Today is National Bunsen Burner Day, a good time to explore the device’s connection to Cedar Rapids.
Bunsen burners are used in laboratories to produce an open gas flame for heating and sterilization. The one in this picture was manufactured and distributed by the Johnson Gas Appliance company of Cedar Rapids.
It is part of The History Center’s collection and on display in the Smith Gallery.
Johnson Gas was founded in 1901 by Charles Johnson, who moved to Cedar Rapids in 1907.
The company initially manufactured gas lights, later branching out into industrial irons for the laundry business as well as industrial furnaces for plumbers and sheet metal contractors.
The growing popularity of vocational classes in high schools led to the development and sale of Johnson Gas soldering, heat treating, crucible and forge furnaces in schools throughout the United States.