Gilbert Chemistry - Part 7
GILBERT CHEMISTRY 121
NOTE: This book was published in 1936 as a manual
to accompany several Gilbert Chemistry sets of the time.
While some of the experiments and activities here
may be safely done as written, a number of them use chemicals
and methods no longer considered safe. In
addition, much of the information contained in this book about
chemistry and other subjects is outdated and inaccurate.
Therefore, this book is probably best appreciated for
its historical value rather than as a source for current
information and good experiments. If you try
anything here, please understand that you do so at
Pages 121 - 140
oil which keeps the lacquer film tough and pliable. Large numbers of
new solvents and resins have been synthesized in the last few years,
making possible lacquers of almost endless variations in properties.
EXPERIMENT 314 - Making a water
color medium or vehicle
Cover two measures of gum arabic in a beaker or cup with about five
test tubes of water and let it stand still about a day. On stirring
with a stirring rod you will find that you have a thin gummy liquid
or mucilage. This material when mixed with a colored powder makes a
very good water color paint and, when dry after being painted on a
surface, adheres to the surface and has a glossy finish. If it is to
be kept long, a drop or two of a preservative such as carbolic acid
must be added.
EXPERIMENT 315 - To make a color
Lakes are colored bodies made by precipitating a colloid which is a
jelly-like substance in the presence of an organic dye, the dye
being absorbed by the colloid and giving it color.
To make a purple lake, put two measures of logwood in a test tube
half full of water and boil for several minutes. Add one and a half
measures of aluminum sulphate and shake the mixture thoroughly.
Allow the test tube to stand for several minutes and pour the clear
red liquid into another test tube. Now add to this solution one
measure of sodium carbonate and shake the mixture. Notice the
formation of a deep purple precipitate. Collect this precipitate in
a funnel with filter paper. This purple lake can be mixed with
your water color vehicle to make it good water color paint.
EXPERIMENT 316 - To make a carmine
Follow the directions of the previous experiment, but substitute two
measures of cochineal in place of the logwood.
EXPERIMENT 317 - To make a black
Folow the directions for the purple lake, but in place of aluminum
sulphate use one and a half measures of ferrous ammonium
sulphate. Collect the black precipitate and mix it with a few
drops of the gum arabic solution to make a good black
Colored organic substances which are not lakes may be useful
pigments. The following are examples.
EXPERIMENT 319 - A black charcoal
Mix together three or four measures of powdered charcoal with two or
three drops pf gum arabic solution. This gives a black charcoal
EXPERIMENT 319 - A black iron paint
Mix together one measure of ferric ammonium sulphate, one measure of
tannic acid, and two or three drops of gum arabic solution.
The black color is due to black iron tannate.
The most common class of pigments consists of insoluble inorganic
substances, generally called mineral pigments.
EXPERIMENT 320 - White terra alba
Mix well together three or four drops of gum arabic solution and
four or five measures of calcium sulphate. This white water
color paint is commonly called terra alba or mineral white.
EXPERIMENT 321 - Paris white
Substitute calcium carbonate (whiting) in the directions of the
EXPERIMENT 322 - To make zinc white
Put four or five measures of powdered zinc in the spoon and oxidize
it by heating it carefully over a flame. When the zinc has turned to
a white powder, allow it to cool and pulverize it very fine. This
pigment may then be moistened with your gum arabic solution to give
you a paint.
EXPERIMENT 323 - To make Prussian
First dissolve three measures of sodium ferrocyanide in a test tube
1/3 full of water. In another test tube 1/3 full of water
dissolve three measures of ferric ammonium sulphate. Mix these
solutions, and collect the deep blue precipitate on a f1lter.
By mixing it with gum arabic solution you obtain Prussian blue
EXPERIMENT 324 - A brown iron paint
Dissolve one measure of sodium carbonate in a test tube 1/4 full of
water. In the same quantity of water in another tube dissolve
one measure of ferric ammonium sulphate. The red~brown precipitate
which forms is ferric hydroxide and may be filtered out and used as
a pigment in gum arabic solution.
EXPERIMENT 325 - A black manganese
Moisten three or four measures of manganese dioxide with gum arabic
EXPERIMENT 326 - A white wash
Mix four or five measures of calcium oxide with five or six drops of
water until a smooth paste is obtained. It may be used in this form
as a cheap whitewash, but it is improved by addition of a binder
such as gum arabic or glue solution.
EXPERIMENT 327-Melting a lacquer
Obtain some waste celluloid, such as used photograph films.
Fill a bottle 1/4 full of scrap celluloid and fill nearly full with
acetone an put in a stopper. Let stand for a time and shake
occasionally until celluloid is entirely dissolved. If you use
photograph films you can make them dissolve more quickly if you
first remove the coating of gelatin by a wash with hot water
containing a little sodium carbonate. When the celluloid has
gone into solution in the acetone, pour the clear solution into
another bottle, leaving behind any undissolved sediment. Add
as a plasticizer a few drops of castor oil. You now have a
very useful clear lacquer which you can use to protect bottle
labels, to coat polished metals to keep them bright, etc. But
it may also be mixed with colored powders to produce very useful
EXPERIMENT 328-An aluminum lacquer
Moisten a few measures of fine aluminum powder with this lacquer
vehicle. You will obtain a water-proof aluminum lacquer.
