University of Iowa Glassblowing History

Glassblowing at the University of Iowa

It is the intent of this page to present the history of the art of Scientific Glassblowing at the University of Iowa spanning present day to as far back as we can research.  With that said this document will be a work in progress for quite some time.  Thank you for your interest.

"Everyone is familiar with the wonderful properties of glass.  Transparent, hard, colourless, unchanged by acids and most other liquids, and, at certain temperatures, more plastic and flexible than wax, it takes, in the hands of the chemist and in the flame of a proper lamp, the form and shape of every piece of apparatus required for his experiments." - Justus Liebig (1859)1

Glassblower Timeline2,3

Benjamin Revis 2011 - Present  |  Pete Hatch 1977 - 2011  |  John Coutant 1962 - 1977  |  Walter Secrest 1961 - 1962   Harry Nunamaker 1948 - 1961   |  Herman Wiegand 1934 - 1948   |  Frank Long 1930 - 1934  |  J. W. Robbins 1925 - 1930  |  Roland Andrew Johnson 1922 - 1925  |

Immages of UI glassblowing from the 1930s

Glassblowing in the 1930s. Fabricating scientific glass apparatus for the Chemistry Labs.4

Glassblowing 1930s - Iowa Digital Library

Photo dated 1930(?) is likely that of Frank Long, Glassblower with the Chemistry Department from 1930-1934.

 

Glassblowing 1938 - Iowa Digital Library

 

 

Photos taken of Herman Wiegand at his bench making Chemistry lab-ware (Dated February 11, 1938). 

Glassblowing 1938 - Iowa Digital Library

 

 

Glassblowing Demonstration to 4th graders 1935 - Iowa Digital Library

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another photo of Wiegand providing a glassblowing demonstration to a Fourth Grade class (Dated May 11, 1935).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1926 Glassblowing Request Forms5

July 12, 1926 Requisition for glassblowing June 16, 1926 Requisition for glassblowing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. The "Wonderful Properties of Glass": Liebig's Kaliapparat and the Practice of Chemistry in Glass; Catherine M. Jackson; Isis, Vol. 106, No. 1 (March 2015), pp.43-69

2. Internal Allocations, Special Collections Department, University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa

3. Faculty and Staff Vertical Files, Special Collections Department, University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa

4. Photographs: Frederick W. Kent, Iowa Digital Library, University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa

5. University of Iowa Chemistry Dept., Iowa City, Iowa