Saturday, February 20, 2016

Lange's Handbook of Chemistry, Published by Handbook Publishers

For over twenty years, Norbert Lange's Handbook of Chemistry was published by the Handbook Publishers in Sandusky, Ohio. The officers of the Handbook Publishers, which was founded in 1934, included: Norbert A. Lange, Orwell Schoepfle, J.M. Costello, and Richard and Randolph Dorn. In the 1937 Sandusky City Directory, Orwell F. Schoepfle was listed as the president and Norbert A. Lange served as vice president. The publishing company was located at 116 Columbus Avenue at that time, though the Handbook of Chemistry was actually printed in Tennessee, using high-grade paper. In 1945 the company moved to 309 West Water Street. In 1958 Handbook Publishers was acquired by McGraw-Hill, with Dr. Lange and Mr. Schoepfle being named as editorial consultants. 

The Handbook of Chemistry was a popular chemistry resource, and was intended for use by students, educators, chemists, and manufacturers. It was widely used in universities all across the United States, and was considered a standard reference book for chemists and scientists. A copy of the Handbook was microfilmed, and included in the contents of the Crypt of Civilization time capsule at Oglethorpe University in Georgia.  

Norbert A. Lange and Orwell Schoepfle had been classmates at Monroe Elementary School, and both were 1910 graduates of Sandusky High School.

In 1918, Norbert A. Lange earned his PhD from the University of Michigan.

Dr. Lange became an instructor of chemistry at the University of Michigan, the Case School of Applied Science, and the Western Reserve University. He was the primary compiler and editor of the Handbook of Chemistry. Eventually the book became known as Lange’s Handbook, even after his death in 1970.

In 2005 Lange’s Handbook of Chemistry was in its 16th edition, a 70th anniversary edition. Copies of the Handbook of Chemistry are housed in the bookcase in the Quiet Reading Room at the Sandusky Library, as well as at the Follett House Museum. Copies of this valuable guide to chemistry are also available for loan through the CLEVNET system. Inquire at the Reference Services Desk of the Sandusky Library if you would like to borrow a copy of the Handbook of Chemistry.

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