EXPERIMENT 329-A black lacquer
Pulverize a few measures of charcoal to a very fine powder, or
obtain some in the form of lampblack. Before trying to mix it
with the clear lacquer, it will help if you stir in a drop or two of
acetone - just enough to barely moisten it. Now stir it up
with enough clear lacquer to make it thin enough to spread with a
The procedure of the two experiments above may be followed with any
of the dry pigments you have used for water paints. However, if the
pigment is wet, as was
the case with several that you prepared from water solution by
precipitation, you must first remove the water before using the
pigment in a lacquer. The following experiments illustrate two
EXPERIMENT 330 - To prepare a wet
pigment for use in a lacquer
Drain off free water on a filter paper and leave the precipitate on
the paper until it dries by by evaporation. Brush it from
the filter into the mortar and grind it to a fine powder, adding a
few drops of acetone toward the last. It can now be mixed
with the lacquer.
EXPERIMENR 331 - Another way
to prepare a wet pigment for use in a lacquer
Sometimes the pigment dries to a hard mass which is not easily
pulverized. If so, do not let the precipitate dry by
evaporation, but pour over it while on the filter paper some
acetone, a few drops at a time, continuing until the acetone
solution which has passed through the filter is at least twice the
volume of the original precipitate. The acetone washes the
water out and leaves the pigment wet with acetone ready to mix with
EXPERIMENT 332 - Testing white
paint for lead
Substitutes are often used for the white lead (basic lead carbonate)
used as pigment in paint. To test whether lead is present in
paint, spread a little of the paint on a board with a brush.
Now put five measures of sodium bisulphate in your gas
generating flask with about half a test tube of water. Add about
three measures of powdered iron sulphide and fit the stopper with
the gas delivery tube to the flask. Warm the contents of the
flask to start gas evolution, then hold the board so that the paint
is exposed to the hydrogen sulphide gas coming from the delivery
tube. If lead is present, lead sulphide will form and the
paint will be blackened. Paint containing lead compounds
should be avoided in laboratories where fumes would darken it.
Even the smoke in cities contains enough hydrogen sulphide to darken
lead paint. Since zinc sulphide is white, zinc pigments are
more satisfactory under these conditions.
EXPERIMENT 333 - Testing water
color paints for carbonates
Evaporate some of the paint dry in a spoon, heating until the
residue is white. Allow the residue to cool, then add a few
drops of tartaric acid solution or vinegar and notice whether the
residue gives off bubbles of gas. If it does, the paint contains a
IN THE HOME
How many boys and girls have ever been instructed regarding the
applications of chemistry in the home. In fact, how few of us
there are who really realize what an important part chemistry plays
in many of the natural processes taking place in the home.
Most of us are inclined to work mechanically, and do this or that
according to specific directions, and how seldom do we stop to
consider what is taking place chemically in the environment of home
surroundings. A household kitchen is a good example of a
practical chemical laboratory. It is very important today that
we all realize the relationship of this household unit to our
everyday life, especially simple applications of chemistry when
dealing with the necessities of life, such as pure food and water,
proper sanitation and clothing.
TRADE NAMES AND CHEMICAL NAMES OF 76 CHEMICALS ABOUT THE
potassium aluminum sulphate
gasoline or petrol
potassium hydrogen tartrate
glucose (corn sugar)
40% solution formaldehyde
mixed amyl alcohols
benzine or petrol
natural lead sulphide
Spirits of Hartshorn
Sugar of lead
Sugar of milk
cresol soap solution
con. sulphuric acid
pot. sodium tartrate
basic lead carbonate
How many boys and girls realize the important part that the family
doctor plays in the daily life of a community? He must always
he ready to respond to calls during day or night when he is needed
to relieve suffering and human pain.
There is no need greater, no need more urgent than that of the man
or woman or the child in illness or in pain; there is no need so
great to the individual who is suffering as the need of that moment
for one who can soothe or save. To the sufferer the whole
world is in the physician who comes at his call. To that sufferer
the physician represents life or life's going. That service for
which the patient waits hopefully, painfully or desperately is the
sort of service that every physician must have at hand at every hour
and every day of the three hundred and sixty-five days of the
year. It may be a stomach ache or it may he the misery and
torture of a sudden or chronic illness. The physician must be
ready for whatever it is. What a welcome friend he is at the
bedside in the time of sickness.
It becomes the duty of the physician not only to soothe, relieve or
cure, but in order to do that he must instill confidence in his
patient and then justify this confidence. That is no small
task for any man or woman. To accomplish this he must give the
very best of all that he has of knowledge, of technical skill and in
addition he must give something and sometimes a great deal of
himself. This giving is not of just one hour nor of just one
day, but of every hour and every day. His own business, his
own family, his own pleasures, his own leisure must be sacrificed,
suspended or dropped in order that he may serve those who need him.
AND PUBLIC HEALTH
Chemistry has done much to help the family doctor in his work.
Today he is dependent on drugs manufactured and synthesized by
chemists for the successful practice of his profession. This
relationship of the doctor and the chemist is illustrated in the
following table or chart.
The chemist has improved on
the methods of isolating drugs from plants, thereby
providing drugs of greater purity for the physician to
The chemist has duplicated
and in many cases has improved upon drugs found in nature.
The chemist has devised
methods for detecting drug adulteration, thereby
protecting the public from fraud.
Bacteria and Microbes
The chemist has added to our
knowledge of the life processes of these lower organisms.
The physician has been taught to how to prevent the
destructive diseases caused by these lower organisms.
Germicides and Antiseptics
The chemist has pared
valuable antiseptics for the use of surgeons which prevent
danger from infection after serious operations.
|RELATION OF CHEMISTRY TO
Anesthetics and Saporifics
The chemist has enabled the
surgeon and dentist to perform painless operations by
providing many new organic combinations possessing
The chemist has cooperated in
making effective the application of artificial radiation.
As a result the physician is enabled to control the
ravages of specific diseases and regulate proper nutrition
for growing children.
