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Chemistry Experiment Lab

chemistry set

Chemistry sets, of the kind intended for child's play, descend from the "natural magick" books, chemical magic tricks, and scientific puzzles that date from 17th century Europe. Chemistry sets designed to instruct druggists and medical students and to amuse upper-class Europeans date from the late 18th century. World War I developed America's budding chemistry industry and thus developed the toy chemistry set as we would recognize it. A. C Gilbert and the Porter Chemical Company dominated the manufacture of chemistry sets in the United States throughout the 20th century. All told, the Porter company sold more than a million sets, and in its heyday, the company was the largest purchaser of test tubes in the world. A. C. Gilbert was quite clear in his purpose in manufacturing chemistry sets and devising experiments for boys to try. He intended to encourage boys to pursue careers in the sciences (Gilbert lived in early 20th-century America before girls might be encouraged to pursue careers in the sciences.) The cover of the 1956 instruction book shows illustrations of space exploration, chemical engineering, aviation, medicine, electronics, and nuclear physics, and notes "Today's adventures in science will create tomorrow's America ."

ManufacturerA. C. Gilbert Company
Materialplastic | fabric | glass | metal | mineral | chemical
OriginUSA
Object ID116.4506

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