Science Fun!

fun with science cover

Fun With Science
Easy Experiments for Young People
Freeman and Freeman
1956

This little gem from the 1950s is CLEARLY past its “sell by” date. The cover was in bad shape and there was some yellowing. This came from a university collection, not a public library. (There was one public library that had this book listed in its collection.) The Freemans wrote many youth science nonfiction books up into the 1970s.

This book was first published in 1943 and was last printed in 2000. The Freemans passed away in the 1980s. I couldn’t find much biographical information about the Freemans with my cursory searches. Given the longevity of their books, as well has the number of titles, their materials should be archived and maintained for study.

If you are an average kid, going to an average public library, this is not where you want to find the Freeman’s titles. This is often a problem of public library collections. Just because the book has merit or significance doesn’t mean we just stick it in a circulating youth nonfiction collection. Weeding is also about finding the right place for material.

Anyway, I did find the cover art somewhat amusing. The one kid looks like he is in some kind of trance. Also, I am curious about what the dog is going to contribute to the fun.

Mary

catapult experiment

air flow

sound experiment

shadow

15 comments

    1. And white male children at that. With close-cropped hair and button-down shirts. Except for the dog, he doesn’t need to wear a shirt. 😛

  1. The complete sentence image captions should be graffiti’d around town, they have a Radio Londres quality to them. “The whirling spool lifts the heavy potato” could be Aesop or a prelude to D-Day.

  2. First rule of science – get the dog out of the lab! He could jump up, knock things over (causing chemical spills and fires), and contaminate the results with dog hair and dander.

    1. None of the experiments would be affected in any way by the dog, unless it got in the way of the levitating potato.

      Doggo doesn’t get to be on the cover of the Fun With Chemistry book, though.

  3. I had a book that looked just like this called Fun With Cooking. That featured a young girl learning to make things like cocoa, scrambled eggs and other simple fare. What made that book so irresistible to me was the fact that the girl in the photos with her cute pigtails and apron looked absolutely miserable, as though someone was holding her puppy hostage until the end of the photo shoot

    1. Probably the authors’ daughter, so yes the puppy might have been held hostage. Or her dinner or a trip to the soda fountain or something.

  4. I have this book!

    It was purchased for my older brother and passed down to me, and even in the early 70s it was out of date.

    Probably could be sold online to a nostalgic Boomer.

    IIRC, the experiments really do work.

    Found my copy! The cover’s better, but the whole book has yellowed. Some of the references are way out of date, but the experiments do demonstrate basic principles of science very clearly, with simple equipment. This was definitely a great buy back in the day and the experiments themselves are still fine.

    Mrs. Freeman also wrote science books for girls, and their son and daughter posed for the photos. Maybe that’s the Freeman dog.

    I also have Fun With Chemistry.

    (and now I have sneezes, because the book was in a dusty corner)

  5. > Also, I am curious about what the dog is going to contribute to the fun.

    Vivisection subject maybe?

  6. The dog should be banished to another room or taken for a walk by Mom or Sis.

    Otherwise, the dog could knock over things, causing fires/chemical spills/results contaminated with dog hair/dander, and be a general pain in the ass with barking, demands for pets, etc.

  7. “I am curious about what the dog is going to contribute to the fun.”
    Haven’t you ever seen “Village of the Giants?” A dog named Einstein is essential.

    1. That must be why the photos are in black and white, they came from a pre-Talkies film called “Fun With Silence”. (He always ended his segment with a pun or wordplay.)

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