History of chemistry (1922) PDF by F. P. Venable

History of chemistry 

History of chemistry
History of chemistry 


The book illustrates the evolution of Chemistry through the ages

Excerpt:
Evolution of Science. In attempting to discover traces of science in the earliest historic times one must first free his mind of the idea that he will find it in anything like the elaborated modern form in which he knows it. 
These natural sciences are the result of a long and laborious process of evolution. First comes the gathering of facts and observations, and so the beginnings go far back of history to the earliest representatives of the race. 

The early motive was the struggle to maintain life and increase bodily comforts, and this motive has not lost its force in the modern world. Man is a weapon-using and tool-making animal and so gathered and fashioned the objects which best served his purposes. 

Comfort demanded clothing and shelter; therefore, he became a weaver, tanner, and builder of houses. His higher nature developed the love of beauty and so he sought out paints and dyes; his ailments forced upon him some knowledge of remedies and medicines. With the change from nomad to citizen his necessities became greater and his inventive genius was stimulated. Trades and industries arose and with these came specialization in labour and formulation of knowledge. 

Yet there was nothing that could be called science and all is still beyond recorded history. The beginnings described were found wherever civilization centred in Mesopotamia, China, India, Egypt, and European Greece. The growth of knowledge through experience, or empiricism, is exceedingly slow. Yet several industrial arts sprang up and some were carried on with a high degree of skill. Artificial aids and labour-saving machineries, such as the blast furnace and potter's wheel, were called into use. There were invented tools making use of physical laws, even though these laws were not recognized or understood. Among these were the wedge, the lever, the screw, the wheel. Improvement and wider application of these fundamentals came with a growing understanding of the principles involved. Industrial Arts: Metallurgy. 

An outline of the knowledge attained in some of these arts, many of which date back to the most remote antiquity, may well be considered here. Taking up metallurgy first we find that six metals were well-known gold, silver, tin, iron, copper, and lead. Homer mentions these six and the Bif}le does also; so they seem to have been in use from very ancient times. Mercury was afterwards added to the list. The derivation of the word metal is from the Greek word jueraaw, to search after, and the noun first meant or referred to mines.

 The ancients, especially the Egyptians, were very skilful workers in metals. They made gold wire and leaf and fine inlaid work. Gold was apparently the first known of the metals. Its colour, lustre, and malleability, as well as its freedom from tarnish and corrosion, attracted the attention of the early peoples. Its rarity and value soon brought it into use as a medium of exchange, and very early corns have been preserved. Its occurrence in the free state would doubtless account for its being recognized and used among the first of the metals.


the book details :
  • Author: Francis Preston Venable
  • Publication date: 1922
  • Company: Boston, New York

  • Download 17.4 MB

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