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Author: Subject: Old Chemistry Lab Manual
len1
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As a child I had an old chemistry experimentation book for kids, one experiment was to investigate the properties of uranium salts - glow in the dark, etc. It pointed at the local chemist (drug store if youre in the US) as a source for these salts. Today such a request at my local chemist, after a polite no, is likely to be followed by a call to the national security line. We have frequent TV ads here, if you see anything suspicious (and in the background you can hear a housewife saying 'I think I saw something unuooo-sual') - call the national security 24hr hotline (set up at your expense) where you can remain anonymous.
JohnWW
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That would have been an uranyl salt, most likely the nitrate, UO2(NO3)2. Soluble uranyl salts, which are fluorescent yellow-green in color (with strong absorbance of light on the violet and ultraviolet), and usually made from "depleted uranium" (consisting almost entirely of U-238, from which nearly all the U-235 has been removed for use as nuclear reactor fuel), are used as analytical reagents, and for sensitization of other substances to UV light.
quicksilver
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The UK and the Colonies are really quite alike. Or more alike than different.

Each postures that they have a harder time with lawyers, laws, government censors, or whatever but in the end we are all quite alike in what we face on a day-to-day basis.
If we don't have exactly the same censors that they have in the UK here in the US today, that model will be available to copy once the "law-makers" get around to working around any Constitutional protections.
If NZ doesn't quite have some of the restrictive laws of AUS; just wait, they have the model to create some when the proper "emergency" gives cause.... We all share a common language and common clowns in office that are there as a permanent job keeping themselves re-elected.
The professional politician is really one of the most effective enemies of self determination & self government.

I don't watch TV that much but I'd bet we have some "public service" announcements to tell people to call HomeLand Security from some mindless paranoid reaction.

[Edited on 24-12-2007 by quicksilver]
MagicJigPipe
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The colonies? Surely you mean colonies of Britain and not the US by itself. It's been over 230 years since we were colonies.

"There must be no barriers to freedom of inquiry ... There is no place for dogma in science. The scientist is free, and must be free to ask any question, to doubt any assertion, to seek for any evidence, to correct any errors. ... We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it and that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. And we know that as long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost, and science can never regress." -J. Robert Oppenheimer
Xenoid
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 Quote: Originally posted by MagicJigPipe The colonies? Surely you mean colonies of Britain and not the US by itself. It's been over 230 years since we were colonies.

Off COURSE he means the UK and the colonies of Australia and New Zealand!...

Only an American would assume he was talking about the US!

It's this self centred attitude of Americans that is getting them into so much trouble around the world with their inept foreign policies!
MagicJigPipe
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Tsk tsk... It's the condescending attitudes of people like you that made me think he was trying to insult the US by referring to them as colonies. Especially in relation to the UK since we started out as their colonies.

Shame on you for your generalizations. Do you think that makes you, your country or other countries look any better?

[Edited on 27-12-2007 by MagicJigPipe]

"There must be no barriers to freedom of inquiry ... There is no place for dogma in science. The scientist is free, and must be free to ask any question, to doubt any assertion, to seek for any evidence, to correct any errors. ... We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it and that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. And we know that as long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost, and science can never regress." -J. Robert Oppenheimer
JustMe
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Ah, found "The Golden Book of Chemistry" as a PDF download that isn't a torrent.

OMG, I remember reading this in the library as a kid!

muriaticacid
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In my pre-chemistry course my teacher said we used to use more sulfuric acid and other "dangerous" chemicals. two of the science teachers I've had said they used to play with mercury but I shouldn't. both of them are fine in the head. I don't understand how something "safe" a couple of years ago could become "dangerous" now. o wait, lawsuit happy parents and such.
-jeffB
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 Quote: Originally posted by muriaticacid I don't understand how something "safe" a couple of years ago could become "dangerous" now.

You mean, like cigarettes? Asbestos? Tetraethyllead? X-rays as acne treatment, or for fitting shoes?

Over time, we learn new things.
MagicJigPipe
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My Mom told me about how she and her brothers used to play with the mercury from thermometers all the time. She's in her 40s and in perfect health.

I think society tends to sensationalize the toxicity of certain compounds. It sounds much cooler for something to be "DEADLY TOXIC" than for it to be "extremely hazardous". I know that's an oversimplification but, you get the jist.

"There must be no barriers to freedom of inquiry ... There is no place for dogma in science. The scientist is free, and must be free to ask any question, to doubt any assertion, to seek for any evidence, to correct any errors. ... We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it and that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. And we know that as long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost, and science can never regress." -J. Robert Oppenheimer
JohnWW
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 Quote: Originally posted by MagicJigPipeMy Mom told me about how she and her brothers used to play with the mercury from thermometers all the time. She's in her 40s and in perfect health.

Bulk Hg metal is not very toxic, because it is relatively unreactive. The compounds of mercury are what is really toxic.
psychokinetic
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*creaks the coffin open*

I've just claimed a few nice old lab manuals. No one else in my classes wanted them - they just want the right answers.
Me on the other hand, I'm loving them. 1953, 1970s, etc. Some of them are very useful for what I could do myself - barring the cyanide one similar to the one in the original post.

