By Christopher Hamlin
A technological know-how of Impurity is the 1st unique historical past of the mobilization of chemistry (and later bacteriology) to fulfill the general public call for for reliable water. It additionally deals a viewpoint on figuring out how glossy actual sciences are tapped to make sure public solid.
A technological know-how of Impurity explores the social framework during which chemists got here to paintings on difficulties of water caliber, the innovations they used to check the surroundings, their conclusions and their position in facing a anxious public.
For historians of technological know-how, researchers and planners within the water undefined.
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Extra resources for A Science of Impurity: Water Analysis in Nineteenth Century Britain
J. Chem. Soc. 2 (1849): 77; F A Abel and Thos Rowney, 'Analysis of the Water of the Artesian Wells, Trafalgar Square,' Q. J. Chem. Soc. 1 (1848): 100. For other alternatives see Northcote, 'On the Water of the River Severn at Worcester,'* p 264 ('assumed salts'); Bennett, 'Analysis of the Thames water at Greenwich,'* p 199 ('ingredients . . assume the subjoined form'); W T Brande, 'Analysis of the Well-Water at the Royal Mint with Some Remarks on the Waters of the London Wells,' Q. J. Chem. Soc.
21 In sum, their complaints suggest that the problems which plagued mineral water analysis in the mid eighteenth century were the same problems which had plagued the art and science of chemistry, along with the rest of the medical crafts and professions, for more than two centuries. '22 Yet it should be noted that neither of those fields was wholly respectable itself. Learned physicians clung to ancient monopolies and still accused one another of killing patients with antimony or bloodletting. Quacks roamed Europe promising to restore sight or safely remove bladder stones.
His approach was to evaporate the water to dryness, during which time any dissolved gases were collected for analysis. The residue was then weighed and treated with rectified alcohol which dissolved iron vitriol (sulphate) and chlorides and nitrates of lime, magnesia, and barium. These were separated from one another at a later stage. 1 Bergman's protocol for mineral water analysis by evaporation. The diagram shows only the first level of separation. Individual salts could be later separated from each of the fractions.