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Sikes Hydrometer - Kasner & Moss, Brass & Gold, Wooden Case, circa 1875 Object Reg. No: SH 850082

Made: Kasner & Moss "Opticians and Scientific Instrument Makers" 17 Collins St. West, Melbourne, 1875. Hydrometers are used to measure the specific gravity of liquids. They are sometimes used to analyse urine samples but have also been known to be used to measure the alcohol content in home brews. This hydrometer was used in the pharmacy at Kew Mental Hospital. Dr Herbert Bauer suggests that the kit would have been used to test the concentration of urine.
Consists of thermometer, hydrometer and weights. Whole instrument is gold painted. There are 7 brass weights shaped like small, thick coins with holes. The whole apparatus is contained in a polished wooden case with brass hinges and catches. It has an inset, purple velvet covered rack. The lad was padded and lined with rose-coloured silk, but most of the satin has shredded. Box has lighter wood inset on top.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Dr Graham Roseby - Office of Psychiatric Services
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 9.50 cm (Height), 5.00 cm (Width), 20.00 cm (Length)

More information

Tagged with: alcohol, mental health, mental health institutions, psychiatric hospitals, urine testing, making history - psych services
Themes this item is part of: Psychiatric Services Collection, Medicine in Society Collection, Public Life & Institutions Collection
Primary Classification: MEDICINE & HEALTH
Secondary Classification: Mental Health - Clinical
Tertiary Classification: laboratory equipment
Inscriptions: Text: PHARMACY/KEW.
Manufacturer: Kasner & Moss, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1875
Place & Date Used: Kew, Victoria, Australia, 1875
References: Sike's table of the concentrated strength of spirits. With directions for use of his hydrometer. 1879. Card with exhibit.

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