Date: Thu, 12 Nov 2009 16:34:22 -0800
Reply-To: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: Sheila Kennedy <s1kennedy**At_Symbol_Here**UCSD.EDU>
Organization: UCSD Chemistry & Biochemistry
Subject: Re: Any Good Chem History Books?
Comments: To: Barbara Gore
In-Reply-To: <4AF3CE8E.E9D9.000D.0**At_Symbol_Here**>

I sent your note on to our Chemistry Librarian. Her answer:

The suggested websites (esp Chemical Heritage) should be helpful.  There’s also a section of the J Chem Ed bookshelf with titles and  reviews (

If she has access to a university library catalog, doing subject searches on chemistry—history or alchemy—history will bring up more titles that focus on the history of chemistry as a science. Here are just a few titles I found:

Cathedrals of science : the personalities and rivalries that made modern chemistry / Patrick Coffey
From alchemy to chemistry in picture and story / Arthur Greenberg
         (according to one review, Greenberg based this book on 2 prior works: 1) The art of chemistry : myths, medicines, and materials and 2) A chemical history tour:  picturing chemistry from alchemy to modern molecular science
The last sorcerers:  the path from alchemy to the periodic table / Richard Morris
Transforming matter:  a history of chemistry from alchemy to the buckyball / Trevor H. Levere
The chemical tree:  a history of chemistry / William H. Brock
Creations of fire:  chemistry's lively history from alchemy to the atomic age / Cathy Cobb and Harold Goldwhite

One well-known author is Philip Ball
·         Stories of the invisible : a guided tour of molecules
·         The ingredients : a guided tour of the elements
·         Elegant solutions : ten beautiful experiments in chemistry

Sheila M. Kennedy, CHO
Safety Coordinator
Chemistry & Biochemistry Teaching Laboratories
University of California, San Diego
(858) 534-0221 
Barbara Gore wrote:
I'm a community college chemistry instructor and I don't know any history of chemistry.  I'm trying to remedy that.
Does anyone know of good, interesting chemistry history books or references?  Also, any good resources for history of chemists that might be interesting and/or have interesting anecdotes?
Barb Gore
Barbara Gore
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Waubonsee Community College
Waubonsee Drive at  Rt. 47
Sugar Grove, IL 60554-9454
Phone:  (630) 466-2454
FAX:  (630) 466-2441

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