Thanks, that is my goal with these illustrations. I'm trying to document some of the old lab techniques while we still do them. It's mostly microscale/electronic stuff now.
[geek=science]That thing is for testing the melting point of a powdered substance. There's a tiny bit of the powder (acetanilide) in a capillary tube near the bulb of the thermometer. You heat the oil in the tube with the little bunsen burner (the flame is tough to photograph realistically) and watch the stuff in the capillary. When it melts, read the thermometer, and voila![/geek]