The Case of the Poisonous Socks: Tales from Chemistry

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Royal Society of Chemistry, 2011 - Science - 348 pages
1 Review
In 1868, The Times reported that poisons contained in dyes were affecting the public's health. A doctor informed a London magistrate that brilliantly coloured socks had caused severe "constitutional and local complaint" to several of his patients. In one case, a patient's foot had become so swollen that his boots had to be cut off. Respected chemist, William Crookes, offered to identify the poison if doctors would send him samples of the deadly socks. The story of how he solved the mystery gives this book its title and forms the basis of the first chapter. Written by a respected science historian and established author, this collection of essays contains 42 tales of chemists and their discoveries from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Other topics covered include: the quirky beliefs of American philanthropist, George Hodgkins; the development of the chemical laboratory since the 1830s, and the career of C.P. Snow before he became a novelist. Its broad coverage and modern approach makes it of interest to chemists, teachers, historians and lay people with an interest in science. Written with a light style and presented in a series of unconnected vignettes the book is easy to dip into at leisure.
 

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User Review  - hcubic - LibraryThing

I picked up this book at the ACS National Meeting in Philadelphia in August, expecting that it would be a compilation of interesting chemistry anecdotes, organized around the chemistry involved. That ... Read full review

Contents

Chapter 32
248
Chapter 33
255
Chapter 34
262
Chapter 35
267
Chapter 36
271
Chapter 1
272
Lost to Chemistry
277
Chapter 39
286
Chapter 21
320
Subject Index
327
The Case of the Poisonous Socks
3
Chapter
8
Taste Smell and Flavour
9
Chemical Algebra 114
14
Tales of Hofmann
16
He Knew He Was RightFritz Haber 176
22

Chapter 41
294
Chapter 20
296
Chapter 42
301
Further Reading
314
Chapter 5
24
Musical Affinities 214
28
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

William H. Brock is a retired Professor of the History of Science. He read Chemistry at UCL before studying the History of Science at the University of Leicester where he later became a lecturer then a professor. He has published many papers and books including The Fontana History of Chemistry.

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