Stuff found in the workshop – ureometer and nebulizer

In a box of old glassware I have. Yes, I’m sitting on a king’s ransom of miscellany 🙂

Ureometer ( Info on this old medical device here)

I really don’t know what this “nebulizer” was used for. Anders Brand, Vancouver!

Update: more pics of the nebulizer. You can see the fine orifices on the end of the tubes inside. One tube is open at the bottom, the other tube is connected to the inlet. More label pics too.

  1. #1 by Cristian Torlasco on February 8, 2020 - 1:20 pm

    Hey, I’ve used a “nebulizer” to clear mucose from my kids’ lungs in the past. It is a more modern device, obviously, but the name is the same and thus it might be for similar purposes. The principle is to breathe vapor (with or without medicine), which is supposed to soften the mucose and help the kid spit it. Just an idea! 🙂



  2. #2 by oldfussbudget on February 9, 2020 - 1:19 pm

    For colloidal what? A nebulizer in general produces a fine mist (to be inhaled) using air pressure.

    The ureometer is for some form of an assay for urea/nitrogen content of urine, based on a 24-hour urine collection. An analogous blood test called BUN is common, but I think the urine urea test is now rare — I never did one as a tech.

    • #3 by albell on February 9, 2020 - 2:05 pm

      Yeah Dave, the ureometer measures gas evolved and trapped in the upright , after some time with the sample incubating 🙂

      The nebulizer still has me stumped. I’ve tried liquid in it and applied some air… no clouds coming out 🙂



      • #4 by oldfussbudget on February 9, 2020 - 6:59 pm

        The ureometer would have been used in an assay procedure that evolved gas in proportion to the amount of urea.

        What does it say after colloidal on that nebulizer label?

      • #5 by albell on February 9, 2020 - 9:20 pm

        That’s right about the piss meter.

        I’ll get a better pic of the label. But I don’t think it will help, but interesting that it comes from anders laboratories Vancouver



      • #6 by oldfussbudget on February 9, 2020 - 10:14 pm

        I used to use a much more elaborate device called a van Slyke apparatus (see fig 1 below) to determine plasma CO2 (liberated by adding lactic acid). The bulb contained maybe a couple pounds of mercury and was raised and lowered by hand while manipulating the stopcocks. The Navy had officially stopped using this method but the lab I trained in still used it. Took me a lot of practice to get reproducible results.

      • #7 by albell on February 10, 2020 - 9:43 am

        David, added more pics.



      • #8 by oldfussbudget on February 10, 2020 - 11:16 am

        Ah, excellent. The open tube is a pickup tube, and the other one blows air across it. Would have been operated by a rubber bulb. Seems to have been a fairly common design — Parke Davis and Glaseptic both had similar ones. Oops — Glaseptic *was* Parke-Davis brand.

      • #9 by albell on February 10, 2020 - 6:51 pm

        Yeas david, it’s just like an old fashioned perfume atomizer. But…

        I’m skeptical of the rubber bulb to drive the air. But then again I could be convinced otherwise. But then again I have put liquid in the thing and supplied air to the inlet. Didn’t get any obvious gee whizz moment.

        And then again, you have to “charge” the unit with liquid, thru the top exit tube. It all seems so awkward. What the feck was this thing supposed to nebulize and how much cloud formation was expected?

        Wish you were next door and you could come over and try it out 🙂



      • #10 by oldfussbudget on February 10, 2020 - 7:06 pm

        They really did use rubber bulbs, just like the one on the Parke-Davis nebulizer in the museum. As to how much, just a little puff of course, like a perfume atomizer on steroids. Nothing at all like the continuous-flow nebulizers we use today driven from hospital air or a little compressor like the deVilbiss unit I have in the cellar. Incidentally I saw that deVilbiss was well represented in that museum collection.

        Next door would be great. 🙂

      • #11 by albell on February 10, 2020 - 7:25 pm

        Ok, I’m starting to maybe understand. Just a puff then?

        Wouldn’t it be grand to see the entire set up for use?

        Yeah, come live next door. You’ll have to be rich, it’s the Harry and Meghan neighbourhood. Pmail me and I’ll show you how close 🙂



  3. #12 by oldfussbudget on February 10, 2020 - 7:16 pm

    In that museum link you have to move to the second division (first white pip on the “timeline”) to see the hand bulb ones. There’s a set of instructions toward the end of that section that says good for oil, water, or glycerin solutions. Unlike yours the Parke-Davis one has a removable upper tube for easier filling (and maybe to allow as well for a different tube meant for the nose instead of throat)

    • #13 by albell on February 10, 2020 - 7:26 pm

      Super, yes, now I’m starting to get he idea.

      Thanks david,



    • #14 by albell on February 10, 2020 - 7:30 pm

      Oh btw, you mentioned mercury in a previous comment. Have I posted pics of my mercury manometer? It’s a classic.



      • #15 by oldfussbudget on February 10, 2020 - 8:29 pm

        You may have but I haven’t seen.

      • #16 by albell on February 10, 2020 - 9:14 pm

        I’ll see if I can get good pics of it, it’s hanging in the garage as I irrationally fear it falling off wall in house and the mercury running everywhere.

        It’s the real deal david, just the thing you’ll appreciate.



      • #17 by oldfussbudget on February 11, 2020 - 2:48 pm

        Speaking of mercury — when I went to run the chemistry lab at the naval hospital in Portsmouth New Hampshire there was an old dusty van Slyke apparatus sitting on top of a cabinet, but missing all its mercury. I didn’t find the mercury in bottles anywhere in the lab, but I didn’t give it much thought.

        Until, that is, the day the shipyard plumbers had to come and do something with my lab sink at the end of the central island. It had a big laboratory trap in the drain line which the plumber couldn’t get open, so he sawed it open. And as he did, I watched in amazement as the world turned silver, pounds of mercury spraying out of his saw cut and going everywhere. It was a sight to behold.

        Shipyard industrial hygiene gave me grief for months afterward, having me wash the linoleum tile floor with flowers of sulfur until the vapor level coming off the floor was low enough.

      • #18 by albell on February 11, 2020 - 7:01 pm

        Now that’s a story david. Jeeze, mercury in the p trap. We can say this and that about the relative toxicity of elemental mercury, but god, sitting in the p trap with who knows what flushed over it for years.



      • #19 by oldfussbudget on February 11, 2020 - 7:22 pm

        We used a Coulter model N particle counter (clever machine, passed a current through a tiny aperture and counted the dropouts as particles partially occluded the aperture) for white cell counts in a dilution of blood. To do that we had to lyse the red cells with a drop of a lysing solution in each sample cup that turned the cloudy suspension into a brilliant clear red. Solution came from the Coulter company IIRC.

        One day we got a notice from the supplier to throw that lysing solution (contained cyanide I think) away and use a different one. Turns out if you threw enough of the old one down a drain it tended to build up copper azide in the pipes, and the plumbers were tired of having pipes explode in their faces when they put the wrench to them.

      • #20 by albell on February 11, 2020 - 7:26 pm


        Plumbers crack turning brown 🙂

        Btw, will take a bit to get pics of manometer. It’s tall, well doh, you can figure out how tall of a column of mercury you need to measure atmospheric pressure.

        Need to get a back drop and pull out the good camera.

        Ab ,


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