SCHEELE, Carl Wilhelm.

The Chemical Essays… Translated from the Transactions of the Academy of Sciences at Stockholm [by F.X. SCHWEDIAUR]. With additions [by Thomas BEDDOES].

London: Printed for J. Murray,... .1786

8vo, pp. xiii, ii, 405, (2)blank. Contemporary marbled boards, blue paper spine with MS label. Spine and lower edges worn, otherwise an excellent uncut copy.

FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH. This important and rare book, edited by Thomas Beddoes, contains the writings in English of Scheele other than the Chemical Observations...on Air and Fire, and includes his many discoveries in organic and inorganic chemistry, which are “astonishing both in number and importance” (Partington). Scheele isolated tartaric, gallic, oxalic, citric, malic, and other acids, including uric acid (see G&M 668, the Swedish original). In inorganic chemistry, he isolated hydrogen fluoride, hydrogen cyanide, and hydrogen sulphide. He discovered chlorine, and copper arsenite ( “Scheele’s green”). He was the first to demonstrate the presence of calcium phosphate in bone; he obtained molybdic acid from molybdenite, which he was the first to distinguish from graphite; he proved that the acidity of sour milk is due to what was later called lactic acid; he obtained tungstic acid from what is now called scheelite (calcium tungstate); he experimented with ether; and he investigated the properties of glycerine and prussic acid. “Scheele’s contributions to inorganic chemistry should not overshadow his research in organic chemistry, which may be considered more imposing, since he had no precedent... When this work is added to his research in protein and fat, it is clear that Partington’s judgment that Scheele’s influence in organic chemistry was fundamental was fully justified” (DSB). Cole 1167. Duveen 533. Partington III, pp. 205–234.


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