|Description||The School of Chemistry’s museum has a number of models elucidating crystal structures and morphology. Included in the first category is a three dimensional model created using small red and blue balls of wool, held together by steel needles. This is Alexander Crum Brown's construction of the crystal lattice structure of sodium chloride, dating from 1883. Also represented, is a plasticine model of sucrose from 1947 and a model of alum structure from 1937. The collection also includes some Hauy stepped crystal models. There is also an extensive collection of Krantz cardboard models of crystal forms and some glass models having the crystallographic axes illustrated by colored threads. The Krantz company was established in Bonn, in 1833. They produced crystal models, in wood, for scientists and collectors. They moved on to producing models in other materials, such as cardboard and glass, for teaching purposes.
Alexander Crum Brown was born in Edinburgh on 26 March 1838. Crum Brown was a precocious child, always busy with models and inventions. Before he was of school-age he had made a practical machine for weaving cloth, an early indication of his life-long interests in knots and complicated systems of knitting. In 1854 he entered the University of Edinburgh where he received an MA in 1858 and then an MD in 1861. In 1862 he became the first candidate on whom the Doctorate of Science of London University was conferred. After studying Chemistry in Germany, he returned to Edinburgh University to teach and was appointed to the Chair of Chemistry in 1869. Crum Brown was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1864 and served on the Council for a total of forty-four years, for twenty-six of which he acted as one of the secretaries, and for six as a vice-president. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 1879, was President of the Chemistry Section of the British Association in 1874, and President of the Chemical Society from 1891 to 1893. He retired from the Chair of Chemistry in 1908.|