By Peter Reed
Robert Angus Smith (1817-1884) was once a Scottish chemist and a number one investigator into what got here to be referred to as 'acid rain'. This examine of his operating existence, contextualized via dialogue of his youth, schooling, ideals, family members, pursuits and affects sheds mild at the evolving figuring out of sanitary technology throughout the 19th century. Born in Glasgow and before everything educated for a profession within the Church of Scotland, Smith as a substitute went directly to learn chemistry in Germany less than Justus von Liebig. On his go back to Manchester within the 1840s, Smith's powerful Calvinist religion lead him to enhance a powerful problem for the insanitary environmental stipulations in Manchester and different business cities in Britain. His appointment as Inspector of the Alkali management in 1863 enabled him to marry his social matters and his paintings as an analytical chemist, and this ebook explores his position as Inspector of the management from its inception via battles with chemical brands within the courts, to the fight to widen and tighten the regulatory framework as different destructive chemical nuisances turned identified. This examine of Smith's existence and paintings presents a huge historical past to the best way that 'chemical' got here to have such unfavourable connotations within the century sooner than e-book of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring. It additionally bargains a desirable perception into the altering panorama of British politics as law and enforcement of the chemical industries got here to be obvious as invaluable, and is key studying for historians of technology, know-how and within the 19th century, in addition to environmental historians looking history context to the twentieth-century environmental events.
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Extra resources for Acid Rain and the Rise of the Environmental Chemist in Nineteenth-Century Britain
The first BAAS meeting Liebig attended was in Liverpool in 1837 following an invitation from Thomas Thomson, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Glasgow, whose son had studied at Giessen. Accepting the invitation allowed Liebig to become reacquainted with many of his former Giessen students. Thomson sent his son Thomas to meet Liebig in Hull. Liebig was a seasoned traveller across Europe and overseas, and not daunted by the demands of travelling via York, Leeds and Manchester en route to Liverpool.
Introduction 15 The name of this fort, along with two or more of the same kind, is Dun Deardhuil, which the Rev. Dr. Clerk, of Kilmallie, says may mean ‘Fort of the shining eye’. This name anglicised by Macpherson into Darthula is that given to the great beauty of the western celts, the Ulster Lady, called in Ireland Deirdre. She was the ‘Helen’ of the race, and her history and its indirect consequences brought out the Iliad of Ireland … The similarity of name and the fact that Deirdre came over to Loch Etive may have caused people to connect these forts with her, but the fact of their being places of security requiring also vigilance is a reason for connecting them with the ‘shining eye’, a name, too, that may be easily supposed applicable to Deirdre.
Graham’s lectures at Anderson’s University proved very popular and influential in inspiring many students to pursue careers in chemistry. The lectures generated a good deal of excitement and general interest among the public. A young Robert Angus Smith, then aged about 12, was enticed to attend a few of the lectures, possibly with encouragement from his brother Joseph with whom he shared an interest in chemistry: I was told by a boy … that a wonderful young man had appeared, one who, although only nineteen years old, had still a reputation.
Acid Rain and the Rise of the Environmental Chemist in Nineteenth-Century Britain by Peter Reed