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

By Christopher Hamlin

A technological know-how of Impurity is the 1st distinct historical past of the mobilization of chemistry (and later bacteriology) to satisfy the general public call for for solid water. It additionally bargains a point of view on figuring out how sleek actual sciences are tapped to make sure public stable.
A technology of Impurity explores the social framework within which chemists got here to paintings on difficulties of water caliber, the suggestions they used to check the surroundings, their conclusions and their position in facing a worried public.
For historians of technological know-how, researchers and planners within the water undefined.

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Water. 43 'Table exhibiting the composition of the principal mineral waters of Europe and the United States,' J. of Materia Medica. Supplement, 1871, pp 205-13. 44 Bergman, 'Of the Analysis of Waters,' p 109; Meredith Gairdner, Essay on Mineral and Thermal Springs, p 64. v. water, p 44. v. 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.

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. To admit the inadequacy of analysis would have been to give aid and comfort to such obscurantists.

Mag. 1st series 51 (1818): 10-25, 91-103. 64 Murray, 'General Formula,' p 95. 65 Murray, 'An Analysis of the Mineral Waters of Dunblane and Pitcaithly,' p 358. v. water, v 38; 'On Mineral Waters, Natural and Artificial,' Lancet 1828, ii, pp 2512; Gairdner, Essay, pp 63, 70-3. An anonymous annotator noted in the margin of Edwin Godden Jones' article 'Chemical Analysis of the Mineral Waters of Spa' (Trans. Medico-Chirurgical Assn. 7 pt 1 [1816] 69, Michigan State University Library copy) that Murray's approach had finally resolved the inconsistency between medical effects and composition.

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