Recent Acquisitions

Weeks, Mary Elvira | The Discovery of the Elements I-XVII

  • A rare and unusual set of the first seventeen parts of the classic The Discovery of the Elements, published as twenty-one articles in the Journal of Chemical Education in 1932 and 33 before it was republished in book form. Here collected and bound together in a contemporary, ready-made cloth binder with manuscript label.

    Author Mary Elvira Weeks (1892 - ?) was a physical and analytical chemist at the University of Kansas. “She worked on the atmospheric oxidation of solutions of sodium sulfite in ultraviolet light, the role of hydrogen ion concentration in the precipitation of calcium and magnesium carbonates and the use of oxidation-reduction indicators in the determination of iron. She was also interested in the history of chemistry, particularly in the discovery of the elements” (Ogilvie, Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science, p. 1358).

    Weeks “combined her dual interest in chemistry and languages to prepare a series of 21 articles in the Journal of Chemical Education in 1932-1933. The popularity of the series encouraged the Chemical Education Publishing Company of Easton, Pennsylvania, to collect the series and publish it as a paperbound book, Discovery of the Elements (1934). The articles and the resulting books were lavishly illustrated with pictures from [her colleague Frank B.] Dains’ collection, subsequently supplemented by pictures collected by Weeks. The book ultimately went though seven editions; the last in 1968 with the co-authorship of Henry M. Leicester. The book was, in many respects, a history of chemistry developed around the theme of discovering elements” (American Chemical Society, Division of the History of Chemistry biography).

  • ...[from] the Journal of Chemical Education volume 9, number 1 - volume 9, number 12. Journal of Chemical Education, 1932-33.

    17 articles removed from the Journal of Chemical Education and bound together in green cloth ready-made binder by Baschaga. Paper label to the upper board with manuscript title in an early-twentieth century hand. Black and white illustrations throughout the texts. Endpapers a little toned, binder lightly rubbed at the extremities. Excellent condition.