The teaching of chemistry in Serbia as a separate subject dates from 1874. The first secondary-school chemistry textbooks appeared in the second half of the 19th century. The aim of this study was to gain insight, by analysing two secondary-school chemistry textbooks, written by Sima Lozanić (1895) and Mita Petrović (1892), into the amount of scientific knowledge from the sphere of chemistry was presented to secondary school students in Serbia in the second half of the 19th century, and the principles textbooks written at the time were based on. Within the framework of the conducted research, we defined the criteria for assessing the quality of secondary-school chemistry textbooks were defined in the context of the time they were written. The most important difference found between the two textbooks under analysis pertained to the way in which their contents were organised. Sima Lozanićs textbook is characterised by a greater degree of systematicness when it comes to the manner of presenting its contents and consistency of approach throughout the book. In both textbooks, the authors attempts to link chemistry-related subjects to everyday life, and to indicate the practical significance of various substances and their toxicity can be perceived.