The chemist has worked out
practical methods for extraction of radium from ores,
thereby providing an effective method of treating cancer
Metallurgy of Iron and Steel
The chemist has provided
better instruments to be used by the surgeon in making new
alloys of iron and developing improved methods for
X~Ray and Fluoroscope
The chemist has synthesized
several new chemicals for X-ray plates and fluoroscope
screens. These enable physicians to make more
Don't touch a wound with your fingers or any instrument.
Don't put an unclean dressing or cloth over a wound.
Don't allow a bleeding to go unchecked.
Don't move a patient unnecessarily.
Don't allow a patient with a fracture or suspected fracture to be
moved until splints have been applied.
Don't neglect shock
Don't burn a patient with an unwrapped hot-water bottle or other
Don't fail to give artificial respiration when needed.
Don't fail to remove false teeth, tobacco, and chewing gum from the
mouth of an unconscious person.
Don't permit air to reach a burned surface.
Don't wash wounds.
Don't reduce dislocations, except of the finger and lower jaw.
Don't put a quid of tobacco on a wound
Don't leave a tourniquet on over 20 minutes without loosening.
Don't forget to send immediately for a physician.
Some common drugs and chemicals which are safe to apply externally
for local treatment to the skin and wounds in case of minor
Tincture of iodine
Carbolic acid solution (phenol)
Potassium carbonate solution
|Sodium carbonate solution
Zinc chloride solution
Sodium hydroxide solution
Phenol or carbolic acid solution
Hexylresorcinol in form of ST. 37
Alum (ammonium or potassium aluminum sulphate)
Fixed oils and fats
analgesics for pain and itching
Carbolic acid solution
Ammonia vapor: Inhaled
through the nostrils is a stimulant and delays fainting. Do not breathe strong ammonia vapors.
Tincture of aranica: Useful
as a liniment and valuable as a liniment for treatment of sprains
and bruises. Almost always found in mother's medicine cabinet.
Bicarbonate of soda: Known
as baking soda. Used in treatment of burns.
Camphor: Comes in gum form
and also as spirits of camphor. Camphor should not be applied
directly to open wounds.
Ginger: Tincture of ginger
is useful for bowel complaints. Trust to your mother to properly
apply this remedy.
Glycerine: Recommended for
burns. Mixed with rose water it makes a practical lotion.
Peppermint: Tincture of
peppermint is a well-known home remedy oftentimes used by your
Witch hazel: Extract of the
plant witch hazel. A remedy for sprains, contusions, wounds and
swellings. Also good for chapped hands, burns, scalds and abrasions.
Vaseline: Recommended for
burns and scalds.
Carron oil: For burns and
scalds, formula: Mix equal parts lime water and raw linseed oil and
shake thoroughly. This forms a creamy emulsion and can be used
freely without harm. Olive oil or cotton seed oil may be
substituted for linseed oil.
Limewater: Always available
at a drug store for both internal and external use.
in Case of Accidents
Burns and scalds: Cover the
surface of the wound with bicarbonate of soda and lay over it a wet
cloth. Olive oil and linseed oil alone or mixed with limewater are
Snake bite: Suck the blood
from the wound and cauterize with a caustic as tincture of iodine,
silver nitrate solution or sodium hydroxide.
Dog bite: Treat the same as
in the case of snake bites.
Bee stings: Apply diluted
ammonia solution, salt water solution, or tincture of iodine.
Fainting: Lay patient
on the back. Furnish with plenty of fresh air and moisten face
with cold water. Keep head lower than rest of body.
Foreign substance in eye:
Pull the upper lid downward away from the eyeball over the lower lid
and then release.
Capsules: Are made of
gelatin oftentimes mixed with a little glycerine. These are used for
oils and solutions of drugs in oils. Hard gelatin capsules are used
for dispensing powders.
Take a gelatin capsule and apply your test recommended for protein.
Take a gelatin capsule and apply your test recommended for sulphur
of pyroxylin (gun cotton) in mixtures of ether and alcohol or
acetone. They are used for external applications.
EXPERIMENT 336 - Preservation of
Place a piece of beefsteak in a salt mouth bottle and add one
spoonful of formaldehyde solution, which can be obtained in any drug
store. Cork quickly and seal the bottle with a coating of collodion.
EXPERIMENT 337 - Putrefaction of
Repeat the previous experiment, using only meat, and do not seal the
bottle with collodion. Let both bottles stand around at
ordinary temperature. Which sample will first show evidence of
Decoctions: These are
aqueous preparations made by boiling vegetable substances in water.
EXPERIMENT 338 - Decoction of
Collect some bayberry leaves, dry them, and prepare a strong
decoction. Filter and allow to stand. Notice the odor of the
EXPERIMENT 339 - Balsam
Repeat the previous experiment, using balsam twigs.
aqueous preparations in which oils or resins are suspended by means
of colloidal substances. Fresh milk is an emulsion.
Extracts: Are preparations
made by evaporating solutions of the soluble constituents of
vegetable or animal matter.
EXPERIMENT 340 - Bayberry extract
Select 50 grams of bayberries and mix with five test tubes full of
carbon tetrachloride. Cool and filter; then let the carbon
tetrachloride evaporate and bayberry wax will be left behind. This
is an extract of crude bayberry wax.
Infusions: These are
aqueous preparations made by pouring hot water over a vegetable
drug. The best illustration is the preparation of ordinary tea
or coffee in a percolator.
Mucilages: These are
aqueous solutions of gums or the mucilagenous principles of many
Fixed oils: These are
neutral glycerine esters of vegetable and animal fatty acids.
