Introductory Chemistry Book

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 133 MMM/23/1/25
  • Dates of Creation
      n.d. [ca. 186-?]
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      1 volume, 304 folios Boards are loose

Scope and Content

A volume of notes on introductory chemistry from an unknown source, which utilises a number of examples and small diagrams and drawings throughout to illustrate certain points. The notes are not divided up in the form of individual lectures but rather read as one cohesive text.

Working through the volume from the beginning, some of the subjects addressed include: objects of chemistry, analytical & synthetical analysis, physical & chemical change, overlap with physics, cohesion, elasticity, forms of matter, affinity, compounds, respiration as slow combustion, rules of nomenclature, combustion, properties and isolation of hydrogen, properties of HO or water, ozone, properties and isolation of nitrogen, composition of air, organic matter in air, oxides & hydroxides of nitrogen, Magdeburg hemispheres, elasticity of gases, atmosphere of Jupiter, sea breezes, land breezes, calms of cancer and capricorn, laws of combination by weight, gravity of a gas, oxysalts, properties and forms of sulphur, uses and effects of sulphur, properties of selenium, tellurium, properties and forms of phosphorus, phosphoric acid, Döbereiner lamp, uses of phosphorus, properties and forms of antimony, analogy between oxygen and sulphur salts - hydrates, arsenic acid and its poisonous characteristics, properties of the chlorine family, compounds of chlorine with oxygen, disinfecting and bleaching powers of chlorine, hydrochloric acid, chlorates, properties and occurrences of bromine, properties and forms of fluorine, the carbon family, forms and uses of carbon, carbon dioxide, properties of C2H4 and instances of explosions in mines and the great storm in the Black Sea during the Crimean War, olefiant gas, coal gas and use in lighting, properties and forms of silicon, characteristics of metals, basic oxides, acid oxides, theory of salts, properties and forms of potassium, gunpowder mixtures, salt, glass, composition of various kinds of glass, lithium, caesium, rubidium, oxides of barium, properties etc. of calcium, magnesium, epsom salts, aluminium, alums, clays, iron, chromium, manganese, lead, mercury chloride, cupellation, chemical affinity, catalysis, crystallization, isomorphism, differences in atomic volume, atomic theory, combination of acids with bases, light and its laws, electricity and its laws, electromagnetism, intensity.

A number of key chemists are referenced throughout in relation to their discoveries and work but there are also several references to Dr Lyon Playfair (1818-1898) and his opinions in a way which suggests the manuscript is contemporary to his work or is indeed somehow sourced from it. Furthermore in illustrating the presence of organic air at different locations, one table in the work references a disproportionate number of figures for Manchester city centre, with locations in Edinburgh also featuring highly, possibly suggesting the two locations are relevant in ascertaining the origin of this manuscript.