Atom Model Kit

Atom Model Kit

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Usage conditions apply
This “Fisher Hirschfelder Taylor Atom Model Kit” was designed for creating models of organic molecules. The story began with Joseph Oakland Hirschfelder (1811-1990), a young University of Wisconsin chemist who, in 1937, was studying intermolecular forces in small molecules. Since the German molecular models on the market were expensive, Hirschfelder and the machine shop mechanic in his department created their own models. The Fisher Scientific Co. was selling models of this sort by 1939. An important improvement came a few years later when Hugh Stott Taylor (1890-1974), a professor of chemistry at Princeton University—where Hirschfeld had done his PhD—designed a new snap connector to hold the atoms in place.
Ref: Hugh S. Taylor, “Construction of Molecular Models,” U.S. Patent 2,308,402 (Jan. 12, 1943), assigned to Research Corporation of New York.
Eric Francoeur, “The Forgotten Tool: The Design and Use of Molecular Models,” Social Studies of Science 27 (1997): 7-40.
Currently not on view
Object Name
atom model kit
date made
ca 1960
Fisher Scientific Company
Associated Place
United States: New Jersey
box: 6.9 cm x 39.7 cm x 36.2 cm; 2 23/32 in x 15 5/8 in x 14 1/4 in
overall: 14 1/4 in x 15 5/8 in x 2 3/4 in; 36.195 cm x 39.6875 cm x 6.985 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Chemistry
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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