Illumination in America
The intellectual atmosphere of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries was marked by changing concepts of science as well as by an increased curiosity about these new concepts. Modern chemistry, born late in the eighteenth century, began to forge ahead rapidly when new methods of quantitative experimentation revealed the inadequacy of some of the old concepts and opened the door to a better understanding of many puzzling problems.
From the dawn of history, combustion with flame was of outstanding significance in the advance of civilization. Yet until late in the 1700's there was no adequate explanation of this common phenomenon. Early in the