Eben Horsford, American chemist

Eben Horsford, American chemist

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Eben Norton Horsford (1818-1893), American chemist and historian. Horsford was born in Livingstone County, New York and studied at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Two years after graduating he became a teacher, but in 1845 he went to Germany to study under Liebig. On his return to America he was appointed a professor at Harvard University. He taught chemistry and did research into practical applications such as condensed milk and emergency rations. He is best known for reformulating baking powder, in which he replaced the traditional leavening agent cream of tartar (potassium hydrogen tartrate) with calcium hydrogen phosphate with considerably improved results. He used some of his subsequent fortune to donate books and money to higher education for women. He was fascinated by the Viking discovery of America as told in the Icelandic Vinland Saga and published widely on the subject.

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Keywords: 1800s, 19th century, american chemist, baking powder, condensed milk, eben norton horsford, food science, historian, industrial, industry, philanthropist, portrait, vertical

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