The acids present are generally oleic, palmitic and stearic
Essential oils: These are
oily liquids derived from plants. Oil of wintergreen is an example.
Spirits: These are
alcoholic solutions of volatile substances. Alcoholic ammonia is an
example of a spirit.
Syrups: Are concentrated
solutions of sugars and water. Honey is a natural syrup.
Tinctures: Are alcoholic
extractive preparations of vegetable drugs. Tincture of iodine is a
specific case of a tincture preparation of an inorganic element.
Ointment: Soft, fatty
solids of such a consistency that they may be spread over the skin.
They are generally used as simple protectives.
candle burned to socket brings health to the home and wealth to
EXPERIMENT 341 - Preparation of
Collect in the Fall of the year about one pound of bayberries and
place them in a large bottle. The bottle should be about one~half
filled. Then pour over the berries a mixture made up of six parts of
gasoline and one part of wood alcohol. Let stand at ordinary
temperature and agitate frequently. After standing for two or three
days, then drain off the gasoline mixture into a round bottom flask,
connect with a Liebig condenser and distil off the solvent at the
lowest possible temperature by heating the flask in a steam or hot
water bath and condensing the distillate with an efficient
condenser. This distillate can be used for further
extractions. After removal of the solvent the dissolved
bayberry wax will be left behind as a dark colored oil. On
cooling it will solidify to a greenish colored wax. If exposed
to the air for several hours this wax can be practically freed of
all traces of solvent. The wax can be preserved in the form of
moulded cakes of any shape desired if you have the proper mould.
EXPERIMENT 342 - Making a bayberry
Select a piece of glass tubing of proper diameter and length for
moulding a candle. Insert in one end of the tube a cork
through which is drawn a string to serve as a wick. Hold the
wick string taut, fill the tube with melted wax, and let cool.
After complete solidification then remove the cork and gently warm
the tube. The candle will easily slip from the tube after heating.
EXPERIMENT 343 - Balsam pillows
The balsam tree is well known for its fragrant aroma. Secure some
green boughs of a balsam tree and chop the twigs into small pieces.
Balsam twigs in this form are very fragrant and are an excellent
material for filling pillows at Christmas time.
EXPERIMENT 344 - Making a
If you are a wild flower lover and are interested in making a unique
home decoration at Christmas time, construct a partridgeberry bowl.
The leaf of the partridgeberry is evergreen and the berries a
brilliant red. Select a round, glass bowl about four inches in
diameter, fitted with a tight glass or metal cover. Select uniform
sprays of the plant and arrange in the bowl so that both leaves and
berries are visible.
If properly packed the sprays will continue to grow. The
partridgeberry bowl requires no attention except a few drops of
water once a month. Keep tightly covered to conserve water.
EXPERIMENT 345 - Evergreen trees
Every boy and girl should be familiar with our native evergreen
trees. Collect sprays of the following: Arbor vitae, American yew,
balsam, fir, hemlock, juniper, red cedar, white spruce, American
arbor vitae, white pine, red spruce and Norway spruce. Compare
the foliage of these species and note any characteristic
differences. Which species are commonly used for Christmas
EXPERIMENT 346 - Around the
fireplace at Christmas
The fireplace is the center of family life at Christmas time, as
well as in the long winter evenings. What can you suggest in
the way of a Christmas decoration to make it more attractive?
Make the proper selection of evergreen, etc., for roping, sprays and
provide balsam needles and selected cones for burning in the
FLAMES FOR FIREPLACES AND OPEN FIRES
Material for preparing interesting Christmas gifts for our friends
can easily be made by chemically treating wood and other combustible
material which when thrown on burning fires will produce colored
flames. Small pieces of well dried wood, pine cones, corn cobs,
charcoal, knots and rolls of old newspapers are all suitable
materials for use in making colored fires.
DIRECTIONS FOR CHEMICAL TREATMENT
To apply the chemicals, take a small wooden pail, a tub or an old
earthen crock. Do not use a metal container because the
chemicals will destroy the metal. Dissolve the chemical
to be used in the proportion of one pound to a gallon of water. In
some cases ot will not be necessary to use so strong a solution.
After the chemical solution is ready, then take your material
to be soaked (pieces of wood or cones) and suspend them in a porous
bag, a wire basket or some similar container, and dip them into the
chemical solution. Let them soak for two or three hours so
that the solution will completely penetrate the combustible
material. Then remove from the solution and allow to drain, finally
spreading on paper for complete drying. CAUTION! When
preparing the chemical solutions and also when soaking wood and
cones do not put your hands in the solutions as they are corrosive
and will injure the skin.
EXPERIMENT 347 - A blue
Use blue vitriol or copper sulphate as your chemical and dissolve as
directed in water. This chemical is not expensive and can be
purchased at a wholesale drug house. Wood shavings, cones,
coarse charcoal, and dried branches of evergreen trees
make suitable material for soaking.
EXPERIMENT 348 - A purple fireplace
Potassium permanganate is a practical reagent for cone or wood
soaking. A beautiful purple color characteristic of potassium will
EXPERIMENT 349 - A green fireplace
For producing this color use a solution of boric acid.
EXPERIMENT 350 - A red fireplace
Two chemicals can be utilized for producing a red flame: lithium
chloride or strontium nitrate. It will not be necessary to use more
than one-quarter to one-half of the quantities of chemicals
recommended in the general directions. The red colors are more
intense and therefore less chemicals are required to produce the
EXPERIMENT 351 - An orange
For producing an orange fire, calcium chloride is recommended.
This is a very cheap salt.
