Chemistry history book from C.H.I.P.S.

From Alchemy to Chemistry in Picture and Story
by Arthur Greenberg

From Alchemy to Chemistry in Picture and Story gives readers an illustrated tour of how chemistry developed in an interesting and entertaining manner.

From Alchemy to Chemistry in Picture and Story includes more than 350 high-quality reproductions of figures from rare books spanning 400 years of chemical publications in the author's rare-book collection. The illuminating and entertaining essays that accompany each illustration explain the imagery's meaning and significance in the context of both historical scientific beliefs and modern chemical science.


Section I: Practical chemistry: Mining, Metallurgy and War

  • The Birth of Metals
  • The Essence of Matter: Four Elements (or Five); Three Principles (or Two); or Three Subatomic Particles (or More)
  • Unifying The Infinite and the Infinitesimal
  • Seeding The Earth with Metals
  • Chymicall Characters
  • Practical Metallick Chemistry
  • A Promising President
  • These Are A Few of Our Nastiest Things
  • “The Sun Rains Gold; The Moon Rains Silver”
  • Catawba Indian Pottery: Four Colors and the Miracle of Survival

Section II: Spiritual and Allegorical Alchemy and Chemistry

  • Eastern and Western Spiritual Alchemy
  • The Philosopher’s Stone Can No Longer Be Protected by Patent
  • Mystical and Majestic Numbers
  • Twelve Keys of Basil Valentine: The Impure King
  • Ratzo Rizzo and the Poet Virgil as Transmuting Agents?
  • Natural Magick: Metamorphoses of Werewolves and Metals
  • An Alchemical Bestiary
  • Dragons, Serpents and Order Out of Chaos
  • Albert The Great and “Albert The Pretty Good”
  • A Canterbury Tale of Alchemy
  • The Ship of Fools
  • The First Modern Encyclopedia
  • Today’s Specials: Oil of Scorpion and Lady’s Spot Fade-In Cream
  • “Vulgar and Common Errors”
  • What Is Wrong with this Picture?
  • Protecting the Roman Empire’s Currency from the Black Art
  • Who Is Athanasius Kircher and Why Are They Saying Those Terrible Things About Him?
  • Alchemists as Artists? Subjects
  • Allegories, Myths and Metaphors
  • The Wordless Book
  • Strange Doings in an Alchemist’s Flask

Section III: Medicines, Purges and Ointments

  • Geber and Rhazes: Alchemists from the Biblical Lands
  • Paracelsus
  • The Alchemist in the Pit of My Stomach
  • A Salty Conversation
  • The Magic of Distillation
  • Distillation By Fire, Hot Water, Sand, or Steamed Boar Dung
  • The Joy of Sextodecimo
  • The Compleat Apothecary
  • “Rare Effects of Magical and Celestial Fire”
  • Secrets of a Lady Alchemist
  • “Pray and Work”
  • A Good Old-Fashioned Purge
  • “Opening Metals”--The Art of Chymistry
  • The Triumphal Chariot of Antimony

Section IV: An Emerging Science

  • The Ancient War of the Knights
  • The First Ten-Pound Chemistry Text
  • A Tree Grows in Brussels
  • Curing Wounds by Treating the Sword with Powder of Sympathy
  • Do Anonymous Passersby Defecate At Your Doorstep? A Solution
  • A House Is Not a Home Without a Bath Tub and a Still
  • Skeptical about “Vulgar Chymical Opinions”
  • The Atmosphere is Massive
  • Boyle’s Law
  • Enhancing Frail Human Senses
  • Gun Powder, Lightning, Thunder and Nitro-Aerial Spirit
  • Who Would Want an Anti-Elixir?
  • A Harvard-Trained Alchemist
  • Lucifer’s Element and Kunckel’s Pills
  • The Emperor’s Mercantile Alchemist
  • Phlogiston: Chemistry’s First Comprehensive Scientific Theory
  • The “Modern” Phlogiston Concept
  • The Humble Gift of Charcoal
  • Beautiful Seventeenth-Century Chemistry Texts
  • What Are Effluviums?
  • The Surprising Chemical Taxonomies of Minerals and Mollusks
  • Chemical Affinity
  • Double-Bottom Cupels, Hollow Stirring Rods, and Other Frauds
  • There Is Truth in Chalk

Section V: The Chemical Revolution

  • Peas Produce Lots of Gas
  • Black’s Magic
  • Cavendish Weighed the Earth but Thought He Had Captured Phlogiston in a Bottle
  • In the Early Hours of the Chemical Revolution
  • Making Soda Pop
  • Fire Air (Oxygen): Who Knew What and When Did They Know It?
  • Nice To His Mice
  • Laughing Gas or Simply “Semiphlogisticated Nitrous Air”
  • Eulogy for Eudiometry
  • Where Is The Invective of Yesteryear?
  • La Revolution Chimique Commence
  • Simplifying The Chemical Babel
  • Water Will Not Float Phlogiston
  • Ben Franklin--Diplomate Extraordinaire
  • Mon Cher Phlogiston: “You’re Speaking Like An Ass!”
  • Lavoisier In Love
  • Requiem for a Lightweight
  • Okay, I Now Know What “Oxidation” Means, But What Is “Reduction”?
  • The Guinea Pig as Internal Combustion Engine
  • The Man in the Rubber Suit
  • “Poor Old Marat”? I Think Not
  • Poor Old Lamarck
  • Elective Attractions
  • The Phoenix Is a “Her”?
  • Chemistry in the Barrel of a Gun
  • A Boring Experiment
  • Laughing Gas for Everybody!
  • Some Last-Minute Glitsches Before the Dawn of the Atomic Theory
  • Atmospheric Water Molecules and the Morning Dew
  • Exclusive! First Printed Pictures of Dalton’s Molecules
  • The Atomic Paradigm
  • “We Are Here! We Are Here! We Are Here!”
  • Was Avogadro’s Hypothesis A Premature Discovery?
  • Chemistry Is Not Physics

