The Industrial Revolution is often associated with James Watt’s work on the engine and nineteenth century advances in physics. However, the chemical industry was a very visible, economically important part of the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Research into the production of alkalis, analins, and phosphates produced a vast array of chemical bleaches and dyes and also fertilizers. The unintended consequences of this research included the accidental discovery of aspirin but also widespread pollution in cities that were growing faster than ever before. Through growth, modernization, and consolidation chemical conglomerates like ICI, Dow, Bayer, BASF, and IG Farben emerged as some of the largest and most powerful companies in the world at the turn of the 20th century. The chemicals produced by these companies would fuel the Chemist’s War.
- Read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein for Monday.
- In preparation for tomorrow, I want you to read a primary source on Galvanic electricity. Rather than reading Galvani (which is in Italian), I have chosen an English presentation of Galvani’s work. This is an appendix to George Adams’s 1799 text, An Essay on Electricity. The appendix was added by the editor as a sort of value added extension on animal electricity. Please read this and bring a copy to discuss tomorrow in class.
- In the comment section below, provide one thing you found interesting about the electricity reading and one question that you have about the reading, the source, or the concept of animal electricity.