By Ralph R. Hamerla
An American Scientist at the examine Frontier is the 1st scholarly examine of the nineteenth-century American scientist Edward Williams Morley. partially, it's the long-overdue tale of a guy who lent his identify to the Michelson and Morley Ether-Drift scan, and who conclusively proven the atomic weight of oxygen. it's also the untold tale of technological know-how in provincial the US: what Hamerla offers as technological know-how at the "American study frontier". this crucial exam of Morley’s fight for private legitimacy extends and transforms our knowing of technology in the course of a foundational interval, and ends up in a few distinct conclusions which are very important to the literature and historiography of technological know-how. by way of revealing vital features of the clinical tradition of the yank heartland, An American Scientist at the examine Frontier deepens our figuring out of somebody scientist and of yank technological know-how extra commonly. In so doing, Hamerla adjustments the way in which we strategy and comprehend the production of medical wisdom, medical groups, and the historical past of technology itself.
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Additional resources for An American Scientist on the Research Frontier: Edward Morley, Community, and Radical Ideas in Nineteenth-Century Science
50 As James Pierce Brace, head of the Litchﬁled Female Seminary declared, “the education for time and eternity of the next generation of immortal beings,” should be geared toward motherhood. 53 With chemistry, for instance, Anna subscribed to Beecher’s professed importance of the subject to woman’s education. Do not yet ladies learn, from books, how to make hydrogen and oxygen? Do they not have pictures of furnaces, alembics, and the various utensils employed in cooking the chemical agents? Do they not learn to understand and to do many as difﬁcult operations as any that belong to housekeeping?
It does, however, illustrate Edward Morley’s approach to religion, science, and life in general. To Morley, religion and science were forever intertwined and both were always applicable to life’s problems and important decisions. Sin, for instance, is not something that is good or bad in the normal Christian sense. Instead, one should not sin or make the wrong moral decisions for more practical, worldly reasons. By making choices that are morally questionable—or sinful—one ends up occupying the mind with clutter that stiﬂes intellectual development.
29 While the speciﬁcs of these purchases are not clear, by 1847 the college had a collection of apparatus so vast it rivaled most institutions in the United States and many in Europe. Included were an Atwood’s machine, a working steam engine, a hydrostatic press, a hydraulic ram, a self-regulating rain gauge, numerous air pumps, several types of water pumps, a sonometer, two “large electrical machines,” a battery, a goniometer, a magic lantern, several optical devices, solar and compound microscopes, two cameras, numerous telescopes and transit instruments, an orrey, an astronomical clock, a daguerreotype apparatus, and a number of barometers and thermometers.