ACS

The American Chemical Society (ACS) and Joseph Priestley

Landmark Designation

The American Chemical Society dedicated the Joseph Priestley House a National Historic Chemical Landmark on August 1, 1994. The plaque commemorating the event reads:

Joseph Priestley (1733-1804) — Unitarian minister, teacher, author, natural philosopher, discoverer of oxygen, and friend of Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson — supervised the construction of this house and laboratory from 1794 to 1798, then lived and worked here until his death in 1804. His library of some 1,600 volumes and his chemical laboratory, where he first isolated carbon monoxide, were probably the best in the country at that time. As suggested by Edgar Fahs Smith in 1920, the Joseph Priestley House has become “a Mecca for all who would look back to the beginnings of chemical research” in America.

The American Chemical Society and the Royal Society of Chemistry dedicated the Discovery of Oxygen by Joseph Priestley an International Historic Chemical Landmark on August 7, 2000, in Wiltshire, UK. The plaque commemorating the event reads:

Joseph Priestley (1733-1804) — Unitarian minister, teacher, author, and natural philosopher — was the Earl of Shelburne’s librarian and tutor to his sons. In this room, then a working laboratory, Priestley pursued his investigations of gases. On 1 August 1774 he discovered oxygen. Twenty years later he emigrated to America where he continued his research at his home and laboratory in Northumberland, Pennsylvania.


Priestley Lesson Plan

For high school teachers: tell the story of Joseph Priestley in your classroom!
https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/education/whatischemistry/landmarks/lesson-plans/joseph-priestley-discoverer-of-oxygen.html


The Priestley Medal

Each year the ACS presents the Priestley Medal to an individual for recognition of their distinguished services to the field of chemistry. The medal is the highest honor given by the American Chemical Society and is named after our own, Joseph Priestley. Below is a list of the Priestley Medal winners with a link to information about the scientist:

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