British Women and Chemistry from the 16th to the mid-19th Century

Rayner-Canham, Marelene and Rayner-Canham, Geoff (2009) British Women and Chemistry from the 16th to the mid-19th Century. Bulletin for the History of Chemistry, 34 (2). pp. 117-123. ISSN 1053-4385

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Abstract

We have shown elsewhere that a significant number of women chemists were active in Britain between 1880 and 1949. In fact, during that period a total of 896 women were members of the Royal Institute of Chemistry and/ or the Chemical Society (1). Prior to that period, much has been published about the 17thcentury chemistry researcher, Elizabeth Fulhame, author of An Essay on Combustion (2) and about the 18th-century chemistry popularizer, Jane Marcet (1769-1858), author of Conversions on Chemistry (3). Though it is certainly true that Fulhame and Marcet have exalted places in the history of women in chemistry, in our view, it is important to show that they were not the only women who developed an interest in the subject before the late 1800s. Here we will introduce some other women who had an involvement in the chemistry of their time, and then we will survey the avenues by which women of the late 18th and early 19th century could (and many did) acquaint themselves with advances in chemistry.

Item Type: Article
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/505
Item ID: 505
Keywords: Authorship; Chemistry; Great Britain; History, 16th Century; History, 17th Century; History, 18th Century; History, 19th Century; Laboratory Personnel; Publications; Research Personnel; Social Change; Social Class; Social Conditions; Women's Health; Women's Rights; Women, Working
Department(s): Grenfell Campus > Division of Science > Environmental Science
Date: 2009
Date Type: Publication

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