By Christopher Hamlin

ISBN-10: 0520070887

ISBN-13: 9780520070882

A technology of Impurity is the 1st precise background of the mobilization of chemistry (and later bacteriology) to satisfy the general public call for for strong water. It additionally bargains a standpoint on figuring out how smooth actual sciences are tapped to make sure public solid.
A technology of Impurity explores the social framework during which chemists got here to paintings on difficulties of water caliber, the options they used to check the surroundings, their conclusions and their function in facing a anxious public.
For historians of technology, researchers and planners within the water undefined.

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Another reason for not worrying overmuch about accusations of analytical alterations may have been suspicion of the motives prompting such accusations. The claim that analysis irreparably altered what was being analysed could be a defence against the threat of exposure of a spring's impotence. '49 As we shall see in the next chapter, any sort of argument which held that the miraculous properties of mineral waters were for scientific reasons forever undiscoverable was useful to those wishing to uphold the uniqueness of the springs they were associated with.

Mineral waters; Coley, 'Physicians and the Chemical Analysis of Mineral Waters,' pp 131, 139; John Rutty, An Essay towards a Natural, Experimental, and Medical History of the Mineral Waters of Ireland, p x. 47 Uno Boklund, 'Torbern Bergman as Pioneer in Mineral Waters,' pp 122-4; Partington, A History of Chemistry, III, pp 123-4; Eklund, 'Chemical Analysis,' pp 268-70; Guitard, Prestigieux Passé, pp 108-9; Saunders, Treatise, pp xivxv, 23. 48 Bergman, 'Of the Analysis of Waters,' p 101; Saunders, Treatise, p xiii, 4-5.

Qualitative and quantitative evidence were far more important. 33 Late eighteenth and early nineteenth century water chemists often studded their analyses with reagent tests, using not only colour indicators like galls, litmus paper, or tincture of cabbages, but also tests for specific substances, for example proving the presence of sulphur by the blackening of a silver spoon. Some tests utilized common replacement reactions (oxalic acid for the presence of lime, barium chloride for the presence of sulphuric acid).

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A Science of Impurity: Water Analysis in Nineteenth Century Britain by Christopher Hamlin

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