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A Crystallographic Museum

IUCr Newsletter (1997). 5(3), 13.

A small museum in the Chem. Dept. of the U. of Edinburgh was begun by A. Crum Brown, who was Prof. of Chem. in Edinburgh from 1869 to 1908. Crum Brown had very wide chemical interests (organic and physical chemistry, and mathematics) and a great interest in crystallography. The most surprising exhibit in the museum is a model of the structure of Rock Salt made from knitting needles held together by balls of colored wool. The structure is exactly that finally proved by the Braggs in 1914, and it shows that Crum Brown recognized the ionic nature of the structure, whereas most chemists at the time believed in a molecular structure. Other objects of crystallographic interest are a fine collection of single crystals by Goldberg of Heidelberg, cardboard models of crystal forms by Krantz, an optical goniometer by Fuess, Haüy models showing crystal forms with the faces stepped to illustrate the unit cell theory of crystal structure, and several sets of the Beevers-Lipson strips. The latter were used for many years in X-ray Crystallographic Labs for the calculation of Fourier maps. A complete list of the contents of the Museum can be obtained by writing to C. Beevers at the Museum.

-C. Arnold Beevers

25th June 1998 - IUCr Webmaster - Copyright © International Union of Crystallography