The Society of Public Analysts was formed in the United Kingdom in 1874 and subsequently became the Society for Analytical Chemistry. It was incorporated in 1907.
The chemical industry had grown rapidly in the 19th century, and developments in the alkali, explosive and agricultural chemical fields produced a growing need for analytical chemists. Many of these chemists had little or no training in chemistry, and their lack of expertise was a danger to the public. Some time after Parliament passed an Act to try to remedy the situation, the Society was formed.
It published The Analyst, Analytical Abstracts and the Proceedings of the Society for Analytical Chemistry (from 1964 to 1974).
In April 1966 it presented its first Gold Medal to Herbert Newton Wilson (author of An Approach To Chemical Analysis)* in recognition of his contribution to chemical analysis.*
On 15 May 1980, it amalgamated with the Chemical Society, the Royal Institute of Chemistry, and the Faraday Society to become the Royal Society of Chemistry.