Coffee table polymer book
October 10, 2018 8:41 AM   Subscribe

Hi, I have a vague childhood recollection of a cool coffee-table type book about (new and exciting?) polymers. I distinctly remember one image of a cute kitten sitting happy and unharmed on a transparent perspex-like block, with a Bunsen burner or similar roaring underneath. IIRC there were more pictures throughout the book of various polymers, interspersed with ball-and-stick models of the chemical compositions, and maybe some explanatory text.

The whole book had a kind of 1950s-1970s aesthetic: that particular kind of slightly washed-out look that came from, I guess, the photographic process in use.

Any ideas what the book might have been? It's long since disappeared, of course, and I might be imagining the whole thing.

posted by puppygalore to Science & Nature (5 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I have the same, vague memory. I think it was one of the volumes in a Time-Life series on science and technology. I think the volume was "Large Molecules" My Google fails to find it.
posted by klarck at 9:32 AM on October 10, 2018 [3 favorites]

The material you are describing in the kitten image sounds like aerogel. I spent the better part of twenty minutes doing an image search and book search for variants on 'kitten aerogel' and 'kitten aerogel flame' and found an offhand mention of an image like you described, but no source material yet.

That said, it's possible more digging or asking around using a variant of that query would be productive.
posted by zippy at 9:54 AM on October 10, 2018 [2 favorites]

Yeah, pretty sure you are talking about the Time-Life series that Klarck mentions.

Although the name of the book is actually "Giant Molecules", not Large
posted by sideshow at 10:01 AM on October 10, 2018 [7 favorites]

Sideshow got it. You can borrow a digital copy of the book from the Internet Archuve. The kitten image is on page 154.
posted by zippy at 10:12 AM on October 10, 2018 [11 favorites]

Response by poster: Incredible :-). Thanks people!
posted by puppygalore at 3:21 AM on October 11, 2018

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