General view of two employees at work in a Bureau of Chemistry Drug Laboratory, with view of assorted laboratory glassware and apparatus. Part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, such laboratories commonly investigated the effects of the adulteration of food and drugs, determined purity standards, and researched methods for the improvement, control, and standardization of manufacturing methods.
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).
United States. Food and Drug Administration. “Bureau of Chemistry Drug Laboratory,” n.d. USDA Bureau of Chemistry Photograph Collection, Box 1. Science History Institute. Philadelphia. https://digital.sciencehistory.org/works/v118rd93d.
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