The second thing that inspired man to inquire about the nature of matter was nature itself. How can Water be both a gas and a liquid? How do different flowers have different colours? Why do things give off a smell?
The stage for modern chemistry was set, however, surprisingly, by Alchemy. The search for the "Elixir" of life - The Philosopher's Stone involved experiments and maintaining records - a central part of Chemistry today!
After this, it was a matter of centuries before chemical concepts were explained, the Atomic theory was proven and the known elements were established, all by scientific method. It was then that a vast world of practical applications of chemistry was envisioned. New fibres, medicines, the X-Ray Machine, new methods for the mining industry, improved fertilizers for the agro industry, Electricity, computers and Nuclear Power.
Whatever are the promises from Chemistry, it is VERY evident that the list of benefits from the field of Chemistry are growing exponentially everyday. In his famous 1960 lecture, "There's Plenty of Room At the Bottom", Nobel Laureate Richard Feynman visioned a future of Atomic machines and Nanotechnology. His visions have today transpired into many practical applications, mostly benefiting the medicine industry. There are N number of fields where chemistry is being used. Some of them are: Medicine, Biology, Rocketry, Ballooning, in the Kitchen, Geology, Astrophysics, Computer Science, Nuclear Power, Nanotechnology, Agriculture, Manufacturing Industry, Television...