Cook Building’s fourth floor. Physics staff member Dave Hammond is longtime curator and champion of the eclectic assortment of scientific equipment. State-of-the-art not so long ago, many of the pieces now suggest a steam-punk aesthetic. While function has passed them by, there’s still beauty in the forms, all that business of brass tubing and gnurled knobs. 

Pictured: A spectrometer, ca. 1925, made by W. Wilson, London. The item (without prism and prism grating) sold for $275. “This instrument was designed to meet the demand for a high class spectrometer for use in university and technical laboratories,” the Central Scientific Co. catalog advised. 



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