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Founding of the American Chemical Society

Location: New York City, NY, USA
Date: 1876
Creator(s): Draper, John W.

The American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society, celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2001. Founded in 1876 in New York City, the Society now has 186 local sections in all 50 states, international chapters, and 32 technical divisions that bring together scientists with interests ranging from small business to environmental protection.


The text of the plaque commemorating the landmark reads:

On this site, 35 chemists formed the American Chemical Society, intending to stimulate original research, awaken and develop talent throughout the United States, provide fellowship, and ensure a better appreciation of the science by the general public. The Society’s first president, New York University Professor John W. Draper, was noted for his pioneering work in photography and photochemistry, as well as his writings in history and education. In his inaugural address, Draper challenged his chemical colleagues to “deliver unflinchingly to others the truths that Nature has delivered to us.” In the 125 years since its founding, the Society has grown to more than 163,000 members.

Era: 1870-1879
Innovation designated by:
John W. Draper
public domain
Portrait of John W. Draper, unknown date
New York University
New York City, NY, USA

New York University

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