Section VI: A Young Democracy and a New Chemistry

  • If You Do Find The Philosopher’s Stone: “Take Care To Lose It Again”--Benjamin Franklin
  • Saltpetre, Abigail. Pins, John
  • “It Is a Pity So Few Chemists Are Dyers, and So Few Dyers Chemists”
  • Two Early Visions: Oxidation Without Oxygen and Women as Strong Scientists
  • ‘Tis A Bonnie Chymistrie We Brrring Ye
  • “For It’s Hot as Hell . . . In Phila-del’-phi-a”
  • Adams Opposes Atoms
  • Twelve Cents for A Chemistry Lecture

Section VII: Chemistry Begins to Specialize, Systemize and Help the Farm and the Factory

  • The Electric Scalpel
  • Chemical Scalpels Through The Ages
  • Davy Rescues The Industrial Revolution
  • The Dualistic Theory of Chemistry
  • The Chemical Power of a Current of Electricity
  • Colorful “Notions of Chemistry”
  • A Primeval Forest of the Tropics
  • Taming The Primeval Forest
  • The Atomic Weight of Carbon and Related Confusions
  • Why’s The Nitrogen Atom Blue, Mommy?
  • I Cannot Hold My Chemical Water--I Can Make Urea!
  • Two Streams in the Primeval Forest
  • Never Smile at a Cacodyl
  • Want a Great Chemical Theory? Just Let Kekul‚ Sleep on It
  • “My Parents Went to Karlsruhe and All I Got Was This Lousy Tee-Shirt!”
  • What Are Organic Chemists Good For?
  • Mendeleev’s Early Thoughts About Relationships Between Elements
  • The Icon on The Wall
  • The Electric Oxygen
  • The People’s Chemistry
  • Ink from Peanuts and the Finest Sugar in the South

Section VIII: Teaching chemistry to the Masses

  • Geodes
  • Michael Faraday’s First Chemistry Teacher
  • “Chemistry No Mystery”
  • The Chemical History of a Candle
  • Into the Heart of the Flame
  • Poof! Now You Smell It. Now You Don’t
  • My Chem Professor Took The First Photograph of the Moon!
  • Chlorine Fairies?
  • “Rascally” Fluorine: A Fairy With Fangs?
  • A Mid-Semester’s Night’s Dream
  • And Now Turn to Page 3 of Our Chemical Psalm Book
  • What Else Could a Woman Write About?

Section IX: Chemistry Enters the Modern Age

  • Riding Pegasus to Visit Chemistry in Space
  • L‘vo-Man Would Enjoy the “Buzz” But Not the Taste of His Beer
  • Is The Archeus a Southpaw?
  • John Read: Stereochemist
  • Finding an Invisible Needle in an Invisible Haystack
  • But Argon is a Monoatomic Gas--And There are Others
  • Searching for Signs of Neon
  • Just How Many Different Substances Are in Atmospheric Air?
  • Atoms of the Celestial Ether
  • Non-Atomus
  • A “Grouch” or a “Crank”?
  • Why Is Prout’s Hypothesis Still in Modern Textbooks?
  • Crystals Can Diffract X-Rays
  • Two Nobel Prizes? Not Good Enough for the Academie Des Sciences!
  • It’s The Atomic Number, Dmitry!
  • The Periodic Helix of the Elements
  • X-Rays Measure The Distances Between Atoms or Ions
  • Where Did We Dig Up the Mole?
  • Xenon Is Slightly Ignoble and Krypton Is Not Invincible
  • The Atom As a Solar System
  • ‘Tis A Gift To Be Simple
  • Transmuting Quantum Mechanics Into Chemistry
  • Pauling’s Cartoon Carnival
  • Here’s To Long Life (L’Chaim)!
  • Mercury Can Be Transmuted to Gold
  • Modern Alchemists Approach Atlantis
  • The Chemistry of Gold Is Noble But Not Simple
  • The “Perfect Biological Principle”
  • So You Weren’t Joking, Mr. Feynman
  • Nanoscopic “Heavens”
  • Moving Matter Atom-By-Atom
  • A Nanocar Rolling on a Gold-Paved Road 593
  • The Briefest Fleeting Moments in Chemistry

Section X: Some Brief chemical Amusements

  • Clairvoyant Pictures of Atoms--A Strange Chymical Narrative
  • White Lightning in an Atom, a Kiss, or a Star
  • The Secret Life of Wanda Witty
  • “Trade Ya Babe Ruth for Antoine Lavoisier!”
  • Jive Molecules Doin’ The Jitterbug


  • A Natural Scientist
  • Descended From Fallopian Test Tubes?


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From Alchemy to Chemistry in Picture and Story
by Arthur Greenberg
2007 • 637 pages • $73.95 + shipping
Texas residents please add 6.75 % sales tax

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