Other Free Encyclopedias » Online Encyclopedia » Encyclopedia - Featured Articles » Contributed Topics from A-E

Beddoes, Thomas

davy institution friends appointed

(1760–1808) British physician and chemist: mentor of Humphry Davy.

A man of wide talents, Beddoes studied classics, modern languages, science and medicine at Oxford and in 1788 was appointed reader in chemistry there. However, his sympathy with the French revolutionaries led to his resignation in 1792. He then turned to medicine, and linked this with his interest in the new gases (‘airs’) discovered in the previous few years, several by his friend . With the help of friends he set up his Medical Pneumatic Institution in Bristol to study the therapeutic uses of gases. In 1798 he appointed the 19-year-old to join him. A year later they observed the anaesthetic potential of ‘nitrous oxide’, N2O (unhappily neglected for half a century). Beddoes then guided Davy in his early work on electrochemistry, as well as introducing him to influential friends in science and in literature. In 1801 Davy left for the Royal Institution and soon Beddoes also left for London and returned to medical practice. Beddoes’s greatest discovery was Davy (as Davy’s was ) but, although much overshadowed by his pupil, Beddoes’s own talents, probably partly unused, were real. His Institution was perhaps the first specialized institute of a type now common.

Bednorz, (Johannes) Georg [next] [back] Becquerel, (Antoine) Henri

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or