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New PDF release: A History of Industrial Chemistry

By F. Sherwood. Taylor

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The servants decided to tell the local priest of what they had seen, but word of the events at the Château de Bitremont also reached the local examining magistrate, who arrived to find a fireplace full of the remains of half-burnt books and papers, and a dining room floor littered with wood shavings. Gustave’s body showed signs of burns, which suggested a corrosive liquid had been applied, and sulfuric acid seemed a likely possibility. KILLER BEAN Text Pages 34 13/5/04 | 2:49 PM THE KILLER BEAN Page 34 OF CALABAR In reality, the poison used was nicotine, and it is possible the Count’s research was as out of date as Dr Lamson’s had been.

Dr Buckland, whilst looking at it, exclaimed, ‘I have eaten many strange things, but have never eaten the heart of a king before,’ and, before anyone could hinder him, he had gobbled it up, and the precious relic was lost for ever. Buckland, like some of the medical researchers we will meet later, was prepared to risk poisoning himself, but there were many, some of whom we shall meet now, who preferred to poison others. KILLER BEAN Text Pages 13/5/04 2:49 PM Page 13 2 A slew of poisoners But in the central part of England there was surely some security for the existence even of a wife not beloved, in the laws of the land, and the manners of the age.

Some of these substances might not be exactly poisons, but they weren’t exactly good for you, either. In December 1859, six people in Clifton, with no obvious connection to each other, suffered from the usual symptoms of poisoning by arsenic. Investigations revealed the source to be Bath buns. A local confectioner had used, or so he believed, chrome yellow (lead chromate), to give his buns a rich yellow colour, and make them more attractive, but the druggist had supplied him with orpiment or arsenic sulfide instead.

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A History of Industrial Chemistry by F. Sherwood. Taylor


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