This is the book that unleashed it all. I started my love of Chemistry with this book. But it is not a simple Childhood book - there are no comparable books on the market today like it. The experiments described in this book are demonstrations that might be done by a High School Chemistry teacher
like myself (and I do some from this book!) but only with the greatest
caution would one want a child to do them. The chemicals used are now
almost impossible to get but in the Sixties one could still buy these sorts of things.
I bought my supplies from Spivey's Hobby Shop in West End or from
the Drug Store. When I was in the 6th grade my then 11th grade
cousin called to ask if I knew how to make any rocket propulsion and
I told her a nice chemical formula (that I still know and will refrain from
writing out for fear someone will try it - it is very simple to do IF you can
get the chemicals). She called back a few days later to tell me her
Chemistry teacher was quite alarmed and asked her where she got the
information. She told him and he told her to go take my
Chemistry set away from me. She was laughing. I was not.
I still have my copy of this book. It is now worth between $400-$500.00.
On Ebay they are calling it the book they Banned in the Sixties.
(I didn't know that). It does have one strange page that shows
1) how to make Chlorine gas and
2) a picture of how to smell the stuff.
Now even *I* knew that was flat out stupid. I never tried that one.
Recently I finished reading "The Radioactive Boy Scout" by Ken Silverstein
and the young man in this book also got his start from reading
"The Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments".
However he didn't decide to go to college and major in Pharmacy as I did..
He decided to build a nuclear reactor in his back yard. He had no siblings
so I guess he could do this undiscovered. My sister or two brothers surely
would have been my undoing should I have tried something like this
plus I did not have the money he did to buy the batteries, smoke detectors,
etc to take apart to get the necessary ingredients.
It was interesting to read how much he did and where he found
all the "stuff" he needed. (From a parent's point of view -
Where WERE THEY??) While he never got his reactor up and
running suffice it to say the neighborhood glowed for quite a while
and the clean up was costly.
It was sort of a trip down memory lane but with a totally different outcome.
Thank God for that!