30 years ago in Chemistry in Britain

30 years ago in Chemistry in Britain

On 28 March HRH the Duke of Kent formally opened the new refurbished chemistry galleries at the Science Museum, South Kensington, London, UK. The galleries include a special exhibition organised by the Royal Institute of Chemistry (RIC) to celebrate its centenary. 

Much of the material for these new galleries has been provided through the efforts of M A T Rogers, who, with F Greenaway, keeper of the chemistry galleries, had persuaded industry and individuals to discover and lend or donate numerous items of historical significance. Of particular note is the early infrared spectrophotometer donated by Sir Harold Thompson, which was used for aircraft fuel analysis during the war. 

New exhibits in the refurbished galleries include one of the earliest commercial mass spectrometers, a Consolidated-Nier model used at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in the late 1940s, and one of the earliest electromagnets (with hand-wound coils!) used in NMR studies at Oxford in the early 1950s.  

The most striking object in the structure of matter collection is the big Periodic Table and its push-button console, unsurpassed in educational effectiveness by any similar museum exhibit elsewhere. 

Finally the public will be able to see for the first time the models used by John Kendrew and Max Perutz in their elucidation of protein structure, and the original base-pair plates used in the construction of the first DNA model by Francis Crick and James Watson. 

Extracted from a news item (July 1977)