Essentials of Chemistry is another old historical chemistry book, this one from 1902 and written by two PhD’s were Chemistry teachers in Chicago public schools….
The interest aroused by the introduction of laboratory science into secondary schools, a decade and a half ago,
brought out a number of text-books of Chemistry. Although most of these books had directions for laboratory
work scattered through the descriptive matter, yet the laboratory exercises Avere illustrations of the text proper
rather than working notes for the student. A further source of confusion lay in the fact that the experiments
capable of being performed by the student were hopelessly mixed with those intended for the teacher.
When the separate “laboratory manual” appeared it was usually characterized by the same faults.
Within recent years many new text-books of Chemistry have been written for secondary schools, but, with
a few exceptions, the new books, like the old ones, are impractical. They are either too diffuse in description,
the laboratory work being left chiefly to the invention of the teacher, or they are merely laboratory manuals,
without enough descriptive matter to make them useful as text-books. Moreover, the laboratory exercises of many modern books are wholly beyond the capabilities of the average student.