I'm not getting any study done for a few days, it looks like

“If Edison had a needle to find in a haystack, he would proceed at once with the diligence of the bee to examine straw after straw until he found the object of his search.
I was a sorry witness of such doings, knowing that a little theory and calculation would have saved him ninety per cent of his labor.”
-Tesla
MagicJigPipe
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 Quote: I have actually had wounds sutured using a cocaine local squirted in from a syringe . Not only didn't it hurt a bit , I almost wanted to go get hurt again , so I could get some more stitches , and for a couple of hours for some strange reason couldn't stop smiling and just loved everybody

Placebo effect. Cocaine making you smile and love everybody... Ha!

"There must be no barriers to freedom of inquiry ... There is no place for dogma in science. The scientist is free, and must be free to ask any question, to doubt any assertion, to seek for any evidence, to correct any errors. ... We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it and that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. And we know that as long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost, and science can never regress." -J. Robert Oppenheimer
zed
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Ah.... In the early 70s, when I signed on as a lab tech in the Chem Storeroom of my JC Alma Mater, the supplies were a sight to behold. A vast array of chemicals, accumulated over generations, were jammed on the numerous shelves.

There were a lot of exotic and dangerous things that were no longer in vogue, but by God, we had 'em if we needed them.

When I returned for a visit in the early 80s, I was shocked. It was all gone. What was once a cornucopia of useful and expensive reagents, had by then become a sterile wasteland. There were very few chemicals present.

Lab tech seemed rather proud of himself. "Got rid of it all, too dangerous!"

No doubt, he was just following orders. But, I'm wondering what experiments students can do now, in an era with no chemicals?

psychokinetic
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Proud? Oh dear.

“If Edison had a needle to find in a haystack, he would proceed at once with the diligence of the bee to examine straw after straw until he found the object of his search.
I was a sorry witness of such doings, knowing that a little theory and calculation would have saved him ninety per cent of his labor.”
-Tesla
benzylchloride1
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I took general chemistry in the year of 2006 through 2007. The labs were very similar to those that were conducted prior to 1960. We made hydrogen fluoride from fluorspar, sulfuric acid and etched glass with it, we did use a fume hood. We made large quantities of nitrocellulose, open bench, and got to take most of it home. We frequently worked with mercury salts in several qualitative analysis labs. Our teacher filled the classroom up with chlorine gas during a demonstration where acetylene was allowed to combust in the presence of chlorine gas under water. Chairs were routinely bugged with a red phosphorus - potassium chlorate mixture to get students attention. We ran several organic labs also such as the synthesis of aspirin, and methyl salicylate, along with the more usual titrations. The University that I attended where several of the chemistry professors had taken this general chemistry class from the same teacher twenty or thirty years ago was completely different. There general chemistry labs were dismal, mostly dry labs and very little chemicals. Organic lab was slightly different, the most dangerous chemical handled was sulfuric acid. Advanced inorganic lab was much better, chemicals such as pentacarbonyl iron were frequently worked with. Now I am heading to graduate school in the field of organic chemistry at the age of 19. From what I have heard, my high school AP chemistry teacher is probably the last teacher in the country that ran these types of labs. He influenced many of his students to major in chemistry.

Amateur NMR spectroscopist
Polverone
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I was lucky too when I took my first formal chemistry class. It was at a private high school in the 1990s. Not only was the teacher a bit of a pyrotechnic enthusiast herself, she was also the aunt of one of my friends who was a chemistry fellow traveler. When she cleaned out the stock room of old materials, we got to take them home.

We saw and participated in many spectacular demonstrations involving (e.g.) the alkali metals, chemiluminescence, halogens, and pyrophoric materials. Of course, I already knew from texts and photographs what to expect when sodium comes in contact with water. Seeing it first hand was something different, though. It did not convey any new facts, but I think I and the other students would have missed out if we had only read about it in a book or even seen a video tape of it. I am enthusiastic about the possibilities that electronic resources bring for independent and education, but without the hands-on component I find it difficult to believe that many students will have the enthusiasm to pursue learning through such resources.

The principal of the school was herself actually a degreed chemist, and in the 1970s she had run a special after-hours class about the chemistry of pyrotechnics. While I was in school she looked into reviving the class, but the liability insurance would have been crippling.

I do not think the push for improved health and safety regulations has been all bad: I am pretty sure that chemistry classes are generally safer now than 40 years ago, and your health is nothing to take lightly. But especially in the US, where the legal system tends to punish accidents more than prevent them, I fear the balance has been tipped too far. There are still fascinating and fairly safe activities that chemistry classes can pursue, like chromatography of household materials or synthesis of coordination complexes, but then the ugly budgetary beast raises its head. Lab activities are expensive compared to spreadsheets and paper exercises.

