Westinghouse Hollow Cathode Lamps

Chemical Engineering

Accession Number: 2018.che.128.1-9

Description:

A collection of eight Westinghouse hollow cathode lamps. Each lamp consists of a sealed glass tube. Seven are narrow at the top and wider at the bottom. One, 2018.che.128.8, does not narrow at the top. All have a brown plastic vacuum tube base. Each tube is contained in a hinged plastic case with a clear lid, a black base, and a white plastic insert that cradles glass tube. The tubes characteristics are as follows:

2018.che.128.1: A “CU FE” (copper/ iron) tube filled with neon gas. The tube has a labelled max current of 20 MA.

2018.che.128.2: A “MG” (magnesium) tube filled with neon gas. The tube has a labelled max current of 20 MA.

2018.che.128.3: A “ZN” (zinc) tube filled with neon gas. This tube is labelled “High Spectral Output”. The tube has a labelled max current of 15 MA.

2018.che.128.4: A “MG” (magnesium) tube filled with neon gas. This tube is labelled “High Spectral Output”. The tube has a labelled max current of 20 MA.

2018.che.128.5: A “B” (boron) tube filled with argon gas. The tube has a labelled max current of 20 MA.

2018.che.128.6: A “HG” (Mercury) tube filled with argon gas. The tube has a labelled max current of 15 MA.

2018.che.128.7: A “MN” (Mercury) tube filled with neon gas. This tube is labelled “High Spectral Output”. The tube has a labelled max current of 25 MA.

2018.che.128.8: A “CU” (Copper) tube filled with neon gas. This tube is labelled “High Spectral Output”. The tube has a labelled max current of 20 MA. This tube is slightly different in form than the others in this collection as the glass envelope does not taper towards the top.

2018.che.128.9: A “CO” (cobalt) tube filled with neon gas. The tube has a labelled max current of 20 MA. This tube is in a mismatched red plastic case labelled “HELLMA”.

Markings:

All tubes note the following on the labels: “This device is covered by at least one of the following patents : 3,183,393; 3,264,511.

Individual tubes contain the following information:

2018.che.128.1: Printed on upper tube label in black lettering: “Type WL 23473A”. Printed on glass tube in red lettering “Westinghouse 626 F C61 129”. Printed on lower tube label in black lettering: “Cathode CU FE”, “Max. Current 20 MA”, “Gas NE”. Additional information on label on plastic case, printed in blue-black pen: “JA-45-3/2”.

2018.che.128.2: Printed on upper tube label in black lettering: “Type WL 22968”. Printed on lower tube label in black lettering: “Cathode MG”, “Max. Current 20 MA”, “Gas NE”. Additional information on label on top surface of plastic case in fading red pen: Fisher Scientific CAT. No. “14 386 1018”, Printed in blue on a small label below: “C 63016”

2018.che.128.3: Printed on upper tube label in black lettering: “Type WL 22811”. Printed on lower tube label in black lettering: “Cathode ZN”, “Max. Current 15 MA”, “Gas NE”. Printed on label on opposite side of lower tube” “8426”. Additional information on label on front surface of plastic case in red pen: Fisher Scientific CAT. No. “14 386 100F 1ea”.

2018.che.128.4: Printed on upper tube label in black lettering: “Type WL 22968”. Printed on glass tube in red lettering “Westinghouse 652 F ” Printed on lower tube label in black lettering: “Cathode MG”, “Max. Current 20 MA”, “Gas NE”. Additional information on label on front of plastic case, printed in blue pen: “PMU = 248”. Additional information on opposite side of the plastic case, printed in black pen: “WL 22968”. Label on top surface of plastic case in black lettering “C62635”.

2018.che.128.5: Printed on upper tube label in black lettering: “Type WL 22916A”. Printed on glass tube in red lettering “Westinghouse 104 CF F57 237”. Printed on lower tube label in black lettering: “Cathode B”, “Max. Current 20 MA”, “Gas A”.

2018.che.128.6: Printed on upper tube label in black lettering: “Type WL 222847A”. Printed on glass tube in red lettering “Westinghouse M26 F59598”. Printed on lower tube label in black lettering: “Cathode HG”, “Max. Current 15 MA”, “Gas A”. Written in blue pen on label on tube: “Hg PMV = 282”. Additional information on front side of plastic case, printed in black pen: “WL 22847A”.

2018.che.128.7: Printed on upper tube label in black lettering: “Type WL 22936”. Printed on lower tube label in black lettering: “Cathode MN”, “Max. Current 25 MA”, “Gas NE”. Written in blue pen on label on tube: “Hg PMV = 282”. Additional information on front side of plastic case, printed in black pen: “WL 22936”. Additional information on opposite side of plastic case, printed in blue-green pen: “14-386-101Q”. Printed on label on top of case in black lettering “C62916”.

2018.che.128.8: Printed on upper tube label in black lettering: “Type WL 22603”. Printed on lower tube label in black lettering: “Cathode CU”, “Max. Current 20 MA”, “Gas NE”. Additional information on top surface of plastic case, printed in fading red ink: Fisher Scientific CAT No: “14 386 100A”. Printed on a second label on the top surface of the case “C63010”.

2018.che.128.9: Printed on upper tube label in black lettering: “Type WL 22928A”. Printed on glass tube in red lettering “Westinghouse 43 CF C57227”. Printed on lower tube label in black lettering: “Cathode CO”, “Max. Current 20 MA”, “Gas NE”. Written in black pen on label on tube: “7”.

Dimensions (cm):

Plastic cases: Height = 6, Width = 10, Length = 19; Tubes: Length 16.5, Max Diameter = 4.5.

Function:

A Hollow Cathode Lamp (HCL) is a standard light source that produces a spectrum of light representing one or more chemical elements.

HCLs are used in atomic analysis instruments such as the atomic absorption spectrometer. The sealed glass tube contains an inert gas such as argon or neon. An element of interest is housed in the hollow cathode within the glass envelope. Current applied across the anode and cathode ionizes the gas within the tube creating a plasma. This ionized gas is accelerated towards the cathode, which sputters atoms off the sample element at the cathode. These freed atoms are excited by collisions within the plasma. When these atoms decay to a lower energy state, they produce a characteristic spectrum of light that can be compared to that of a sample for the purpose of chemical analysis.

Condition:

Good/ Excellent: Some labels are damaged, some plastic cases are damaged. One is mismatched. Catches on the plastic cases for 2018.che.128.7 and 2018.che.128.8 are broken. Both labels on tube 2018.che.128.9 are peeling.

Manufacturer: Westinghouse, USA.

Date of Manufacture: 20th century, post 1969.

Provenance:

This artifact was acquired by the UTSIC collection from the University of Toronto Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry on June 15th, 2018.

  • Donated to UTSIC