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John Farrell Kuhns got a chemistry set in Christmas of 1959 and it laid the foundation for a career as a research chemist. As an adult he wanted his daughter and nieces and nephews to have the same experience, but came to realize that the beautiful Gilbert Chemistry Set of his youth no longer exists. He and his wife opened their own science store, the H.M.S. Beagle. Building on nine years of operating the Beagle, Kuhns developed a chemistry set that recalls those glory days. He’s crowdfunding the set through Kickstarter with a $175 set offering all 56 chemicals found in the 1936 Gilbert set as well as 8 other chemicals he feels are important. The $225 level also includes glassware, while the $900 level also includes a heirloom-quality wooden box that you can see in the photo.

John Baichtal

My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal nerdage.net


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  1. Thanks for the plug about my Heirloom Chemistry Set! BTW, I am a member of Make: KC the folks who brought the very first Maker Fair, of any kind, to Kansas city (they just had their 4th one this past August and they participated in the big one on June).