EXPERIMENT 352 - Christmas
Prepare small bags of netting and then place some dried wood
shavings or small cones in each of them and tie with bright red
ribbons or cord. These bags make excellent gifts at Christmas time
and give much pleasure when burned in fireplaces or open hearth
EXPERIMENT 353 - A Merry Christmas
Make a strong water solution of potassium nitrate. Using this
solution as an invisible ink, write on a sheet of white paper the
following: "Merry Xmas." Make the lines heavy and
writing continuous without any breaks. Allow the paper to then
touch the beginning of the writing at the letter 'M ' with a red hot
wire. A spark will develop and run over the paper tracing out
the words "Merry Xmas.” This is an example of fire
EXPERIMENT 354 - Happy New Year
Repeat the above experiment using the greeting "Happy New
Year." Make writing continuous.
EXPERIMENT 355 - April Fool
Repeat the above experiment, using the words "April Fool.”
EXPERIMENT 356-Believe it or not
Repeat the above experiment using the well-known Ripley remark
"Believe It or Not."
CHEMISTRY OF FOODS
While there is quite a variety of foods and the compounds present in
foods are very numerous and often very complex, yet they may al be
included in a few a general classes. The edible portion of our
foods consists essentially of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, mineral
matter and water.
Proteins, which occur to a larger extent in animal foods, serve to
replace the worn-out tissues of our bodies and to supply material
for growth. The carbohydrates and fats are both oxidized in the body
to carbon dioxide and water and consequently serve as a source
of heat and muscular energy. If carbohydrates or fats are lacking in
the foods we eat, the protein material in them furnish the necessary
heat and energy. The mineral matter supplies the necessary
material for bulding up the solid tissues of the body besides taking
other complex parts.
Proteins occur in both animal and vegetable foods and are composed
of the elements carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and small amounts
of sulphur and phosphorus. Carbohydrates are chiefly found in
vegetable foods in the form of starch and sugars and are composed of
the elements, carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Fats occur in both
classes of foods, but occur in much larger quantities in animal
foods. They are
compounds of glycerine with organic acids and are composed of the
elements carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.
It is important, since the various constituents of our foods serve
different purposes, that we use the proper proportion of these
materials in order to keep up a healthy body. For example,
during the winter months we should eat a larger amount of animal
foods since they contain a larger proportion of fats necessary to
keep the body warm. During the warm weather we should eat less
meats or animal foods and more vegetables or fruits. They contain
carbohydrates which serve to keep up the necessary body heat and
energy. How often people are made very uncomfortable and
sometimes sick by their ignorance of the amounts and kinds of foods
that the body requires during the different periods of the year. Did
you ever realize that sometimes a heavy cold is brought about by
over-eating. This happens quite often when we are not
exercising the body enough; the foods are not oxidized or burned up,
the blood becomes stagnant and we are sick. The body is a very
intricate form of machinery, each part performing its own particular
function the same as the different parts of a watch. If we
abuse any one of these parts by eating too much with an insufficient
amount of exercise or by not eating the right kinds of foods,
something goes wrong and we are sick.
Throughout the country there are chemical laboratories which are
conducted by the Government and local public health boards for the
purpose of analyzing and testing foods as to their purity. A
few years ago the Government enacted the Pure Food Law, which
requires that foods which are bought by the public should be free of
impurities or adulterants as they are called. Adulterants are
materials sometimes mixed with foods to make them cheap. For
example, oleomargarine was quite often used to take the place of
good butter, whereas, it was a very poor substitute. In other foods
harmful chemicals were often used to preserve them. Quite often
foods were adulterated to give them weight, bulk or proper color.
For example coffee was often weighted with chicory. Today,
things are quite different; most of the foods on the market
are pure or nearly so.
The square meal today has come to have six sides, all of which are
necessary for human beings, if they wish to enjoy good health.
First, water is the most important of these sides.
Proteins: bones require proteins and minerals. If human beings
do not get a proper amount of proteins and mineral substances, for
bone growth, they suffer from rickets and other bone
disorders. Calcium and phosphorus are the two chief mineral
elements needed for bone growth. It is very important to realize the
importance of calcium as one of the essential elements in the
metabolism of human beings. In the growth and repair of the bony
frame-work and teeth of the body it is very necessary. Calcium
plays a very distinct role in the tuberculosis patients' bid for the
return of good health. A careful study of all available data
indicates that about 95% of school children suffer from tooth
decay. The prevention of tooth decay would be an untold boon
to the public. A lack of vitamin C in the diet leads to an
increase in tooth decay. The lack of this vitamin produces a
degeneration and retards the nutrition of the teeth. Vitamin D
is a potent substance and also a regulator of tooth decay.
Blood serum high in phosphorus is essential to tooth immunity. The
chief fuels used by the body are known as carbohydrates. Two
forms of carbohydrates which man uses in food are starches and
sugars. Foods rich in these substances are important energy-giving
foods. Fats: These are important constituents of such foods as
butter, cream, bacon. Fats serve two purposes in the
body: They serve to keep the body wanrm by supplying a padding
around the muscles; they also serve as a reserve fuel supply, and
are drawn upon by the body as a source of energy. Materials which
regulate body processes: common salt, iron, mineral
substances, and the naturally occurring principles known as
EXPERIMENT 357 - The use and care
of aluminum ware
Obtain an old aluminum pan and put some vinegar in it. Warm
slightly and notice the corrosive action which the vinegar has on
aluminum. Add a small quantity of salt to the vinegar and notice
that the corrosive action is increased. Put a small quantity of lye
in the aluminum pan, dissolve it in water, and notice that this also
corrodes the aluminum.
This experiment shows that acids and alkalies should not be put in
aluminum ware for cleaning or polishing. Neither should acid foods
be prepare or kept in aluminum vessels. Salad dressing containing
vinegar and salt, for example, would corrode aluminum pans very
badly and also introduce aluminum compounds into the food.
