Weird science – the vintage science-kit look

David Bellm

January 29, 2014

1 Min Read
Weird science – the vintage science-kit look

To anyone looking for design inspiration, Atomic era stuff is always fun. It’s that wide-eyed sense of adventure that came from back when science, technology, progress, etc were considered unquestionably good. And the design reflects that mood.

One of the best examples of that aesthetic is the packaging for science kits that came from back in the day. You know the ones – the ones in the hefty metal boxes that housed  powders and potions that the youth of the Ike era fancied would allow them to build a nuclear device with which to dispose of their evil 5th grade teacher or whatever.

One of the best collections of entertaining science-kit imagery comes from the Chemical Heritage Foundation. They have an awesome photostream on Flickr

Here’s what the Foundation has to say about it:

The Chemical Heritage Foundation houses one of the best public collections of chemistry sets, with approximately 100 different sets from all over the world, including Australia and Germany. Featured on the premiere episode of the PBS series Wired Science, the chemistry set collection at CHF unites science with popular culture.

Learn more by visiting

Golly – kinda makes you wanna build a spaceship, or a robot, or a ??? 

Now, if only designers could make this look work sometimes in today’s packaging. Sadly, the vintage science-kit look seems to have gone away with society’s overall sense of innocence. Maybe we’re all just a little too sophisticated for our own good now.     :-)



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