Banned: The Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments

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book coverBack in the late 60's this book, written for Children, was pulled from all public libraries and store shelves by the government. It was said that the experiments and information contained herein were too dangerous for the general public. A big fuss was made of a 1995 incident near Detroit in which child chemist, David Hahn, attempted to build a nuclear breeder reactor in his backyard shed. A book by Ken Silverstein called 'The Radioactive Boyscout' tells the whole story, but you can get a summary on Wikipedia. This book is thoroughly interesting and is full of ideas and inspiration, it is the bible for any young chemist-in-training. Used copies on Amazon are rare and are currently priced between $237 and $690 for very used copies. However, because it was published in 1960, before the US copyright laws were rewritten, and because its original copyright was never renewed (yes, I checked myself), it's legal for me to share with you online.

Click here or here to download your FREE copy!

 If you liked this article, please consider grabbing a shell from silenceisdefeat.com

 kids playing with chemicals

56 comments to “Banned: The Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments”

  1. Comment by anke:

    hey
    I tink tis book is exiting.
    I’m a chemist by training and its verry interesting.
    They have to juus it in school for pupels to get there atention
    thanx for sharing

  2. Comment by lilly:

    totally kickass! I wanted this book for a while.

  3. Comment by Banned: The Golden Book Of Chemistry Experiments « Ireneo’s Memory:

    [...] The 1960s children’s book of exciting and dangerous chemistry they don’t want you to read! (free!) [...]

  4. Comment by mislead:

    Copyright laws were written 20 years after the constitution.
    Now, the holder of the copyrighted material may not have renewed their copyright, but that doesn’t mean it’s leagal.
    Not to mention this is a rapidshare link…

    check out freecluture.org for more information

  5. Comment by jim:

    What a gem! Will give copy to my 6th grade daughter today. I know she will love reading this. I totally enjoyed browsing through it today.

    Thanks!

  6. Comment by Cliff:

    I could like of a lot of worse things kids could be reading in school…like books with pictures of naked girls. Filthy smut. (For those of you who didn’t notice, that was sarcasm.)

  7. Comment by Rootman:

    Gawd, anke. You actually teach? “I tink tis book is exiting.” “pupels”?

    I have to admit I actually HAD one of these books back in the 60′s! Geez, it’s long decomposed in some landfill now.

  8. Comment by Mr. Poster aka Eric:

    So when was it a crime to read a book and learn somthing new? I njoy books like this and glad to see it return to life.

    Thanks

  9. Comment by Korlithiel:

    Is there a problem with the download? I can’t download it when I try.

  10. Comment by Yatusk » Blog Archive » Science Book Banned for Being too Dangerous:

    [...] Download the banned book now! [Not endorsed] [...]

  11. Comment by Vicki Park:

    I’m 52 and still have my copy of this book. A gift from my parents when I was 10.
    Wow.

  12. Comment by Technorama » The Golden Book of Chemistry and The Nerd/Geek/Dork Test:

    [...] Banned: The Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments via Digg [...]

  13. Comment by Jonathan:

    Error:

    Critical: Aborting the torrent as it was rejected by the tracker while not connected to any peers. Message from the tracker: Torrent deleted or not in pool yet. Go to Demonoid.com and read the FAQ for more info

  14. Comment by Found on the Web:

    Better Living

    Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments Scan: this book has been banned, like so many useful chemistry sets, because kids can learn things from it. The torrent link in that entry appears to be wonky so here’s a non-Torrent local mirror.

  15. Comment by The Urban Kunoichi » Banned: The Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments ($600 book for free):

    [...] Back in the late 60’s this book was pulled from all public libraries and store shelves by the government. It was said that the experiments and information contained herein were too dangerous for the general public…read more | digg story Share and Enjoy:These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. [...]

  16. Comment by westhamlet.com » a book too dangerous:

    [...] Back in the late 60’s, a book written for children was pulled by the government. The experiments contained in it were deemed too dangerous for the general public. The book was published in 1960 and the original copyright was never renewed. A more detailed explanation of what is going on is available at chrisbrunner.com, and a download of the book is available there. [...]

  17. Comment by mike bertelsen:

    Very interesting article. It reminded me of a story when an old chemistry book was pulled because it contained how to make LSD. This book was probably printed in the late 30′s.

