Mural Paintings - C&EN Global Enterprise (ACS Publications)


Retorts, crucibles, and machines are not the important guideposts but rather the progress of the mind of man through superstition, ignorance, and erro...
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M u r a l Paintings By Francis Scott

Bradford

In the offices of The Hooker Electrochemical Co., New York, N . Y.

Panel V. Pioneer contributors to the cause of science. Grouped about the periodic table, reading clockwise from the lower left corner, are: Kekulé, Mendeléeff, Idebig, van't Hoff, Emil Fischer, Ramsay, Lister, and Willard Gibbs. In the background may be seen the first magnet and formulas representing fundamental laws of physics and chemistry.

N THE offices of the Hooker Electrochemical Co. in the Lincoln Imural Building, New York, N. Y., there is a group of remarkable paintings by Francis Scott Bradford. These paintings

tell the history of science. Retorts, crucibles, and machines are not the important guideposts but rather the progress of the mind of man through superstition, ignorance, and error in resolving the natural from the supernatural. The basis of the series is chemical, yet so closely is this science intertwined with others that the paintings have become perhaps more of a panorama of science as a whole. There are 10 panels in the group, from which we are reproducing, through the courtesy of the company, panels IV, V, VIII, and IX. These are reproduced here from a brochure issued some time ago and with the regret that we have not the space at our command to reproduce all the panels of this unique series. The panels not shown here have to do with the following subjects: the superstitions of Egypt, where the Greek word for chemistry is supposed to have been derived from the Egyptian "Xemi," "land of black earth," a name for Egypt; the philosophers of Greece; confusion, magic, and alchemy of the Middle Ages; the growing achievements of creative science; increase in the productivity of the earth through science; and an allegorical panel depicting man chained to the earth but looking across time and space towards an unknown perfection which we may never reach but will forever seek.

Panel IX. Science in medicine is represented by Pasteur» who through his study of microbes a n d means t o control t h e m gave the world a m i g h t y weapon against t h e adverse forces of nature. The discovery of the antiseptic made surgery possible, and the anesthetic made i t bearable. 244

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