Industry gives a laboratory to America’s young scientists… Popular Science 1941.
YOUTHFUL, IMAGINATION, an inexhaustible national resource, is being developed along scientific lines by the American Institute of the City of New-York. This organization, chartered in 1828 and devoted throughout its existence to the promulgation of science and the encouragement of American industry, established its junior branch in 1928 and recently has intensified its efforts in this direction through the American Institute Laboratory at 310 Fifth Avenue, New York.
Its aim is to direct and utilize the imaginative faculties of youth which, since the founding of the institute, have been turning more and more toward science and mechanics. Under its wing are more than 730 juvenile science clubs, scattered throughout the United States, its possessions, and foreign countries. Some meet in high schools, some in settlement houses, and some are spontaneous youthful organizations with cellar or attic laboratories and club rooms. In the aggregate there are more than 30,000 youthful club members.
They experiment with model airplanes, bacteria, telescopes, radio, tropical fish, light, sound, animal-breeding, and in numerous other fields. Their ambition is limited only by their own knowledge and the cost of equipment, and it was to obviate the latter difficulty to some degree that the American Institute Laboratory has been established with the cooperation of the International Business Machines Corporation, which gave the use of two floors of a New York City office building, and of the Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company, which supplied the equipment.
This is (was) pretty cool, maybe we as in makers, society and a science hungry public can bring this back!
Here are the companies listed in the article…
“American Institute Laboratory” I can’t seem to find if it exists as it once did, anyone know? All the references on Google are from books from the early 1900’s – they coordinated science fairs at the time it seems. Science fairs go back to at least as far as 1928 when the American Institute of New York City first held one for city youth at the Museum of Natural History. In 1950, science fairs went under the auspices of Science Service, a non-profit organization. It became international in 1960.
International Business Machines Corporation (IBM). IBM is still around and they continue to support science for kids. IBM gave 2 floors in NYC, I wonder if they’d be willing to do this again? I’ve email our team who has worked with IBM before on the IBM IGNITE camp.
Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company. Westinghouse was founded in 1886, then it bought CBS in the 1995 and renamed itself the CBS corporation, in 1998 CBS creates a subsidiary called Westinghouse Electric Corporation. In 1999 CBS sells the nuclear assets to BNFL that operates as Westinghouse Electric Company, the business in then sold to Toshiba. CBS is then acquired by Viacom, Viacom calls itself CBS corporation and CBS retains ownership of Westinghouse Electric Company. Companies have licensed the Westinghouse name but they’re not sold by the original company.
So… It seems to me CBS or Toshiba might be the ones to ask about sponsoring this again? Anyone work at either place, email me.
We have a chemistry book (below) – I’d like to see that get out there to more folks and perhaps develop a “new” chemistry set for kids to go along with it. Imagine 2 floors of science learning in each major city, doing real chemistry experiments!
Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments
For students, DIY hobbyists, and science buffs, who can no longer get real chemistry sets, this one-of-a-kind guide explains how to set up and use a home chemistry lab, with step-by-step instructions for conducting experiments in basic chemistry. Learn how to smelt copper, purify alcohol, synthesize rayon, test for drugs and poisons, and much more. The book includes lessons on how to equip your home chemistry lab, master laboratory skills, and work safely in your lab, along with 17 hands-on chapters that include multiple laboratory sessions.