General view of an employee in the Bureau of Chemistry's Water and Beverage Laboratory conducting an analysis on an unidentified substance. Assorted sample jars and scientific apparatus are visible in the photograph. Part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Water and Beverage Laboratory conducted research into the supply, improvement, and use of potable waters and worked to prevent the fraudulent sale of waters alleged to possess certain properties.
The Bureau of Chemistry was established in 1901 through Congressional appropriations as a successor to the U.S.D.A. Division of Chemistry and significantly built upon the work of its predecessor, which researched the adulteration and misbranding of food and drugs on the American market. The 1906 Food and Drug Act notably increased the Bureau’s regulatory powers and led to the establishment of laboratories for testing the purity and composition of foods and drugs. In 1927, the Bureau of Chemistry effectively disbanded when its powers were reorganized under a new U.S.D.A. body, the Food, Drug, and Insecticide Organization (later the Food and Drug Administration).
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United States. Food and Drug Administration. “Bureau of Chemistry Water and Beverage Laboratory,” n.d. USDA Bureau of Chemistry Photograph Collection, Box 1. Science History Institute. Philadelphia. https://digital.sciencehistory.org/works/mp48sd21q.
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