Various Chemists and How They Impacted Modern Chemistry

Within the 1790s, one of the most notable world events was the French Revolution. United States citizens were influenced by the revolution and some took sides. As a result, George Washington passed the Neutrality Proclamation to keep the United States neutral in foreign disputes. Also in the 1790s, the Bill of Rights was ratified and the Treaty of San Lorenzo was signed, which marked the final exit of Spain from the North American continent.Lastly, there was a political divide in the United States. Partly because of the French Revolution, but also because of different lifestyles and opinions, the Northern and Southern United States developed different political views. The people of the North leaned towards being Federalists, whereas the Southerners had Republican views. Eli Whitney was born in 1765 and graduated from Yale in 1792. He had a large influence on the ‘90s because he invented the cotton gin, which revolutionized the production of cotton products.Before the cotton gin, or engine, every cotton seed had to be separated from the fibers by hand. It was a long and tedious chore. A single gin was able to clean 50 pounds of cotton per day, which made the cotton trade much more profitable for southern states. However, a loophole in the 1793 patent act allowed people to imitate the invention of the cotton gin and call it their own. Due to this loophole, Whitney only profited minimally from his invention. All was not lost for Whitney.He finally became wealthy by inventing a way to manufacture muskets with interchangeable parts. Benjamin Thompson was born in 1753 and he was a leading figure in the history of thermodynamics. He denied the current belief that heat was a liquid form of matter, instead proposing that it was a type of motion. He made this theory while watching the manufacturing of cannon barrels. The process involved a drill that bored into a solid block of metal. So much heat was generated that the block had to be constantly doused with cold water.The current theory said that the motion of the drill was releasing a fluid called “caloric,” but Rumford thought that far too much caloric was being released than could have been held in the metal. So he proposed his theory. He also made inventions such as improvements for chimneys and fireplaces, the Rumford Stove, thermal underwear, and a drip coffeepot. Edward Jenner was apprenticed for seven years to Daniel Ludlow, a surgeon, with whom he gained most of the knowledge he needed to become a surgeon himself.In 1770, Jenner went to Saint George’s Hospital in London to finish his medical training under the great surgeon and experimentalist, John Hunter. Two years later he moved back to his home town and established himself as local practitioner and surgeon. Jenner is renowned for his work and development with vaccinations. He conducted an experiment on one of his patients that allowed him to conclude that not only can cowpox pass from cow to person to person, but it also prevents the contraction of smallpox.This hugely impacted the decade because it lead to the decline of smallpox, and his work also lead to the use of other vaccinations. Without Eli Whitney’s cotton gin, the 1790s and many preceding decades would have been much different. Since cotton was one of the most traded and used crops within the United States, there would have been very noticeable impacts if it was more expensive and in lower supply, and this would have surely been the case without the cotton gin.Cotton products would have been developed and manufactured less, meaning things like clothing would probably not have turned out the same. Also, other inventions inspired by the cotton gin may not have been invented, which would snowball into a much larger effect on the modern world.Sourceshttp://www. famousscientists. org/benjamin-thompson/ http://www. robinsonlibrary. com/science/science/biography/b-thompson. htm

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