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Two Petri dishes, United Kingdom, 1887-1950

Petri dishes are named after their inventor, J R Petri (1852-1921), a German bacteriologist. They are shallow trays made of glass with a loose fitting glass lid and hold solid media, such as gelatine or agar, which are used as cultures for research purposes. The Petri dish is one of the iconic objects of twentieth-century laboratory based research.

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Glossary: laboratory

Rooms, buildings, or groups of buildings equipped with apparatus for scientific experiments or other research, testing, and investigations.

Glossary: Petri dish

A shallow dish used in science to grow micro-organisms. A Petri dish is circular, transparent and has a lid.