  18. Comment by Jay-Bird:

    Really Cool Book now i need to find the LSB book, reckon thiers one about how to run a meth lab:D thanks for this is interesting for a chem student thans

    P.S what was the LSD book

  19. Comment by Needcoffee.com:

    The Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments: Curiosity First!

    The rare (and banned) Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments apparently costs a bit to buy in hard copy. But forget hard copy, Chris Brunner wants to give you a PDF for no charge. Now you can blow yourself up in the privacy of your own home. And ha…

  20. Comment by Scott McGillivray:

    It was nice to StumbleUpon.com your site. I spent hours reading this book as a child. It was amazing to see it again. Definitely a Thumbs Up. Thanks!

  21. Comment by Whimspiration:

    Oh joy! Thank you so much for this. I’ll have to share it with my 12yo immediately!

  22. Comment by Recommended » going around:

    [...] ChrisBrunner.com Download a free copy of the banned book The Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments. Back in the late 60’s this book, written for Children, was pulled from all public libraries and store shelves by the government. It was said that the experiments and information contained herein were too dangerous for the general public. [...]

  23. Comment by Polverone:

    This is a fun book but it was never banned or seized from bookshelves by the government. The content is not more dangerous than other books of its era intended for science hobbyists. I’m not sure how this urban legend-ish story took root, but I challenge anyone to find historical record of it.

    On the other hand, if anyone is really interested in paying ~$500 for an original paper edition, I’d be happy to part with mine. Try gfxlist at yahoo dot com.

  24. Comment by futt dot org » Blog Archive » Christmas present for science geeks:

    [...] In the 60s they even banned the Bible of home chemistry experiments – “The Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments”. Thanks to Chris Brunner, you can now get your very own copy for free (PDF format). So go grab it now, and head over to your local pharmacy and start shopping! [...]

  25. Comment by Eddie Lopez:

    My father gave me a copy of this book back in the mid to late 60′s. I think I did about 30% of the experiments. Sadly, I lost my copy.

  26. Comment by foobaz:

    Wow! This is truly a revelation and a shock to me. I received this book for Christmas in the early 60s. I really loved this book and tried many of the experiments in my makeshift kitchen table “lab”. I made quite a bit of progress until, one day, the book just disappeared. I searched the house high and low. No more Golden Book. You can imagine how bummed I was. I then tried to find a copy at the local library. No luck. In those days a kid wouldn’t even think of buying a book. You either went to the library or your parents bought them for you. Mostly just school books. So I just accepted the loss and moved on. From time to time I looked anew for the book in vain.

    So that’s it. My parents probably heard about this and disappeared the book without saying a word to me about it. They would have done something like that without batting an eyelash. This was the 60s after all. Parents didn’t communicate with their children. They manipulated them. ‘Child psychology’ it was euphemistically called. Wow! I can’t believe my eyes. Yet another way they lied to me.

    It is quite a thrill to read this for the first time in over 45 years. Thanks so much for making it available and for uncovering the mystery of its disappearance.

  27. Comment by mastapeace:

    Im wondering if there is a copy available with the recipies for gunpowder and dynamite in aswell. Are you saying that the original had these recipies included ?
    I have not been able to find an electronic copy of the book containing these recipies and i have downloaded a few copies from different sources..
    Great book though…
    Thanks..

  28. Comment by leblanc meneses:

    Anyone know of any other important engineering/science books that have been taken off the shelf in this manner? It’s sad really. No wonder our public schools continue to produce mediocre students. Censorship and education cannot co-exist.

  29. Comment by Dylan:

    There is a set of ‘Understanding Science’ periodicals that was printed during the 1960′s and were full of illustrations like this. Thanks for the pdf, it makes great reading. If only schools were teaching this stuff. It would catch the pupil’s attention and enthusiam more, and probably encourage more young people to invest in knowing about science and become a new generation of scientist.

