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Old 01-31-2013, 07:04 AM
882 posts, read 1,987,882 times
Reputation: 599


Originally Posted by tallrick View Post
Has this gone the way of the dinosaur? As a kid one of my favorite pastimes was home chemistry. Has the chemistry set become obsolete?
Real sets, like the aforementioned Gilbert are long gone - today's "sets" are little more than coloring agents & a few (very) mild formulas.

Here's a great take on the "classics": "It's hard to see how the chemistry set can return from this low point. 'Not in America,' says Sacks, 'where there is a sort of nursery atmosphere, and a hysteria about risks and insurance."

The chemistry set generation

Oh, and I still have (most) of mine. And no, it's not for sale.
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Old 02-07-2013, 12:15 AM
389 posts, read 584,815 times
Reputation: 203
The suits that put together these kits today (read: marketing agents for Discovery/ Learning Channel) would freak out when an equally idiotic intern ran Prussian Blue through wiki (yes ferrocyanide, just ike sodium and chlorine, not iron and cyanide). The beauty of cobalt chloride is only a memory. Just try to put on the shelf in your local walmart a collection of iodine salts, solution of hydrogen peroxide, and sulfuric acid to demonstrate rates of reactions with an iodine clock.

Today experiments are "separate the iron filings from the salt using magnets." "Here is Fresnel lens, DO NOT TAKE OUTSIDE." Gone is the high school level experiments, alcohol lamps, tongs and anything dead that forever doesn't look it.

Did I become a chemist because my grandfather let me play with a Gilbert set he held on to, or was I just destine as my two older brothers had an equal chance and didn't become chemists.
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Old 04-12-2018, 07:28 PM
Location: The High Desert
13,864 posts, read 8,034,834 times
Reputation: 26807
I had one as a kid and so did most of my little friends. It was a common present given to boys but not many girls way back in the 1950s/60s. Girls got easy bake ovens and little sewing machines. My cousin was a budding mad scientist and would ignite hydrogen in his basement to impress his visitors. We also got microscopes and dissecting tools. No comment on where that led.
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