Benjamin Silliman, US chemist

Benjamin Silliman, US chemist

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Credit: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Benjamin Silliman, Jr. (1816-1885), US chemist. Silliman was a professor of chemistry at Yale University, as was his father, Benjamin Silliman, Sr. (1779-1864). Both were key figures in the development of the oil industry. The younger Silliman wrote an influential report on the use of distilled petroleum as a fuel for lamps and other light sources. Silliman also advised mining companies, but tended to over-estimate the amount of ore available in the deposits he reported on. His works included 'First Principles of Chemistry' (1847) and 'First Principles of Physics' (1858). Photographed between 1855 and 1865.

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