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Portait of Joseph Priestley, British chemist

Portait of Joseph Priestley, British chemist

H416/0243

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Credit

GEORGE BERNARD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GEORGE BERNARD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Joseph Priestley. Portrait of Joseph Priestley (1733-1804), British chemist. Priestley invented soda water using 'fixed air' (carbon dioxide). He discovered and examined many new gases including hydrogen chloride, nitrous oxide, ammonia, carbon monoxide and nitrogen. He also isolated oxygen but did not correctly recognize its role in combustion, believing instead that it played a part in the phlogiston (combustible element) theory. He also discovered that animals consume oxygen (respire) and plants produce it (photosynthesize). Priestley emigrated to America in 1794 to satisfy his need for intellectual and spiritual freedom. Taken from an 1833/37 book.

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