IN an industrial laboratory, containing some 1,500 bottles of chemicals, it is no small job to keep even the chemicals in order. the helpers upon whom the restoration of the bottles to their places devolves usually have little skill and less interest in things chemical. When the chemicals are arranged by the usual alphabetic method. reagents are mostly found, and only then after prolonged search in just the place they ought not to be. Owing to the vast difference in size of bottles, to get any efficiency out of shelf space, i is necessary to have at least two Of three alphabets, and when the search is completed through one, through one must be searched. To overcome these obstacles to speedy work, the following system was recently worked out in one industrial laboratory: The contents were first roughly grouped as to size, and then as to nature of ontents. Beginning 011 the upper and lower shelves, the containers were placed in rows from front to back. The tipper left row ,vas numbered 0-9, the second row 10-19, the third row 20-29, etc. The last figure on the front bottle always being O. and if the shelf did not accommodate 10 bottles from front to rear then the numbers corresponding to the missing bottles were omitted, the next row beginning with the next higher ten. An alphabetical and numerical index was then compiled, giving a little description of the chemica; in each bottle (sueh as C. P. Sticks, eommercial powder) and typewritten copies made. When a given chemical is wanted, a reference to the index is essential, but a glance shows what, form it is in, and the bottle of that chemical best suited to the work in hand can be at once selected. Further, if a helper, although it may be his first oay in the laboratory, is sent after a reagent, and given a number, readily found, instead of an unfamiliar chemical name, the chances are greatly improved. of his bringing back what was desired. When the reagents are to be replaced they are much more readily 1ejlaced in their correct positions by this method, even by skilled workers. This method is of wide applicability to medium sjzed st(:hs of articles, varying in size and URe but )Jot in name, sud) as motor and meter parts, construction material, Slitr,hes, insulators, patterns, etc.
This article was originally published with the title "Arrangement of Laboratory Supplies"