Autograph letter signed to Michael Faraday

Henry, William

Published by Manchester, 1825
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To Michael Faraday, Regarding Faraday's Discovery of Benzene Henry, William (1774-1836). Autograph letter signed to Michael Faraday (1791-1867). Manchester, Dec. 6, 1825. 1 page plus portion of address leaf containing Henry's autograph direction to Faraday, the whole mounted on a larger leaf with a handwritten caption at the foot. Light soiling to address portion, otherwise fine. From the noted British chemist William Henry, enunciator of "Henry's Law" of the solubility of gases and author of Elements of Experimental Chemistry (1801 & 10 subsequent eds.), the most popular and successful English-language chemistry textbook of its day; to Michael Faraday, one of the most influential scientists in history, whose investigations of electricity and magnetism established the basis for the electromagnetic field concept in physics and formed the foundation of electric motor technology. Faraday was also one of the most famous chemists of his time, with most of his major discoveries in chemistry being accomplished in the 1820s. The letter, concerning Faraday's discovery of benzene in 1825, reads as follows: "My dear Sir, Although the vol. of Phil. Trans. containing your paper on the compounds of Carbon and Hydrogen is not yet published, and will probably be anticipated by my new edition, yet I presume there can be nothing inconsistent with the laws or usages of the Royal Society, if I give an abstract of it in my forthcoming edition. This I shall as before introduce into an Appendix, unless I hear to the contrary from you. But if any objection strikes you, I must beg the favour of you to write by an early post, otherwise I will not put you to the trouble of a letter on the subject. Believe me, Dear Sir, Yours most faithfully, Willm. Henry." Henry is referring here to Faraday's "On new compounds of carbon and hydrogen, and on certain other products obtained during the decomposition of oil by heat" (Philosophical Transactions [1825]: 440-66), in which Faraday announced his successful isolation of benzene (C6H6), which he named "bi-carburet of hydrogen." It would appear that Henry did indeed get Faraday's permission to abstract the 1825 paper, as an account of Faraday's researches in this area appears in the eleventh edition of Henry's Elements of Experimental Chemistry (1829). Williams, Michael Faraday, p. 108. Bookseller Inventory # 40836

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Autograph letter signed to Michael Faraday

Publisher: Manchester

Publication Date: 1825

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

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