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The Life and Work of Edward Charles Howard FRS

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Abstract:

Edward Charles Howard, a notable chemist of the early nineteenth century, was a descendant of the patrician House that has for generations held the premier Dukedom of Norfolk, and the office of Earl Marshal of England. When, as a younger son, he took up an independent profession, his inclination decided him on a career in science. In his relatively brief career - he died at the early age of 42-Howard made original discoveries in three widely different fields of chemical research, each of which proved of lasting influence. In 1800, he discovered the highly explosive fulminates, an achievement that gained him the coveted Copley Medal of the Royal Society. He next demonstrated the characteristic nickel contentof meteorites, thus helping to establish their - so far controversial - cosmic origin. Over the next few years he effected a veritable revolution in sugar manufacturing by his invention of the vacuum evaporation technique and other fundamental improvements. Howard's seminal researches blazed a trail that was taken up to great effect by subsequent researchers and contributed significantly to the rise of the modern explosives industry and sugar manufacture. His outstanding record entitles him to an enduring place in the history of chemical science and technology.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/000337999296445

Publication date: 1999-04-01

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