Review: Man in a Chemical World, by A. Cressy Morrison, Illustrations by Leon Soderston

Man in a Chemical World - A. Cressy Morrison,  Leon Soderston

This is a...well, sort of a review that I posted this August, mainly to show the kind of book I end up keeping For Reasons. I think when you see the "hello, this is The Future, and the Future is Art Deco!" style of artwork you'll understand. (All photos are after the pagebreak.)



I bought this book at a sale of used books from one of the Alabama university libraries - it's stamped "Property of the of Reference Library, Alabama Department of Public Health" and "Library Copy, Alabama State Board of Health." There's a library card and pouch/envelope/whatever the paper pocket the cards were put in still in it - and no indication that it was ever checked out.

I bought this thinking I'd just cut out the illustrations and maybe frame some, and then (as often happens) I fell in love with the book as a piece of history of its time - 1937. Read the description on the main page for the book and then look at the following illustrations.


Actually that link that I've removed (it was on the text "main page for the book") was at Goodreads  - I added that text myself when I added the book to the database. So I might as well just post it here:


From the Forward: "This book is intended to be educational, from the cultural as well as the utilitarian points of view. Its object is to impress the man in the street with the fact that the chemical industries of the United States render a service that touches practically every activity in which he engages. In fact, it is the main purpose of this book to awaken him to the realization that he is utterly dependent upon these industries not only for the necessities and luxuries of life, but also for his very existence."


Eventually I'll take time to read more of the book and add any unusual/amusing quotes. Because I must admit here that no, I have not read much of the book itself. When that happens I'll revisit this and clarify any of the illustrations that are mentioned.


Even looking at photos of this I get stupidly sentimental. "Don't worry, poor little ignored library book - I will love you and keep you and you will always have a home with me."


Man in a Chemical World

Color illustration facing the title page:

Man in a Chemical World

There aren't captions here, but I assume this is a giant spirit of a scientist hovering over a field of crops:

Man in a Chemical World

Another scientist doing magical things with chemicals:

Man in a Chemical World

Ghostly scientist with chemicals hovering behind a man working with...batteries? I think?

Man in a Chemical World

Illustration at the beginning of chapter 8:

Man in a Chemical World

Illustration at the beginning of chapter 9 (which I have personally titled The Scientist as Godzilla, But Protecting the City:

Man in a Chemical World