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Photographs and Ephemera from the Records of the Chemists' Club


Held at: Science History Institute Archives [Contact Us]315 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Science History Institute Archives. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

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The Chemists' Club was organized in November 1898 by 154 chemists who had been meeting in empty classrooms and chemical lecture halls to read and discuss professional papers. Notable attendees at these early meetings included such luminaries as Leo H. Baekeland, Charles F. Chandler, Morris Loeb, and E.G. Love, among others. Within a decade of its founding, the Club's success necessitated the creation of a permanent meeting place; spearheaded by Dr. Morris Loeb, construction of a New York City clubhouse began in 1909. After the Clubhouse opened in 1911, the development of a world-class library encompassing the collections of the American Chemical Society and members like Dr. Loeb, Drs. Frederic and Hugo Schweitzer, Professor Charles F. Chandler, and Dr. J. Meritt Mathews further elevated the stature of the Chemists' Club. Over the ensuing century, the Club emerged as a preeminent meeting place, listening post, networking hub, and technical archive for a broad cross-section of individuals, including chemists, chemical engineers, industry managers, and educators. In the present day, the Chemists' Club has expanded its membership further to include all who share an interest in the sciences, regardless of vocation.

For a more detailed inventory, please view this record in our library catalog:

The collection of the Chemists' Club consists primarily of photographs depicting group members, events, and buildings spanning the 1940s through the 1990s. Portraits of the organization's past presidents form a significant part of the collection. Of particular note are a series of photographs of the Chemists' Club library and fourteen caricatures of renowned chemists, including Walter Badger, Moses Gomberg, and Linus Pauling, created by artist J.C. Weller at the 1931 American Chemical Society National Meeting in Buffalo, New York. There is also a considerable number of photographs showing the exterior and interior of the Chemists' Club headquarters, including photographs taken after renovations were completed in the 1990s. A box of lantern slides and assorted uncataloged material, including newsletters and slides, completes the collection (see container list at end of the collection inventory for additional information).

Gift of the Chemists' Club, 1997.

A portion of this collection has been digitized and is available online in our Digital Collections:

Source of acquisition--The Chemists' Club. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--1997.

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