By Peter Reed
Robert Angus Smith (1817-1884) used to be 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 impacts sheds mild at the evolving figuring out of sanitary technology through the 19th century. Born in Glasgow and firstly expert for a occupation within the Church of Scotland, Smith as an alternative 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 increase a powerful crisis for the insanitary environmental stipulations in Manchester and different commercial 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 e-book explores his function 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 recognized. This research of Smith's existence and paintings offers a major history to the best way that 'chemical' got here to have such adverse connotations within the century prior to 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 valuable, and is vital examining for historians of technological know-how, expertise and within the 19th century, in addition to environmental historians looking historical past context to the twentieth-century environmental routine.
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Additional info for Acid Rain and the Rise of the Environmental Chemist in Nineteenth-Century Britain
58 Oliver McDonagh, ‘The Nineteenth Century Revolution in Government: A Reappraisal’, The Historical Journal, 1 (1958), pp. 52–67. 57 Acid Rain and the Rise of the Environmental Chemist in Britain 22 Changes in Society and Transformation of the State within Society Although mass industrialization had its origins in the middle of the eighteenth century, its impact was progressive; and as the process of industrialization accelerated and intensified, so the effects on society deepened. 59 These dramatic and far-reaching changes to society were accompanied by exposure to dangers, harsh and unhealthy living conditions, and practices felt to be against the humanitarian spirit.
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. In Manchester, Liebig’s host for a Thomas Malthus, An Essay on the Principle of Population (London, 1798), p. 13. ‘Objects and Rules of the Association’, British Association Report, 1842, p.
367. 39 Robert Angus Smith, To Iceland in a Yacht (Edinburgh, 1873), including a series of delightful drawings by his niece, Jessie Knox Smith, and Robert Angus Smith, Visit to St. Kilda in the ‘The Nyanza’ (Glasgow, 1879). 40 Anon, ‘Obituary: Robert Angus Smith’, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland XIX (1884–85) p. 6. 41 Besides the expected collection of books on chemistry, metallurgy, medicine and sanitation, the library covered subjects such as philology (346 volumes), history (721), with 84 volumes on Celtic history, natural history (39) and poetry (125).
Acid Rain and the Rise of the Environmental Chemist in Nineteenth-Century Britain by Peter Reed