The PioneersThe MilitaryReferences

The Age of Science

Richard Pearson 1743-1794 and Thomas Beddoes 1760-1808

I n 1793 Thomas Beddoes moved to Oxford, where he taught Chemistry. He like Joseph Priestly sympathised with the revolutionaries in France, which made him an enemy of several people in the national institutions, it also gave him enemies within the British Government. He set up practise in Bristol. He along with Richard Pearson used Ether in the treatment of Phthisis, catarrhal fever, bladder calculus, and scurvy. These experiments were performed at the Beddoes Pneumatic Institute. I believe this institute still exists today. Richard Pearson recommended a teapot inhaler for ether in his Medical Facts and Observations (Vol 7) published in 1797.

His comments on the side effects of ether were:


Sickness and giddiness that would soon pass"
"The manner of using Ether Vapour in phthisis whooping-cough, and some other pulmonary disorders, is extremely simple. One or two tea spoonful’s being put into a small tea cup, the latter is held to the mouth either by the patient or an assistant, and the vapour (which the warmth of the hand causes to ascend in sufficient quantity) is drawn in with the breath. This is continued till all the Ether is evaporated, and is repeated 3 or 4 times in the day, according to the urgency of the case."

The collection of now famous names at the institute is legendary, with the then unknown Humphrey Davy, James Watt and advice from Joseph Black and John Hunter, Beddoes had a wealth of talent at his disposal.
Dr. Thomas Beddoes's work, Considerations on the Medicinal Use and on the Production of Factitious Airs, was published. In that book Beddoes, by a series of experiments, pointed out that in oxygen we have the suitable antidote to Asphyxia.

James Watt (1736-1819)

James Watt was born in Greenock near Inverclyde, Renfrewshire he built up his knowledge of how things worked by working in his father’s shop.

In 1757 he started his own business making instruments and through this built up a reputation as a high quality engineer. 153
He is in the main famous for discovering the usefulness of steam.James Watt was involved with Davy and Thomas Beddoes in constructing a respiratory machine for the Pneumatic institute.
James Watt had a son called Gregory who was a good friend of the young Humphrey Davy, it is said that it was Gregory that encouraged Davy in experimenting with Nitrous Oxide, he also co-operated with Joseph Black in work on latent heat.
As the 19th century got going the effects of both nitrous oxide and ether were becoming widely known, they were however more popular on the social side of life, Ether frolics, as they became known were the trendy pastime of the rich and famous in the United States and Britain.






Quote 60

“My responsibility is to follow the Scriptures which call upon us to occupy the land until Jesus returns” 154


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