This advertisement for The A.C. Gilbert Company appears on the inside front cover of 1959's Fun with Chemistry. It's aimed at getting ahead of those pesky inventory problems that plagued junior chemists who were using the Gilbert Chemistry Set in the mid 20th century.
pipettes, litmus paper, aluminium sulfate, calcium hydroxide, potassium chloride, powdered iron, and sodium thiosulfate.1
And how safe was all this? That question is addressed in a "Letter to Parents" from A.C. Gilbert Jr. in Fun with Chemistry. Here's an excerpt:
"The answer is that people can get hurt at almost anything (statistics show a surprising number of people get hurt just getting in or out of bed), but that any injury to a person using a Gilbert set is extremely unlikely if rules and instructions are followed. As a matter of face, we of the Gilbert Company, with the help of nationally known experts, have gone to great lengths, not only to produce a set which is designed for safety, but also to make it easy and attractive for your children to learn good working habits."
The book has chapters titled Chemistry at Work, On Your Own, Making Crystals, Chemical Exploring, Chemical Magic, Glass Blowing and Nuclear Physics.
It's full of some really cool (and sometimes humorous) content and illustrations, and I plan to revisit it with at least one additional post this fall. I'd also be interested in hearing if you used the Gilbert Chemistry Set and/or have any great childhood memories or tales of doing science experiments. Please comment down below.
In the meantime, here are some related links, if you're interested in some more science and chemistry this morning:
- Papergreat: Some ephemera within the Chemical Heritage Foundation museum
- Our School at Home: Building our unschooling math and science library - virtually!
- Our School at Home: The unschooled version of an eighth-grade-ish curriculum plan for 2013-14
- Papergreat: Science stories of October 1935, Part 1: "No Men on Mars..."
- Papergreat: Science stories of October 1935, Part 2: The 100-inch telescope
- Papergreat: Science stories of October 1935, Part 3: Atom-Smashers, alchemy and gold (scroll to the bottom)
- Website for the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia
* Don't worry, Papergreat is not Breaking Bad. I'm not going to become Evil Otto and fold all of my postcards into deadly ninja stars to sell on the black market, or anything like that.
1. For a longer list, see the Wikipedia entry for chemistry set.