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Inhaling Chlorine Gas, 1850s

Inhaling Chlorine Gas, 1850s

C036/3776

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Credit

METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Restrictions:

Editorial use only.

Caption

James Hyatt inhaling chlorine gas. Peter Welling (American, active c. 1850s) This daguerreotype served as the basis for an engraving in Hyatt's textbook for schoolchildren The Elements of Chemistry (1855). According to Hyatt, chlorine gas is used medicinally in pulmonary diseases, in which case it is best inhaled from an exceedingly dilute aqueous solution, by drawing with the mouth at the tube in a simple apparatus. The portrait provided an effective illustration of the scientific technique as well as a cautionary tale: Hyatt warns his young readers that overexposure can lead to inflammation, coughing, spasms, and death.

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