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How can I get the stopper off without braking it? and...what could be in it?

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    Posted 5 years ago

    tmiller
    (1 item)

    I found this as a kid over 38 years ago in a place called "House of Blue Lights". It could be about 80 years old and I am not sure what is in it but the glass stopper will not come off. Any ideas how I could get the cap off?

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    Comments

    1. SpiritBear, 5 years ago
      No ampersand in the Whittal Tatum mark puts it at after 1901. I think they began using a different mark close to 1920 (but don't quote me on that part. )
      Ground neck and stopper is normal in apothecary bottles. I'd not open it as some collectors (like I) prefer the contents to still be present.
      Opening may present physical hazards from toxic or inflammable gases. Liquid may be dangerous though it's been 100 years.
    2. noob, 5 years ago
      Its contents were probably hot before the stopper was put on, then the gaseous pressure inside dropped as it cooled to room temperature, creating a vacuum.

      You need to either drop atmospheric pressure (do you have a hypobaric chamber handy?), or gently heat the contents to raise the pressure inside. Yes, that sounds dangerous. If you have a university chemistry department nearby, you might try asking for advice/help from staff. Chem labs usually have stations/ cubicles for use when students are working with potentially explosive experiments and/or need ventilation for safety.

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