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The history of the technology behind chemistry's evolution


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This could (almost as meaningfully) be stated in reverse:


"The history of the chemistry behind technology's evolution."


Hello everyone! It's been along time since I've been to this forum, and my interest in the history and evolution of chemistry is still with me.


Does anyone here share my interest in the evolution of chemistry? And if so, do you recommend any books that might satiate my hunger to know?


To be as specific as possible, I want to know about the technologies that made chemistry possible. I think that the successful isolation of each element involved a unique technique. Although, in regards to metals like copper, gold, silver and the like, a single, specific technique (smelting) enabled the discovery of multiple metallic elements.


I think the simplest technique for isolating an element is probably the way primitive peoples once isolated carbon, as carbon was likely the first element that humanity successfully isolated. I understand how they did that.


I also have a general understanding of smelting.


But beyond that, my understanding is pretty shaky, and I think that's because as humanity moved beyond smelting, the techniques and technology became increasingly subtle and sophisticated.


So are there any books out there that chronical the evolution of chemistry and the evolution of the technology that made our knowledge of chem possible? It's the symbiotic relationship between technology and chemistry that fascinates me.



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There's a nice one called Creations of Fire which, while not technical in the least, gives nice detail on the people and cultures that fuelled the evolution of chemistry. I found its treatment of modern developments lacking but it goes into plenty of depth about the chemical revolution.

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