  30. Comment by Tom:

    I doubt the book that told you how to make acid (mentioned above) was printed in the late 30′s. Acid (LSD-25) was discovered in 1938, and then forgotten about shortly after. Albert Hoffman, the man who discovered the substance, didn’t revisit the substance until 1947, when some of it was absorbed through his skin by accident. So the substance wasn’t really well enough known until the late 40′s, and even then it wasn’t popular until the 50′s-60′s. Perhaps the book the poster above mentioned was “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test”, by Tom Wolfe, or “LSD – My Problem Child”, by Albert Hoffman himself. Since I’ve never read these books myself, I couldn’t tell you whether there’s a recipe for LSD in them or not, but I’m sure they’re worth picking up. Remember, The More You Know…..

  31. Comment by Tony L:

    Incredible link, been looking for this book for a while…will link here soon

  32. Comment by Zyrcon:

    That’s a great book!!!!!!!!!! I have a lab at home too and I enjoy doing chemistry experiments!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  33. Comment by ksg:

    Wow. I’m a homeschooling mom and I’m always on the prowl at used book sales for resources. I got this book for a quarter at a sale somewhere. My dtr loves it, especially the part about how to make your own lab equipment. I about fainted when I saw what it’s going for on Amazon!

  34. Comment by Roy:

    This book is awesome!! It has all kinds of cool experiments, and the illustrations make it really easy to understand. Textbooks should be written this way :P

    You can download a copy here too:

    http://homebrewscience.com

  35. Comment by Al:

    The LSD recipe may have been in the Anarchists Cookbook

  36. Comment by futt dot org » Blog Archive » Christmas present for science geeks:

    [...] In the 60s they even banned the Bible of home chemistry experiments – “The Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments”. Thanks to Chris Brunner, you can now get your very own copy for free (PDF format). So go grab it now, and head over to your local pharmacy and start shopping! books, chemistry, danger, ebooks, science [...]

  37. Comment by SAJ:

    What happened to the download link? I can’t find it anywhere….bummer…

  38. Comment by Hoffman:

    Here is a fresh link for the book:

    http://rapidshare.com/files/9353572/tgb_ce.pdf

    (Just wait for the countdown and enter the code and you can download the PDF version)

  39. Comment by Hoffman:

    Actually, here is a better link for the book. Enjoy! (use the same directions as above)

    http://rapidshare.com/files/78710853/The_Golden_Book_of_Chemistry_Experiments.pdf

  40. Comment by Dan Smith:

    TRY mixing ammonia and bleach. See if anything happens (It won’t.) This is an old wive’s tale my Mother subscribed to.
    NOW–try Vinegar, or, any acid, with bleach. Holy WWI! Chlorine Gas!

  41. Comment by Sliderulex:

    This was the TURNING POINT book in my life! My parents saw my interest in chemistry as a young kid and bought me a Porter Chemistry set. I loved it, having fun and even learned a little bit about chemistry. At this time, they also bought the book The Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments for me to aid in my understanding of chemistry. Needless to say, I fell in love with the book and did many experiments contained therein. Now that I am older, I still find a certain nostalgia when thinking of those times, my excitment of learning chemistry (has never left me). and this wonderful book with great illustrations and explanations to thrill the young (and old) chemist alike. If you like (love) chemistry as I do, or think you might, then by all means get this book or download a copy. It has inspired generations in the pursuit of this wonderful science!

  42. Comment by Wayne Gombar:

    The link to the downloadable book does not work

  43. Comment by The Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments:

    [...] The book was pulled in the late 60s, and would never see print again. Copies of the book have been selling on Amazon and eBay for between $200 and $700, for outrageously threadbare copies. But there’s a loophole; the original copyright was not renewed, and the book was published prior to the rewriting of the copyright laws, so it’s now possible to get a copy online. You can download a copy from Chris Brunner’s blog, and we are also mirroring it here. Enjoy, and for goodness’ sake, be careful. Gadgets and Toys [...]

  44. Comment by Christmas present for science geeks - futt dot org:

    [...] Did you have a chemistry set when you were a kid? I did, and it really taught me a lot (and was great fun to boot). These days you’d be hard pressed to find one with anything more exciting than baking soda in it of course – and we have mostly overprotective Americans to blame for that.In the 60s they even banned the Bible of home chemistry experiments – “The Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments”. Thanks to Chris Brunner, you can now get your very own copy for free (PDF format). So go grab it now, and head over to your local pharmacy and start shopping! Tagged: books, chemistry, danger, ebooks and Science Feed for this Entry [...]

