The Beginnings of Chemistry
Chemistry as we know it began with Black, Cavendish, Priestley, Scheele and Lavoisier. But its roots lie in alchemy, which combined genuine technique in preparing and handling chemical substances with illusion and fraud. The idea, that all substances are made of a few basic ‘elements’, is of course ancient. Earth, water, air and fire were supposed to be these basic elements, or ‘roots’ of everything else.