Essay on Combustion, 1794

Essay on Combustion, 1794

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Frontispiece of the Essay on Combustion by Mrs. Fulhame which was published in 1794. Elizabeth Fulhame (fl. 1780-1794) was a chemist credited with inventing the concept of catalysis (the acceleration or instigation of a chemical reaction due to a catalyst), and the discovery of photoreduction in the recording of the role of light-sensitive chemicals (silver salts) on fabric. The originality of the theories she developed was valued as they had been based on observation and experiment. Though her work was praised by prominent scientists such as Joseph Priestley, Herschel and Count Rumford, and although she was elected to the Chemical Society of Philadelphia in the United States, she was scathing about the hostility and prejudice of the exclusively male scientific community towards women scientists.

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Keywords: 1700s, 1794, 18th century, antiphlostigic, catalysis, catalyst, chemist, chemistry, combustion, elizabeth fulhame, essay on combustion, experiment, female scientists, feminism, feminist, frontispiece, fulhame, history of science, male prejudice, observation, phlogistic, text, women scientists

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