Happy Bunsen Burner Day!


That's right, kids! Today is Bunsen Burner day!

A little over 160 years ago, Robert Bunsen a professor at the University of Heidelberg worked with the University's insturment maker to create a better chemistry burner. A couple of years later, Voila! They had 50 prototypes of Bunsen burners (or Bunsen Brenners in German) to pass out to students. Read a more thorough history here (I'll leave it to you to decide if you want to perform the ritual suggested at the end of the article).

True story: At my first job in Munich I worked with the great grandson of Robert Bunsen. Instead of pursuing the sciences, he went into web design. When I first met him I made a joke about his last name along the lines 'any relation to...' he replied with pride, "Well, yes actually, the inventor was my great grandfather". No Scheisse.

Do you think if the Bunsen burner hadn't been invented we'd never have gotten to have Breaking Bad? Better not to think of it...

In any case, I've created a free Bunsen Burner card to download. Thrill your favorite chemist!

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