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Students Fashion Odd Machine

H. L. Wacker examines a machine built for the Marine Biological Laboratory at Fort JohnsonSHAKING MACHINE - H. L. Wacker (left), shop instructor at Murray Vocational School, examines a machine built by Murray students for the Marine Biological Laboratory at Fort Johnson. A. C. West Jr. (center) and Paul Grimes worked on the project. (Staff Photo by Gibbs.)

Evening Post, December 22, 1956

The machine shop class at Murray Vocational School has entered the field of scientific equipment manufacture.

Dr. Joseph R. Merkel, director of the College of Charleston Marine Biological laboratory at Ft. Johnson requested the class to make a special shaking machine for the culture of microorganisms.

The machine is basically a table, holding 28 flasks, which is rotated in an eccentric motion by an electric motor.

Its purpose is to shake the cultures in the flasks so that air can reach all parts of the growth. If air is not introduced to all parts of the cultures, some of the organisms will grow more rapidly than others.

The idea for the machine was entirely new to the Murray students. They even had to manufacture special jigs for bending the springs to hold the flasks.

Plans for the shaker were drawn by Dr. Merkel. Herman Wacker, shop instructor at Murray, supervised the construction.

Mr. Wacker said the students showed special interest in the job since it was not just a routine project for them.