The same principal who wanted to run the pyrotechnics class once told me that she had received a $50,000 grant for buying educational technology from Hewlett Packard. She wanted to get oscilloscopes, a laser, and uv/vis spectrometers for the physics and chemistry labs. But it turned out that according to the grant terms "technology" only meant "personal computers, software, and accessories." PGP Key and corresponding e-mail address psychokinetic International Hazard Posts: 558 Registered: 30-8-2009 Location: Nouveau Sheepelande. Member Is Offline Mood: Constantly missing equilibrium  Quote: "received a$50,000 grant for buying educational technology from Hewlett Packard. She wanted to get oscilloscopes, a laser, and uv/vis spectrometers for the physics and chemistry labs. But it turned out that according to the grant terms "technology" only meant "personal computers, software, and accessories."

So, she got one license for Win ME, MidTown Madness, and half a printer, then?

Back on topic, I quite enjoy the way my university does undergrad labs - they're dangerous and 'pretty' enough to be cool, while not exposing us to salts of Hg etc. This is mainly because first year chemistry students are usually just taking the papers as they are pre requisites for their non-chemistry BScs.

The paper staff however, are so enthused and in to chemistry that I'm sure each year they suck a few non chemistry majors over to the dark side. They're stuck with me whether they like it or not though - I decided to major in chemistry before I even started

“If Edison had a needle to find in a haystack, he would proceed at once with the diligence of the bee to examine straw after straw until he found the object of his search.
I was a sorry witness of such doings, knowing that a little theory and calculation would have saved him ninety per cent of his labor.”
-Tesla
DDTea
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I have a friend whose father studied chemistry in Russia in the 1960's. She was telling me a story of how he was helping his professor with a demonstration using mercury (about 1 L or so). He was holding a paper funnel while the professor poured it. They managed to spill it all over the place. They cleaned it up as best as they could and then went on with their lives.

However, in subsequent years, students would get sick after going into the lecture hall. About 10-20 years later (it was a long time afterward, but I don't remember exactly how long), my friend's father reported the spill (after the dangers of mercury had been revealed). In true Russian fashion, the lecture hall was demolished and paved over

"In the end the proud scientist or philosopher who cannot be bothered to make his thought accessible has no choice but to retire to the heights in which dwell the Great Misunderstood and the Great Ignored, there to rail in Olympic superiority at the folly of mankind." - Reginald Kapp.
Rich_Insane
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That's awesome. I wish the government would still let us do experiments like that..... Living is an enormous liability, and taking risks with precaution is life.

I'm about to go into 9th grade, and I can say that I am not looking forward to any of the science classes, because since our government/school board grows dumber and dumber every year, there are too many "liabilities" in science experiments. For fuck's sake, there's liabilities everywhere. It shouldn't be the school's fault if some stupid kid got a chemical burn from playing table hockey with a beaker of concentrated HCl.
entropy51
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Experimenting with Chemistry: Experiments for the Home Lab

Burton L. Hawk's 1957 book by this title is now up on Google books. The full PDF is available for download.

The author's book "Organic Experiments for the Home Lab" is also listed there, but the full view is not available.
gregxy
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When I was growing up in the late 60s in Los Angeles,
there was a store called "Student Science Service" where
you could buy almost any chemicals that you wanted,
(although you needed to be 18 to buy chlorates). They
even had copies of COPAE for sale on the counter for $10. My friend bought a copy and I later bought if from him. I used to save my coins and buy 2oz bottles of chemicals for$0.75. The toy store also carried 1oz bottes
as refills for chemistry sets, and the drug store carried
sulphur, KNO3 and KMNO4.

Chemistry sets, model airplanes and hobbies in general are
disappearing due to concerns over safety and the growth
of video games.
Hazard to Others

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How do you get the PDF?

I tried this link, but no PDF in sight. Has it changed?

-Bobby

 Quote: Originally posted by entropy51 Experimenting with Chemistry: Experiments for the Home Lab Burton L. Hawk's 1957 book by this title is now up on Google books. The full PDF is available for download. The author's book "Organic Experiments for the Home Lab" is also listed there, but the full view is not available.
entropy51
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The PDF is there, at least for me. Google doesn't seem to like an IP address from certain countries.
SWilkin676
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 Quote: I think society tends to sensationalize the toxicity of certain compounds. It sounds much cooler for something to be "DEADLY TOXIC" than for it to be "extremely hazardous". I know that's an oversimplification but, you get the jist.

I think that is related to the MSDS "hazardous water" phenonmena. Lawyers probably have a lot to do with it. If you can sue tobacco companies for nicotine what can't you sue for?

I think a lot of the "hazardous" labelling came from OSHA as well - related to people have heavy exposure to chemicals on a daily basis. It starts out as some factory with poor practices who have workers with unusually high cancer rates and information gets lost tile it becomes simplified to "Benzene causes cancer".
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 Sciencemadness Discussion Board » Non-chemistry » Legal and Societal Issues » Old Chemistry Lab Manual Select A Forum Fundamentals   » Chemistry in General   » Organic Chemistry   » Reagents and Apparatus Acquisition   » Beginnings   » Responsible Practices   » Miscellaneous   » The Wiki Special topics   » Technochemistry   » Energetic Materials   » Biochemistry   » Radiochemistry   » Computational Models and Techniques   » Prepublication Non-chemistry   » Forum Matters   » Legal and Societal Issues