EXPERIMENT 358 - Why zinc vessels
are not used for foods
Test the solubility of zinc in acids, for example, warm vinegar.
Also test the solubility of zinc in a strong lye solution. You will
see that zinc is attacked by acids and alkalies; therefore, foods
should not be kept or prepared in zinc vessels. Sodium chloride
solution also attacks zinc readily, and as the soluble compounds of
zinc are poisonous, it would be very dangerous to use zinc vessels
in preparing foods.
EXPERIMENT 359 - Cooking in copper
Test a strip of copper in acids; for example, two measures of sodium
bisulphate in a test tube one-quarter full of water, strong vinegar,
etc. Notice that especially when the solution is heated the
copper dissolves in the acids. Add a few drops of household ammonia
to an acid solution which has acted on copper. We find, therefore,
that copper vessels are not good for cooking foods as the copper
will dissolve in acids and the soluble salts of copper are
EXPERIMENT 360 - Testing silver
To find out whether an article is plated with nickel or with silver
prepare a solution of four measures of sodium bisulphate in a test
tube half full of water. Put the article which you wish to
test in this solution and warm it for a few minutes. If a
greenish solution is formed, the article contains nickel. Test
the solution by adding sodium carbonate until it no longer
effervesces and then generate hydrogen sulphide gas, and pass the
gas through your delivery tube into the solution. A black
precipitate indicates nickel.
EXPERIMENT 361 - Cleaning
Sodium thiosulphate dissolves silver sulphide. Prepare a solution of
two measures of this salt in a test tube three-quarters full of
water. Moisten a soft cloth in this solution and rub a piece of
silverware, which is tarnished with silver sulphide.
EXPERIMENT 362 - Removing iodine
The blue color formed with iodine and starch or the brown iodine
stains can be removed from flesh or from fabrics by means of sodium
EXPERIMENT 363 - A test for soil in
the flower pot
Remove a sample of soil from your mother’s flower pot and mix with
sufficient clear water to make a thin paste. Insert a strip of blue
litmus paper in the mixture and allow it to remain for half an
hour. Withdraw the paper and wash with water. If the
paper has turned pink the soil is acid.
EXPERIMENT 364 - A fragrant
Carnauba wax and one part of bayberry wax are mixed with sufficient
turpentine to form a thick paste. Be sure to mix thoroughly in order
to obtain a uniform paste. Apply this mixture to a piece of
furniture that your mother would like renovated. Rub briskly
when dry to obtain a good polish.
EXPERIMENT 365 - Keeping the
surface of window panes clear
In cold weather one often desires to keep a window pane in the
kitchen free from ice in order to see out of doors. Also, when
driving a car in rain, snow, sleet, fog or frost, it is difficult to
keep the windshield so that you can see through it. A very
simple compound can be made of soap and glycerine which will prevent
the window panes from becoming fogged or streaked with rain or
ice. The same compound can also be used on eye glasses to keep
them clear in bad weather.
Shave some white soap by scraping with a knife and put 25 measures
of the soap shavings and four or live drops of glycerine in a glass
or cup. Add a few drops of water and stir thoroughly with a
stirring rod until a smooth stiff paste is formed. Keep this paste
in a tight container and when needed take a little on your fingers
and rub over the outside surface of the glass to be kept clear.
EXPERIMENT 366 - Colored soap
Put a heaping spoonful of shaved soap in a mortar or cup and add two
or three drops of cochineal solution. Grind the mixture
thoroughly and when the whole mass is a uniform color, work it up
into a cake with your fingers. By using different dyestuffs, almost
any desired color of soap can be made.
EXPERIMENT 367 - Perfumed soap
Put a heaping spoonful of soap shavings into your mortar and add
four or five drops of a selected perfume. Grind the mixture up
thoroughly and then form it into a cake by pressing it into a smooth
mould. Various perfumes can be used to make soap any odor
EXPERIMENT 368 - Liquid soap
Put a spoonful of soap shavings into your mortar and add water, a
few drops at a time, stirring the mixture continually with the
pestle. When the proper consistency has been reached
pour the liquid soap into a bottle if you wish to keep it.
EXPERIMENT 369 - Transparent soap
Take a piece of Ivory soap about the size of a marble and put it in
the bowl of a spoon together with four or five drops of
glycerine. Now heat the spoon over the flame for a few minutes
until the soap has meltedy and mixed with the glycerine. Upon
cooling you will find that the mass is now transparent.
Transparent soaps are also made by mixing alcohol or sugar with
EXPERIMENT 370 - How soap cleanses
Have you ever thought why it is that soap will immediately remove
dirt from your hands; while if you try to wash them without soap it
takes very much harder rubbing? Soap cleanses by emulsifying
or holding the dirt in suspension and then by rinsing the soap away
with water, the dirt goes away with it. On the other hand, if
you wash with water which does not contain soap, the water will
loosen the dirt, but in order to remove the dirt it must be rubbed
away. Try this experiment.
Obtain a small amount of grease or oil and fill a test tube about
one-quarter full with it. Now add water until the tube is half
full and shake the tube for a few minutes until the oil and water
are thoroughly mixed. When you stop shaking, the oil and water
separate very rapidly. Now add a small amount of soap solution to
the oil and water in the test tube and shake again. This time
the oil and water stay mixed together for some time before they
separate, and it would be an easy matter to remove the oil while it
is held by the soap and water.
