JEAN-LOUP CHARMET / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JEAN-LOUP CHARMET / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
The powers of air. Caricature of an early 19th century chemistry lecture at the Royal Institution in London, by James Gillray. The air used is nitrous oxide (laughing gas) which leads to loss of inhibitions in the first stage of anaesthesia. The cartoon is titled: "Scientific Researches. New Discoveries in Pneumatics, or an Experimental Lecture on the Powers of Air". At centre is Dr. Garnet (lecturer in chemistry) who is experiment- ing on Sir J.C. Hippesley. Garnet is assisted by a young Sir Humphry Davy. Patrons of science are in the audience. James Gillray (1757-1815) was an English caricaturist who satirized royalty, politicians and the social follies of his day.
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