List of Physical Visualizations
and Related Artifacts

1875 – Van't Hoff's Molecular Paper Models


Van’t Hoff disseminated his stereochemical ideas to leading chemists of the day by sending them 3-D paper models of tetrahedral molecules, like these now housed in the Leiden Museum.

There might be some difficulty in following my reasoning. I felt this myself, and I have made use of cardboard figures to facilitate the representation. Not wanting to require too much of the reader I will gladly send him the complete collection of all these objects


  1. Van der Spek, Trienke M. Selling a Theory: The Role of Molecular Models in JH van't Hoff's Stereochemistry Theory. Annals of science 63.02 (2006): 157-177.
  2. Gross Ari, Form and Function: Seeing, Knowing, and Reasoning with Diagrams in the Practice of Science, 2013. PhD Thesis. University of Toronto
  3. Chemical Heritage Foundation website
  4. Image courtesy O. Bertrand Ramsay

Added by: Fanny Chevalier. Category: Uncertain  Tags: chemistry, paper, science, tetrahedral molecules