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Author: Subject: Scientific Glass Apparatus Company?
LordQwert
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[*] posted on 5-1-2016 at 16:39
Scientific Glass Apparatus Company?


Hi there. Brand new to the forum, but this seemed the place to go for my question. I recently won a bulk auction for glassware on eBay and have been spending a significant amount of time sorting through it. It was a really big auction. Essentially a university bought all new glassware and sold most of the old stuff in giant unlabeled bins.

I have a number of items from Scientific Glass Apparatus Co. of Bloomfield, NJ. Trying to find this company has led me to believe they closed in 1962. This doesn't seem possible given the excellent condition of some of the pieces. Is there something I'm missing here? Did another company buy the brand? My Google-Fu has failed me in this.
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[*] posted on 5-1-2016 at 17:46


If you can, try posting pictures of said labeled glass to help us help you. Try to focus on key areas like ground joints, hose barbs, areas where the glass was joined together.. this will help us tell you what you have& if its good to go. All this is assuming you don't have a polorized light filter and or know to check the glass for stress.



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LordQwert
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[*] posted on 5-1-2016 at 17:56
Misunderstanding


I'm not looking to identify or sell anything. I'm trying to get some background on Scientific Glass Apparatus Co. I'll attach a picture of their logo, which I found elsewhere here:



SGA co.jpg - 100kB
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Texium
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[*] posted on 5-1-2016 at 19:00


I have some pieces from SGA Co. (a Liebig condenser and a few adapters) that I got in a similar lot of glassware from an old lab. It is also in very good condition, but I am convinced that it was indeed made prior to 1962. If glassware is taken care of properly, particularly if it is only gently used, it can easily last for decades in like-new condition. I would not be surprised at all if it was made in the 1950s.



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BromicAcid
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[*] posted on 5-1-2016 at 19:06


Agreed, that glassware could easily be that old or older. In labs the general practice is to keep using it so long as it stays in one piece and since most things don't stain or destroy glassware the age is often not readily apparent.



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JJay
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[*] posted on 5-1-2016 at 19:09


Glass can sit at universities for decades without being used. It happens a lot.
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[*] posted on 5-1-2016 at 19:15


On a related note, does anyone know the approximate age of the old USA Pyrex glassware with green enamel writing? Most of my glassware is that, and it is likely about the same age as the SGA stuff, but I haven't been able to find a reference to just how old it is. The history of vintage lab glass is not very well-documented. ;)



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LordQwert
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[*] posted on 5-1-2016 at 20:39


Now you've all got me wondering if there's any antique or historical value to these old pieces. I'd want to avoid using them or selling them as functional glassware if they're better suited to being part of a collection or something.

This does explain why I'm having trouble identifying a lot of the other pieces from contemporary manufacturers. I've mostly been going by their current catalogs, and I guess a lot of stuff could be long out of production, at least for the particular sizes I have.

Here's the one-word story of how I got all this: eBay. Here's the ts;wm version: I was looking for used glassware, but it's usually still very expensive. Found a "unorganized bins of glassware" auction from a university. Only a couple pictures with no real context for sizing, no sorting, no guarantees, no nothing. Also, pickup only and 14 hours away. But... current bids totaled only $200 for what was at least a couple thousand worth of glass.

I decided to go for it, and the bids got up to $300. When I got there to pick it up, I realized the bins were all far larger than I'd thought and I was driving home with several tens of thousands of dollars worth of unprotected glassware. I actually had to throw away the stuff I had intended to wrap it in, because there wasn't room left in the car. I got home expecting to have lost half of it, but only found a dozen or so broken pieces.
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[*] posted on 6-1-2016 at 07:40


That sounds similar to what happened to me, I ended up with a 100 boxes of mostly loose glassware in boxes, almost dumped from drawers, and little packing material in most of it. But it did well, mostly, addition funnels are the most easily broken things, it seems.

SGA was a great company back years ago, I had quite a bit from there as well. I think it was bought out by one of several compnaies that have continued to merge, not sure which one it ended up as part of. But now there is Kontes (part of Kimble), Chemglass, Ace, and only a handleful of other glass blowing companies, most of which are very good, but pricey, plus a growing number of Chinese companies, which make much more variable quality stuff.

