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The Golden Book of Chemestry Experiments

September 3, 2012

I’m uploading a PDF download for The Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments, written by Robert Brent and illustrated by Harry Lazarus, published in the 1960s. This volume of the Golden Guides was intended to aid and motivate children and young adults to set up a home chemistry lab and conduct simple experiments. Apparently the US government had the book removed from libraries and banned for sale on the grounds that many of the projects were too dangerous for the intended audience which, of course, makes it all the more intriguing and worthy of perusal. Supposedly only 126 copies of this book exist in libraries worldwide. Sometimes you can find a copy on eBay for around $600-$700. Download the PDF version in its entirety for free.

Previously, I uploaded Hallucinogenic Plants: A Golden Guide, a fascinating and similarly controversial volume in the Golden Book series, part botany, part anthropology, part ethnopharmacology, written by Richard Evans Schultes, father of modern ethnobotany. In Schultes’ own words (excerpted from the book), “No matter whether we believe that man’s intake of hallucinogens in primitive or sophisticated societies consitutes use, misuse, or abuse, hallucinogenic plants have undeniably played an extensive role in human culture and probably shall continue to do so. It follows that a clear understanding of these physically and socially potent agents should be a part of man’s general education…”

It takes flipping through a few of these books to really appreciate them… all have fantastic illustrations:  The Golden Guides are “a series of pocket-sized books that were created by Western Publishing and published under their “Golden Press” line, primarily a children’s book imprint, beginning in 1949. Intended for primary and secondary school level readers, the series began as field guides with such titles as Birds (1949), Flowers (1950), and Mammals (1955), and then expanded to a wider range of subjects, not intended as identification guides. These titles included Geology, Photography and Heart. Edited by Herbert S. Zim and Vera Webster, the books were written by experts in their field and illustrated in a simple straightforward style.” (Wikipedia)

3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 3, 2012 10:08:10 am

    Wow! Thanks heaps for the books, more to add to my precious knowledge collection 🙂

  2. September 3, 2012 10:08:47 pm

    Thank you for enlightening me! I didn’t even know these books existed. A very gracious gift.

  3. September 10, 2012 10:08:33 am

    That is a really good tip particularly to those new
    to the blogosphere. Brief but very accurate information… Thank
    you for sharing this one. A must read post!

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