  45. Comment by Mike:

    I recently bought this book in pristine condition on ebay for $105, including shipping. I guess I got lucky. The one I have has a red cloth type covering and says 1960 edition. I am also putting together a chemistry set for my 13 year old son and hope to go through all of the experiments in this book with him. I say “putting together” because I was unable to find anthing on the market that was complete with an alcohol burner, chemicals and assorted glassware. So I have found a set of borsilicate lab glassware and an alcohol burner. I have also found a company http://www.hometrainingtools.com that will sell the necessary chemicals(between 30 and 100 grams in individual containers). Given all the money spent on XBOX360 and the other stuff/garbage kids get, I consider this money well spent on my son. Lastly, I have printed out the pdf version of the book and put it in a binder as a working copy to use for the experiments, rather than risk ruining the truly amazing quality book I was able to get.

  46. Comment by Zorgon:

    Seems the link for the file is currently unavailable. I guess I came to the party too late? If anyone can share a copy would be appreciated

    Thanks

    standauffish@earthlink.net

  47. Comment by zuber5:

    This book DOES contain dangerous experiments. You all may want to ignore it but it is a fact. By dangerous, I mean ‘may expose your child to compounds which are immediately toxic (eg chlorine and hydrogen sulfide), or may have various long term effects such as chloroform, carbon tetrachloride, iodoform, acrolein etc etc. It is really funny that the book considers sulfuric and nitric acid to be so dangerous, and yet it considers sodium hydroxide and hydrochloric acid to be ‘safe’. I will bet anyone over the age of 18 that they would never consider putting either of the latter in their eyes! And yet both are used like ‘water’ in he various experiments. DO NOT ALLOW ANYBODY who does not understand the hazards of chemicals to use this book unsupervised.

  48. Comment by bob:

    united nuclear has to be some kind of joke

    Pretty damn funny

  49. Comment by bob:

    We need interesting science and math books. It only takes one very well written book to make a subject presentable

  50. Comment by homeschoolmom:

    Agree with Bob.

    I swear, sometimes I think they really do not WANT people understanding things these days. This book is so much more clearly and simply written than most jr. high chemistry texts you see today.

    But yes, supervision would be ideal. LOL.

  51. Comment by Chris Tucker:

    Another source for the PDF of this outstanding book.

    About.com

  52. Comment by sammy figueroa:

    i would like to know if i can download the file on my mac and how can i do it

  53. Comment by Glydeck:

    Great to see this book. Thank you! I’ve downloaded it and printed it for several children interested in science. Banned or not, the fact that material is no longer available or encouraged is a sad state of affair. This comes from the perspective of a child who grew up having a Gilbert chemistry set. (Try an buy one of those!) BTW, I highly recommend a good read of “Surely Your Joking Mr. Feynman” where he details evaluating science books for the education system.

  54. Comment by Anna Nicole:

    Wow. I’m a homeschooling mom and I’m always on the prowl at used book sales for resources. I got this book for a quarter at a sale somewhere. My dtr loves it, especially the part about how to make your own lab equipment. I about fainted when I saw what it’s going for on Amazon!

  55. Comment by Wilber:

    I believe the copyright was renewed in 1988, so the book is not in the public domain. The renewal can be viewed here:
    http://cocatalog.loc.gov/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?DB=local&PAGE=First

    ==========
    Type of Work: Text

    Registration Number / Date:
    RE0000402517 / 1988-11-28
    Renewal registration for: A00000477203 / 1960-11-15

    Title: The Golden book of chemistry experiments. No. 612. By
    Golden Press, Inc., employees for hire: Robert Brent,
    Harry Lazarus.

    Copyright Claimant:
    Western Publishing Company, Inc. (PWH)

    Variant title: The Golden book of chemistry experiments

    Names: Brent, Robert
    Lazarus, Harry
    Golden Press, Inc.
    Western Publishing Company, Inc.

    ==========================================================

  56. Comment by Greg:

    When I was a kid in New Zealand in the 70′s, there was a variant of this book in the school library called “Secrets of Chemistry” – same author and illustrator. I was able to get a decent copy via eBay for 1 pound from the UK. Cost me $27all up with postage.
    It’s great to be able to get this earlier version on the ‘net now.

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