The Periodic Table of Elements

The periodic table of elements is perhaps one of the most important tables to have been created in science. But most of us are probably familiar with the rows and columns of boxes. But via my colleague Jonathan comes today’s post where we look at a 1940s version of the table. Unfortunately the original source does not identify the designer behind the piece, however it was published in Life magazine in 1949.

The fascinating bit is that the table is largely unchanged from that of today’s in its basic structure and organisation. Just instead of a broken row we get a continues oval. (Though I do not understand why hydrogen sits atop fluorine.) That and we have discovered/created a whole new host of elements, especially down near the end of the table.

Periodic table of elements
Periodic table of elements

Credit for the piece goes to Life.

Author: Brendan Barry

I am a graphic designer who focuses on information design. My day job? Well, they asked me not to say. But to be clear, this blog is my something I do on my own time and does not represent the views of…my employers. I think what I can say is that given my interest in information design—be it in the shape of clear charts, maps, diagrams, or wayfinding systems—I am fortunate that my day job focuses on data visualisation. Outside of work, I try to stay busy with personal design work. Away from the world of design, I have become an amateur genealogist and family historian. You will sometimes see that area of work bleed into my posts.

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