(left) A select and aged commercial 1229 (electrostatic and light shielded #32) vacuum tube, a 1-volt filament tetrode with the control grid connected to the top cap – (right)



pH probeelectrode

When the earliest pH electrodes had an electrical leakage path that affected the accuracy of the pH measurement, Dr. Beckman’s solution was to redesign the electrode “in=house”, making a sealed glass electrode that “really gave us a stranglehold on the glass electrode business” according to Dr. Beckman.
Beckman meters
Note that these meters from various Beckman equipment were made "in-house" at the Helipot Division of Beckman Industries

A Beckman Cermet trim pot built under both the Cermet patents and the Potentiometer end-terminal mounting patent (listed below)


Unhappy with the variability of the spectral response of commercial phototubes, Dr. Beckman developed the proprietary model 2342 phototube with response characteristics repeatable tube to tube.

Arga meter

Aircraft alternating current ammeter

Dr. Beckman realized that the accuracy and repeatability of the instruments he developed would be only as good as the quality of the most critical components used in the instruments.  Unique components including the platinum probe used in the early Beckman PH meters (models G and M for example) had to be manufactured in-house; vacuum tubes, somewhat a commodity by the 1930’s, had to be carefully selected for signal gain and low noise, characteristics not too important in a home radio receiver but necessary in a scientific instrument such as the Beckman Infrared Spectrophotometer.  Further improvements to the multi-turn potentiometer continued with the development of ceramic and metal resistive elements (cermet) and self-supporting trim potentiometers, both of which garnered new patents for Beckman Industries (see below).

US Patent #2,346,470: Method of Making Glass Electrodes

US Patent #3,326,720: Cermet Resistance Composition and Resistor

US Patent #3,416,960: Cermet Resistors, Their Composition and Method of Manufacture

US Patent #3,227,987: Trimmer Potentiometer with End Terminals