The Donald F. and Milder Topp Othmer Library of Chemical History – Chemical Heritage Foundation – 315 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
The Othmer Library of Chemical History collects, preserves, and makes accessible materials relating to the history of science, technology, and medicine, with an emphasis on chemistry and chemical engineering from ancient to modern times. The Othmer Library currently houses approximately 160,000 print and microform volumes, rare books and manuscripts, significant archival materials, and historical photographs of great value to researchers and our cultural heritage. Together these collections form an unrivaled resource for the history of chemistry and related sciences, technologies, and industries.
Holdings related to the First World War span archival manuscript and photographic materials, as well as published monographs and print journals. Industrial mobilization and developments in science and technology are well-documented in several key corporate collections, including the records of the Dow Chemical Company, Hercules Incorporated, and the Rohm & Haas Company. Trade journals effectively chronicle the maturation of the American chemical industry both during and after the war while several archival collections document postwar efforts to identify peacetime applications for wartime technology. Other items of note include Francis E. Scott’s U.S. Army Gas School Notebook and several volumes on the identification and treatment of gas poisoning.
For a full listing of our World War I resources, please consult our research guide.
Dow Chemical Historical Collection, 1897-2006 (bulk 1900-1990)
Papers of Herbert H. Dow, 1872-1930 (bulk 1915-1922)
Records and Ephemera of Hercules Incorporated, 1913-1997
Rohm & Haas Company Archives, 1743-1998 (bulk 1907-1983)
Travis P. Hignett Collection of Fixed Nitrogen Research Laboratory Images, 1920s-1950s (bulk 1926-1930)
Notable Individual Resources
America’s Munition’s 1917-1918: report of Benedict Crowell, the Assistant Secretary of War, Director of Munitions / by United States. War Dept., 1919
American industry in the war; a report of the War Industries Board (March 1921) / by Bernard M. Baruch, 1941
Annual chemical directory of the United States, 1918-1919
Chemical age (New York), 1919-1920
Chemical age (New York), 1920-1925
Defense against chemical attack / by United States. Army. Chemical Warfare Service, 1940
First aid in the prevention and treatment of chemical casualties / by United States. Office of Civilian Defense. Medical Division, 1941
Fünf Vorträge aus den Jahren 1920-1923 / by Fritz Haber, 1924
History of the manufacture of explosives for the world war, 1917-1918 / by W. Bradford Williams, 1920
Industrial America in the world war; the strategy behind the line, 1917-1918 / by Grosvenor B. Clarkson, 1923
La chimie et la guerre: science et avenir / by Charles Moreu, 1920
Medical manual of chemical warfare / by Great Britain. War Office, 1941
The story of the First gas regiment / by James Thayer Addison, 1919
United States Army Gas School notebook; 1918
Highlights from the Othmer Library's collections
This museum preserves and maintains this Revolutionary War era fort and offers extensive programming to the public.
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The description, collection summary, and notable resources for the Athenaeum of Philadelphia