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Sticky Reminders

I’ll admit that I don’t actively seek out fascinating references to chemistry after work hours. But there are times when I get subtle reminders of its omnipresence. I received a wedding invitation in the mail a little while back with a stamp on the return envelope that could only have been chosen by chemists in love. (People who are familiar with my graduate alma mater should be able to discern the meaning of the other stamp.)

I couldn’t find this stamp after a cursory search of the U.S. Postal Service’s website, although the stamps Sophie Rovner wrote about are available for purchase. Anybody know where to get my hands on this one?

A couple of impressions (and sorry about the poor picture quality):

I didn’t check to see whether the volumetric flask was filled properly, but I probably should have.

Is that enormous flask still called an Erlenmeyer flask? I’ve never seen one that looks like that.

If I were to put that (really full!) round-bottom flask on the rot. evap., I’d be concerned about it bumping and spilling everywhere, particularly if it contains an intermediate that’s 14 steps deep in my natural product synthesis. Of course, I don’t know what solvent is in the flask, and I’ve seen people just hook up a full flask anyway. Thoughts?

**Updated 4/25/08

Avid “C&ENtral Science” reader Corinne Marasco pointed out that this particular stamp dates to 1976, and that interested parties can find them on eBay. We’re guessing the stamps are still worth only 13 cents as far as the post office is concerned, though. Geek-chic costs extra.


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  • Apr 23rd 200813:04
    by Aaron Rowe

    Wow, that is adorable. It looks like a Norman Rockwell painting of some glassware. One of my priorities has been to start uploading artsy macro pictures of benchtop scenes to my flickr account and saving some for my blog.

  • Apr 23rd 200814:04
    by selenized

    that super wide flask looks like a Fernbach of culture flask to me

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