History of Science Museum: Collection Database Search


Inventory no. 92768 - Former Display Label


Manufactured by F. Kingsley, London.
Cardboard box (253mm x 170mm), containing common chemicals, a glass test tube, blow tube, stirring rod, and a booklet of instructions describing forty easy to perform experiments. The manufacturer stresses both the education and entertainment value. Friedrich Accum' marketed a 'Chest' for Chemical Amusement' as early as 1816 and described this pastime in enthusiastic terms:-
""The object of this chest is to blend chemical science with rational amusement. The pleasing appearance which chemistry affords, whilst they amuse, by presenting to the observer striking phenomena and unexpected results, are well calculated to diffuse mirth and surprise through a friendly circle ... Indeed, so singular and curious are the phenomena by this science, that to be welcomed and cultivated, it needs only to be known"". (Descriptive Catalogue of the Apparatus & Instruments Employed in Experimental and Operative Chemistry, In Analytical Mineralogy, and in the Pursuits of the Recent Discoveries of Voltaic Electricity. Manufactured and Sold by Accum and Garden, Operative Chemists, Compton Street, Soho, London, 1816. pp. 46f.)
Such chemical cabinets were commonplace by the middle of the nineteenth century. This set, probably from the 1920s, was considerably less dangerous than the 'radium kits' sold at the same time.


Related Objects: