A Science of Impurity: Water Analysis in Nineteenth Century by Christopher Hamlin

By Christopher Hamlin

A technology of Impurity is the 1st particular historical past of the mobilization of chemistry (and later bacteriology) to satisfy the general public call for for strong water. It additionally bargains a standpoint on figuring out how glossy actual sciences are tapped to make sure public solid.
A technology of Impurity explores the social framework within which chemists got here to paintings on difficulties of water caliber, the thoughts they used to check the surroundings, their conclusions and their function in facing a worried public.
For historians of technological know-how, researchers and planners within the water undefined.

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Corr. and enlarged (London: A Johnson, 1789), pp 102-4; Lucas, Essay, I, p 82; Kopp, Geschichte der Chemie, II, p 52. See also J A Fabricius, Theologie de l'Eau (Paris: Chaubert-Durand, 1743), pp 90-1. 32 Henri de Heers, Spadacrene ou Dissertation Physique sur les Eaux de Spa, nouvelle ed. (La Haye: P Paupie, 1739), pp 32-3. 33 Debus, 'Sir Thomas Browne and the Study of Colour Indicators,'* pp 29-31. v. mineral waters. v. v. v. chemistry, p 710; Partington, A History of Chemistry, III, p 669. 36 Torbern Bergman, 'Of the Analysis of Waters,' in his Physical and Chemical Essays, I, pp 158-59.

29 To many early nineteenth century water analysts it was the work done in the 1770s by Torbern Bergman (173584), professor of chemistry at Uppsala, that divided the asystematic and often incomprehensible analyses of earlier centuries from the rigour of their own science. 30 In 1778 Bergman published a large work on mineral water analysis which was translated into English along with a number of shorter essays on Swedish mineral springs, and on hot and cold artificial mineral waters. These appeared in the first volume of his Physical and Chemical Essays (1784).

In his view medicinal properties, the solubility of the salts, and perhaps even the likely geological sources of the salts, had to be taken into account in determining which of several possible arrangements of salts actually existed in the water. '63 Having demonstrated that one could never know what combination of salts existed in a mineral water, Murray maintained that analysis should only concern itself with the determination of individual acids and bases, leaving their combination a matter for speculation.

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