EXPERIMENT 371 - Laundry soap
Put three or four measures of soap shavings in the mortar and grind
it to a paste with four or five drops of water glass. When yu have a
good mixture scrape it in a pile on a plate or tin pan and let it
dry. Laundry soap frequently contains water glass or sodium
silicate as well as sodium carbonate.
EXPERIMENT 372 - Borax soap
Soap is sometimes mixed with borax and used as laundry soap,
etc. Grind together in your mortar five or six measures of
soap shavings with two measures of Borax and three or four drops of
water. Scrape the paste from the mortar on to a tin pan after
it has been thoroughly mixed and then let it dry.
EXPERIMENT 373 - Medicated soap
These soaps are mixed with various antiseptic substances, such as
carbolic acid, etc. When used a small amount of the antiseptic
substances dissolves and comes in contact with the surface to which
the soap is applied. You can make a small quantity of
medicated soap by mixing a little soap and acid with some water and
grinding the mass in the mortar until it is well mixed and then
drying the paste.
EXPERIMENT 374 - Dissolving grease
Try to dissolve a small piece of lard, or butter, or grease in
water. If the water is heated the grease may melt and become
distributed through the water, but on standing it will again come
into a mass and will not dissolve.
Now put a small piece of grease in a test tube with a few drops of
carbon tetrachloride and notice that it dissolves almost
immediately. Try to mix carbon tetrachloride with water. Mix
some carbon tetrachloride with water containing suspended fat.
What becomes of the fat?
EXPERIMENT 375 - How biscuits are
Put a teaspoonful of flour in a tumbler and add four measures of
sodium bicarbonate. Stir this mixture with a little water
until you have a dough like bread dough. Now put a piece of
this dough about the size of a marble on your spoon and heat it over
the alcohol lamp flame. Notice that the dough swells and that it
becomes porous or light, due to the gas that is formed in it.
Ordinary baking soda is sodium bicarbonate; when treated it gives
off part of the carbon dioxide gas which it contains, so when used
in biscuits, cakes, etc., the gas coming off raises the dough and
makes it porous. In cooking, sour milk, or other acid, is used with
the baking soda. This neutralizes the soda and gives off more carbon
APPLICATIONS OF CHEMISTRY IN MOTHER'S KITCHEN
EXPERIMENT 376 - Protein in the
white of an egg
Place in a test tube some white of a boiled egg and mix well with
one measure of pulverized calcium oxide. Then add three or four
drops of water and heat the mixture.
over your alcohol lamp and smell the gas that is generated.
Conduct some of the gas evolved over a moistened red litmus paper.
Proteins contain nitrogen. Egg white is a protein substance
and on heating with calcium oxide is decomposed with liberation of
Apply the preceding experiment, using a chicken's liver.
Apply the test again, using a lamb's kidney.
Repeat experiment 376 using a piece of dry cheese.
Repeat experiment 376 using the skin of a potato.
Repeat experiment 376 using a sample of your mother’s breakfast
Repeat experiment 376 using a sample of your mother's favorite
Repeat experiment 376 using a piece of rayon silk.
EXPERIMENT 384-Sulphur in proteins
Put a half spoonful of the white of an egg into a test tube and add
one measure of copper sulphate and two measures of calcium oxide.
Heat the test tube over a flame and allow the mixture to boil for
two or three minutes. Notice the black precipitate of copper
sulphide which is formed, showing that proteins contain sulphur.
Repeat experiment 384 using a piece of the finger of an old leather
Repeat experiment 384 using a piece of dried cheese.
Repeat experiment 384 using a piece of rubber tubing.
Repeat experiment 384 using a piece of woolen yarn. Also test the
piece of woolen yarn for protein.
Repeat experiment 384 using ground mustard seed.
EXPERIMENT 390 - Testing canned
goods for copper
This test may be applied on a great variety of food articles such as
canned peas, beans, ordinary spinach, apricots, pears, pickles,
saurkraut, etc. Grind together a selected sample of the food
to be tested with two or three measures of sodium bisulphate and
several spoonfuls of water. Heat this mixture for several
minutes below the boiling temperatire of water (212° F.) in a sauce
pan and finally let stand on the back of a warm stove. Finally
drop into this hot solution a polished wire nail and let
it remain there for about one-half to one hour. It is well to stir
the contents of the pan occasionally. If the wire nail takes on a
red color due to copper plating this will be evidence that the
sample of food product you have tested will contain traces of
EXPERIMENT 391 - Copper in oysters
Repeat experiment 390 using the pulp of an oyster.
EXPERIMENT 392 - Copper in scallops
Repeat experiment 390 using the meat of a scallop.
EXPERIMENT 393 - Copper in a round
Repeat experiment 390 using the meat of a round clam.
Sea food is frequently contaminated with traces of copper This is
carried oftentimes to the sea water by sewage drainage, especially
in areas where certain industrial operations are carried on
extensively. Oysters are often found contaminated with copper.
EXPERIMENT 394 - Testing coffee
Coffee does not contain starch. It is often contaminated, however,
with starchy materials. Some of these are ground beans, peas and
chicory. The microscope will serve many times to detect such
adulterations. A test for starch may be used, therefore, to show the
presence of these adulterants. Digest the coffee with hot water to
make a strong solution. Treat with a spoonful of absorbent charcoal
to remove the color, and finally dilute with a little water to
obtain a light colored solution. Then apply your starch-iodine
reaction to test for starch. A blue coloration will be formed if
starch is present.
EXPERIMENT 395 - Decolorizing
Meat turns a deep red color on long exposure to the air. This is due
to changes in the blood content. To bleach out meat put a small
quantity of chopped meat in a test tube and add some hydrogen
peroxide solution. Warm the solution gently and let stand. The
chopped meat will be bleached and lose all its color.
