This instrument detects pollutants in the exhaust from vehicles with combustion engines. The vehicle's license plate suggests the Massachusetts location.
Beckman Instruments, Inc. became interested in measuring, controlling, and fighting air pollution in the late 1940s and early 1950s, when company president Arnold O. Beckman became the scientific adviser to the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce’s Air Pollution Control Officer. Many of the instruments that were developed by Beckman Instruments in the 1940s and 1950s as standalone items became incorporated into or re-purposed as smog-fighting systems.
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“Three Men Outside a Garage with Beckman Auto Emissions Test Equipment and a Vehicle,” n.d. Beckman Historical Collection, Box 82. Science History Institute. Philadelphia. https://digital.sciencehistory.org/works/n583xv18h.
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