Oxygen Discovered!

Illustration of Priestley's discovery of oxygen, by Henry Granger
Illustration of Priestley's discovery of oxygen, by Henry Granger

Historical Context

English chemist Joseph Priestley made his most famous discovery, during an experiment at Boxwood House in England in 1774. Using a 12-inch-wide glass "burning lens" he aimed it at a lump of mercuric oxide placed in an upside down glass container in a pool of mercury. The gas his experiment emitted he announced five or six times as good as common air."

Priestley called this air "dephlogisticated air" and his findings enabled French chemist Antoine Lavoisier to discover its role in combustion and name it oxygen in 1778.

Drawing Info


Location drawn: England, United Kingdom

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