EXPERIMENT 396 - Hydrogen peroxide
Grind a piece of chicken liver and suspend in some hydrogen peroxide
solution. Note the change in the appearance of the liver.
EXPERIMENT 397 - Hydrogen peroxide
and a lamb’s kidney
Grind a piece of lamb's kidney and suspend in some hydrogen peroxide
solution. Note the change in appearance of the kidney.
Hydrogen peroxide is an excellent preservative for animal matter and
will prevent such materi from putrefynng.
EXPERIMENT 398 - Chicken feathers
Test chicken feathers for both protein and sulphur. The
feather should be cut into fine pieces before applying the fusion
test with calcium oxide. Burn some and note the odor produced.
EXPERIMENT 399 - Honey comb
Secure some natural honey comb from a hive and cut out a small piece
and clean it thoroughly. Then apply to this material the regular
procedure, as described above for testing for protein and sulphur,
by fusing with calcium oxide.
EXPERIMENT 400 - Iron in honey comb
Incineratea piece of honey comb in a porcelain crucible, and test
the residue or ash for iron.
EXPERIMENT 401 - Bees' wax
Test some refined bees’ wax for protein, iron and sulphur. Determine
what happens when a small piece of bees’ wax is warmed in a test
tube with some (a) turpentine, (b) carbon tetrachloride, (c) benzol,
and (d) denatured alcohol.
EXPERIMENT 402 - A wasp's nest
Detach from the roof of your mother's attic an old wasp's
nest. Incinerate this and examine the ash for silica and iron.
EXPERIMENT 403 - Composition of a'
Apply a regular test for protein and sulphur. A wasp's nest is
a combination of cellulose similar to artificial paper.
EXPERIMENT 404 - House flies
Kill 12 or 15 large house flies and incinerate in a crucible. Test
the ash of the flies for iron.
EXPERIMENT 405 - The house wasp
Kill two or three large house wasps and grind them to a pulp in
one-third test tube of water. After thorough digestion then
filter and test the water extract with blue litmus solution.
The color will be turned to red due to the presence of formic
acid. The wasp excretes formic acid in its sting.
EXPERIMENT 406 - Tannin in tea
Make a very strong water solution of hot tea. Cool and pour
off the clear liquid and add about one measure of ferric ammonium
sulphate. Shake well. On standing a black color will
develop due to the formation of iron tannate.
EXPERIMENT 407 - Sanka coffee
Repeat experiment 406 using some strong Sanka coffee solution.
EXPERIMENT 408 - Potato sprouts
Secure some clean colorless common potato sprouts and make the
following tests (a) incinerate and test for iron; (b) test for
protein; (c) test for sulphur; (d) test for starch.
PRACTICAL CHEMICAL EXPERIMENTS
EXPERIMENT 409 - Making a low
Follow the technique of the ice cream manufacturer and mix some
crushed ice with pulverized salt. Read the temperature with
EXPERIMENT 410 - A sugar bath
Repeat the preceding experiment, using some household granulated
sugar in place of pulverized salt. Do the sugar and salt
produce the same results? Explain.
EXPERIMENT 411 - Iron in your tonic
Pour one-quarter of a test tube of your spring tonic mixture into a
test tube and add to it one-third a test tube of sodium ferrocyanide
solution. The production of a blue color will prove that iron
EXPERIMENT 412 - Iron in blood
Repeat experiment 411, using a few drops of animal blood. Mix with
water and then add the sodium ferrocyanide solution.
EXPERIMENT 413 - Decolorizing
tincture of iodine
To a little tincture of iodine add a solution of sodium thiosulphate
(hypo solution). Shake well and observe that the iodine color
is lost. This reagent is useful for removing iodine stains from
clothing. Try the experiment using a corner of your handkerchief.
EXPERIMENT 414 - Stains on your
Fingers stained with juices of fruits may be cleaned by washing with
sulphur dioxide water.
EXPERIMENT 415 - Cleaning a straw
Mix two measures of sodium bisulphite with one measure of tartaric
acid and one measure of borax. Dissolve the three reagents in hot
water and scrub your straw hat with the solution. After thorough
rubbing with a brush then wash with pure water and dry the hat in
EXPERIMENT 416 - Removing paint
Lay a pad of blotting paper on the side of the fabric which has a
paint spot on it. Then rub the other side of the fabric with a
piece of flannel moistened with carbon tetrachloride. This chemical
will dissolve paint and carry it into the blotting paper. The
success of this method depends on the use of some absorbent material
to take up the organic solvent when it dissolves the paint.
EXPERIMENT 417 - Preparation of a
good glue for labels
Dissolve one teaspoonful of gum arabic in two and one-half test
tubes of water by warming. Then add four teaspoons of common sugar
and one teaspoon of starch and finally boil the solution for a few
minutes. lf the gum solution is too thick, on cooling, add
more water. If you wish to preserve the gum from fermentation
and action of mould, add about one teaspoon of boric acid. Hydrogen
peroxide solution may also be used to keep it sweet.
EXPERIMENT 418 - Rubber cement
Piace one ounce of latex rubber in a salt mouth bottle and pour over
it some carbon tetrachloride. Cork and let stand until the
rubber latex dissolves completely. Use as needed.
EXPERIMENT 419 - Cleaning marble
Use a mixture of one part of pumice stone, two parts of sodium
carbonate, and one part of powdered chalk. Mix well and rub
with a little water. Then use the mixture for rubbing the
marble surface. Wash well with water after the treatment.
EXPERIMENT 420 - Vegetable stains
on the hands
Rub with a fresh cut slice of raw potato.
"The Science Notebook"
Copyright 2008-2017 - Norman Young