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Phlogiston - reality survey

1666 – Becher proposes that things are made to burn by a fire element

1703 Stahl names it phlogiston

1754 Black describes fixed air (CO2 dissolved in water – gasses dissolve in water and create acids!!)

1766 – Cavendish reports to the Royal Society that metals zinc, iron and tin generate inflammable air in acids (hydrogen H2)  – Deduces by experiment that water is 1 part inflammable air (H) and 2 parts flammable air (O)

1772 Scheele discovers fire air

1774 Priestly isolates dephlogisticated air and tells the Frenchman Lavoisier

1783 Lavoisier confirm Priestly’ s findings and renames it Oxygen or acid maker

Priestly, probably due to his strong religious beliefs, was unable to give up his, “belief” in Phlogiston and made little further scientific contribution

1794 – Lavoisier was guillotined on 8 May in Paris, at the age of 50 – Joseph Louis Lagrange “It took them only an instant to cut off this head, and one hundred years might not suffice to reproduce its like.”

Party Wall Surveyor serving Thanet and London

Third Surveyor serving England and Wales

Bruce Spenser MSc LCGI
Bruce Spenser MSc LCGI