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Encyclopedia Dubuque

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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.




BARNSTEAD/THERMOLYNE

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BARNSTEAD/THERMOLYNE. Barnstead/Thermolyne was a manufacturer of a broad line of laboratory products for industrial, biomedical, and educational clients. Products included furnaces, magnetic stirrers, hot plates, incubators, reagent dispensers, fluorometers, and a broad line of ultra pure water equipment. Founded by a dentist in the early 1940s to make small electric furnaces for molding dentures, the company was so successful that it was sold to three investors who moved the company to Dubuque from Chicago, Illinois in 1942.

Located first in a small building on West Locust, Thermolyne in 1950 built its own building on Huff Street. Relocation again occurred in 1961 when the company moved to new facilities at 2555 Kerper Boulevard. Additions were made to this building in 1966, 1978, 1982, and 1996. The company grew at a slow steady pace and in 1968 was acquired by the Sybron Corporation. In 1986 when Thermolyne employment was at 180, a subsidiary of Syborn named Barnstead was merged with Thermolyne to create Barnstead/Thermolyne Corporation.

Barnstead operations were relocated to Boston, Massachusetts by 1988. In February 1991, Barnstead/Thermolyne purchased the MEGA-PURE line of glass stills from Corning Corporation. All operations of MEGA-PURE were transferred to Dubuque from West Virginia. Employment by the end of 1991 reached 295. The operations of Labindustries of Berkeley, California, a small manufacturer of specialized liquid handling devices, were relocated to Dubuque in May 1994, after the company's acquisition. Barnstead/Thermolyne acquired Biomolecular, Inc. of Reno, Nevada in August 1995. Their products including chart recorders, fluorometers, hot plates and stirrers, and spectrophotometers were phased into Dubuque by December 1995.