This week the American Chemical Society celebrates its golden jubilee, with the presence at its session in Philadelphia of renowned chemists from all the chemical centers of the world. From a membership of 230 in 1876, the society has grown to 15,000—the largest chemical society in the world and the third largest scientific organization in America, the American Medical Association being first.
Fifty years ago, chemistry was laying the foundation for its brilliant achievements. At the first meeting of the society in 1876, the disclosure was made of the discovery of a gas in uranite; the subsequent classic work of the Curies on radium has clarified what seemed at that time to be a mystery. At the same meeting, Morgan described the extraction of indigotine from indigo. The splendid work in Germany of Baeyer and others on the synthesis of indigo, which was responsible for making Germany supreme in chemistry