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

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By Christopher Hamlin

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

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13 (1860): 80-4; H M Noad, 'Analysis of the Saline Water of Purton near Swindon, North Wilts,' Q. J. Chem. Soc. 14 (1861): 43; Barratt, 'Analysis of the Water of Holywell, North Wales,'* pp 52-4; Northcote, 'On the Water of the River Severn at Worcester,'* p 255; Edward T Bennett, 'Analysis of the Thames water at Greenwich,' Q. J. Chem. Soc. 2 (1849): 199. The problem, of course, is that not all those using the phrase used the same 'usual' method (Cf R Phillips, 'Analyses of Two Sulphurous Springs near Plymouth,'* p 158).

Most analysts, including Bergman, at least raised the issue. In commenting on the difficulty of water analysis, Bergman admitted that in part this was due to the fact that 'some of the principles . . '45 J M Good's Pantologica (1813) made the point even more emphatically: 'it cannot be doubted . . '46 Prior to 1815 such concerns did not seriously threaten either the credibility of water analysis or the confidence and optimism of analysts. Such problems were simply part of what made water analysis tricky.

Determining the quantities of these was reasonably straightforward: the bases and acids could be precipitated through replacement reactions. Murray's most radical proposal was his suggestion for the presentation of analytical results. Each analysis was to have three sets of results. First the analyst was to list the quantities of acids and bases, the only claim that he could legitimately make. ' This was Murray's view of the composition, the version that he believed best explained the medical properties the waters possessed.

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