As for value, there are a few items used as "props" or "antiques" for decorating stores, bars, and pharmacies, but most older science glassware is worth more as labware than as collectables. If you can post a few photos, you may find that someone really likes one or two pieces or that they are rare and hard to find. You may also find lots of stuff that no one uses now, I still have boxes of certain items, which are not widely bought on Ebay, like volumetric flasks, and odd adapters in weird sizes.

If you tell the group where you are located, roughly, you may find quite a few people in interested in buying items from you locally, without as much work as trying to do it on Ebay. Shipping glassware can be a lot of work, since the nice people at UPS are not always as nice to packages as you might be, so you have to package it very well for shipping. I was amazed as how many people here were looking for scientific glassware, and have been able to sell much of the stuff I ended up with, helping me both help my friend with the glassware recoup some of his losses, as well as empty out my garage and storage space some. I have sold stuff on Ebay, through here, and locally, all of those options have their costs, issues, and rewards.
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[*] posted on 6-1-2016 at 09:59
Selling Stuff


Once I'm done with my inventory, I'll put up a copy here for others to peruse, and see inserting some pictures into it for the more esoteric stuff I couldn't really identify. I'm located in western Massachusetts.

A good chunk of the stuff is labeled PYREX, which I've taken to mean Corning. I'm not sure that's true though. Are there multiple companies that produce glassware with the PYREX label?
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[*] posted on 6-1-2016 at 10:06


I was actually looking at that particular auction thinking "its a shame that I cant drive there to pick it up, too many states away" I was wondering if it would turn up here. It seemed like the deal of a life time.

However, if your in MA maybe it wasnt... that actually isnt too far of a drive for me. If you do take a good inventory and were planning on selling I can say honestly I may consider making a drive. I cant say for sure but it may end up being beneficial for both of us :)

[Edited on 6-1-2016 by szuko03]




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[*] posted on 6-1-2016 at 10:09


Pyrex is a brand of Corning glass, so only made by Corning, although some glass shops bought blanks and parts from Corning to assemble, so you will occasionally see a multi-neck flask or other apparatus made from Pyrex pieces by another shop, but that is rare now.

I remember going to Amherst for my GREs, back a few decades ago. NY regulated the tests so much back then that they did not offer the GREs in NY often, so you had to drive to Mass to take them. I think NY is still a nightmare of regulations, and Mass is likely still known as Taxachusetts, I would guess. Good old Vermont was great, good donuts, Ben and Jerry's, and low liquor taxes... Those were the days. Good luck with the glassware, if you decide to sell some of the glassware, I can give you some advice by u2us.
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[*] posted on 8-1-2016 at 07:06


SGA was bought by Lab Glass (Wilmad) in the 80's
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[*] posted on 8-1-2016 at 07:14


Are there multiple companies that produce glassware with the PYREX label?[/rquote]

Corning / Pyrex provided blanks for glass blowing companies. This is why there would be two brand names on the piece.
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[*] posted on 8-1-2016 at 08:53


SGA Co being bought out in the 80s is inconsistent with the date I thought the business closed, but the internet source I found could be totally wrong. Or maybe the story is just more complex. Also, the 80s seem like a more realistic date for the condition of the glass.

I actually have a few pieces that were clearly customized by some individual or business. A couple are real Frankenstein pieces. I also have a couple hundred joints of various sizes, both ball and taper, that I assume are for this purpose. The book price on them seems absurdly high for what they are, ranging from $8-$20.
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[*] posted on 12-1-2016 at 12:04


i have one of their last catalogs from 1985
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[*] posted on 12-1-2016 at 12:35


I think SGA may have been bought by another company before LabGlass bought them, thus there may have been several mergers in the long winding path that they took. Just like Thermo Fisher keeps buying up the medium sized companies who bought up the small ones.

Aldrich did the same thing, buying up Sigma, Fluka, Cambridge Isotopes, and a number of other small chemical companies.
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