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American Chemical Society

Division of the History of Chemistry

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In Its Blood: A Centennial History of the Division of the History of Chemistry

The ACS Division of the History of Chemistry (HIST) will celebrate its hundredth birthday as an ACS Division on January 1, 2022. Founded by Edgar Fahs Smith (1854-1928) and others, it "grew up" parallel to its "twin," the Division of Chemical Education. Today, HIST has over 1,000 members from every sector of the ACS, programs regularly at ACS National Meetings and at many regional meetings, publishes two Newsletters per year, and since 1988 has published an internationally recognized peer-reviewed journal, the Bulletin for the History of Chemistry. Its publishing record also includes 37 history-related volumes published over the course of the past 60 years that include topics in archaeological chemistry, biography, centennials and other landmark anniversaries, history of chemical sub-disciplines, chemical entertainment and history of chemistry outside ACS venues or in non-ACS venues.

While many of these activities fulfill HIST's stated mission to advance knowledge and appreciation of the history of the chemical sciences, HIST also serves as a resource for chemical scientists in general, recognizes past major achievements in the chemical sciences, and interacts with other organizations interested in the history of science.

Part of our celebration of HIST's Centennial Year is the online publication of a history of our first 100 years. This is planned as a thorough treatment of what happened before the division's formation, during the foundation, during its evolution and up to the present. The project will be open access and published online. Gary Patterson (, the Editor, welcomes contributions: please send written material, photographs, ephemera, etc. to him and indicate if you wish to author a full or part chapter. Current projections are for fifty chapters.