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The Chemical Club: An Early Nineteenth-Century Scientific Dining Club

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>16/01/2018
<mark>Journal</mark>Ambix
Issue number3
Volume64
Number of pages20
Pages (from-to)263-282
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

The Chemical Club (fl. 1806–1828) was a small scientific dining club in London. Among its members were Sir Humphry Davy, William Hyde Wollaston, and Alexander Marcet, and similarly accomplished men of science, including John Dalton, Jöns Jacob Berzelius, and Augustin Pyramus de Candolle, came occasionally as guests to its meetings. This article, drawing on the unpublished papers of Lionel Felix Gilbert, as well as a range of contemporary sources in print and manuscript, presents the first substantial history of the Chemical Club, and situates it in the context of the scientific and social networks of the period. It aims to enrich our understanding of the scientific culture of the early nineteenth century in Britain by tracing the Club’s influence on, or connection to, some of the most pioneering and transformative scientific work of the first quarter of the 1800s, such as the discovery of nitrogen trichloride, the invention of the miners’ safety lamp, and Hans Christian Ørsted’s work on electromagnetism.