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Bolton Society Symposia: 2005 March

Named for Henry Carrington Bolton, the Bolton Society encourages and promotes the individual love for and collection of all types of printed material devoted to chemistry and related sciences.

Landmark Chemistry Books of the 20th Century: A Symposium in Honor of the Fifth Anniversary of the Bolton Society

Organizer, Presiding: James J. Bohning

Collecting classics in science / Ronald K. Smeltzer

Landmark discoveries and events in science during the twentieth century were documented by forms of publication such as technical monographs, serial issues, authors' separates, conference proceedings, dissertations and theses, institutional reports, and classified documents. Examples from among these many types of documents will be described to illustrate their significance and the question of whether or not the topic of this symposium will be relevant for the twenty-first century will be considered

Linus Pauling, The Nature of the Chemical Bond / Carmen J. Giunta

The Nature of the Chemical Bond (1939) is surely one of the most influential of Linus Pauling's many influential publications. The book is a creative and lucid synthesis of quantum mechanics and chemical concepts of bonding by a scientist steeped in both fields. An important reason for the book's influence is that it made results from the abstract world of quantum mechanics relevant to practicing chemists and chemistry students. The basis of the book in a series of papers Pauling published in the early 1930s will be examined. Several examples of the book's influence on the practice of chemistry and on chemical education will be traced

Sienko and Plane: The first modern chemistry text / James L. Ealy Jr.

Many modern chemistry texts still follow the basic format of Sienko and Plane. This text, with its straight forward and practical approach to first year chemistry caused more than a few students to reconsider chemistry as a major. However, for many of us, this text opened the door to our future. Especially interesting were the many levels of problems located at the end of each chapter. Many faculty, now about to retire, bought this text for their first year chemistry class and in 6 or 7 years used it in their own first and subsequent years of teaching freshman chemistry

Two books that launched a discipline / F. Bartow Culp

Whence arises a new chemical discipline? How does a new field of study first organize itself, and then continue to grow? In the case of “chemical literature”, as it was then called, we can establish its birth as occurring in the first quarter of the 20th century. The first book to treat chemical literature as a separate topic of study was a slim volume self-published in 1919 by Marion Sparks, the Chemistry Librarian at the University of Illinois. However, the most influential text in this field appeared a few years later in 1924. “Chemical Publications, their Nature and Use”, by M. G. Mellon, would go through five editions over 60 years, and track the development of the field from "Olsen's Chemical Annual" to structure-searchable online databases. We will present an account of these books and how they mirrored the changes in the field they helped to create

G. N. Lewis and the quantification of 20th century chemical thermodynamics: A tribute to the text "Thermodynamics and the Free Energy of Chemical Substances" by G. N. Lewis and M. Randall / William B. Jensen

The talk will trace the origins, content, and impact of the seminal 1923 text "Thermodynamics and the Free Energy of Chemical Substances" by the American chemists G. N. Lewis and M. Randall

Morrison and Boyd’s influence on the teaching of organic chemistry / Roger A. Egolf

The publication of the first edition of Morrison and Boyd's Organic Chemistry in 1959 brought important changes to the teaching of this subject which influenced the education of a new generation of chemists. This paper will examine how this textbook differed from its predecessors and how it evolved through its subsequent editions. Its influences on later organic textbooks will also be discussed

Teaching organic reaction mechanisms in classic textbooks / Ned D. Heindel

The mechanism approach using curly arrows to understand organic reactions is ubiquitous in today's textbooks and can even be found in many general chemistry texts. It was not that many years ago that organic chemistry was taught as a facts-based, rote memory, “preps and props” pedagogy. Historically, chemistry had to develop reliable structures and accurate rate measurements before mechanism theory could be advanced. Tarbell and Tarbell claim that this platform for mechanism teaching was built in the period 1876-1913. An analysis of the milestone textbooks allows one to trace reaction mechanisms from a tentative explanatory aid to the major theme in the mastery of new chemistry. The textbook contributions of Lorschmidt (1861), Remsen (1885), Conant (1928), Whitmore (1937), Alexander (1950), Noller (1951), Cram/Hammond (1959), Gould (1959), Morrison/Boyd (1959), Roberts/Caserio (1964) and many others will be treated to show the evolution of the curly arrow method in teaching organic chemistry

Louis Hammett and "Physical Organic Chemistry": Setting a research agenda; naming a subdiscipline / Leon Gortler

Louis Hammett published "Physical Organic Chemistry" in 1940. The book provided a corporate title for those applying physical chemistry to organic chemistry, it reviewed the important literature, and the topics covered set a research agenda for the next twenty years. This talk will discuss the book and the author/literature index that we have prepared, the impact of the book on the chemical community, and the training and research that prepared Hammett to write the book

Textbooks of stereochemistry: An author's perspective / Ernest L. Eliel

The second half of the 19th century marked both the beginning of, and intensive activity in, the area of stereochemistry; this activity diminished in the first half of the 20th though several German textbooks were published. But there was only one comprehensive English language chapter (Shriner and Adams, 1942). In 1962 I filled this void with "Stereochemistry of Carbon Compounds" (McGraw-Hill). The book was well received; over 40,000 copies were sold and many chemists studied the subject from it. By the 1970's, new and rapid developments in the field (conformational analysis, nmr applications, ORD/CD, efficient enantioselective syntheses) called for an updating, but this was not completed until 1994 when "Stereochemistry of Organic Compounds" (Wiley) was published with the coauthorship of Samuel H. Wilen. The talk will detail the gestation of these books and the problems encountered in writing them

G. N. Lewis and the third chemical revolution: A tribute to the 1923 monograph "Valence and the Structure of Atoms and Molecules" by G. N. Lewis / William B. Jensen

The talk will discuss the origins, content, and impact of the seminal 1923 monograph "Valence and the Structure of Atoms and Molecules" by the American chemist, G. N. Lewis.