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:
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 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