George Samuel Newth - Scientific Work

Scientific Work

G. S. Newth was the author of a number of popular books in chemistry, most notably Chemical Lecture Experiments and Inorganic Chemistry. He was elected a fellow of the Chemical Society in 1894.

Chemical Lecture Experiments (one of 5 books by Newth published by Longman, Green & Company of London, England) first appeared in 1892 and is a fascinating collection of chemistry lecture experiments all of which the author had tried for himself. This book is hard to find now outside of libraries. Several books of chemical lecture experiments were subsequently published by other authors. An identically titled work by American chemist Francis Gano Benedict (1870–1957), was first published in 1901 and acknowledges Newth's book. The final reprint of Newth's Chemical Lecture Experiments appeared in the late 1920s.

Newth's Inorganic Chemistry (the most popular and remembered of his 5 books) was first published in 1894 although the earliest copy in the British Library is 1896. It was revised and reprinted many times (with author updates to 1923 when Newth was 72), the final version appearing in 1940 four years after Newth had died and 46 years after its first publication in 1894. Old copies can be found for sale quite reasonably priced from internet book suppliers.

Newth also wrote A Manual of Chemical Analysis - Qualitative and Quantitative published in 1898 and Elementary Practical Chemistry first published about 1896 (earliest UK copy seen is 1904) which was for school chemistry classes. This book was titled Elementary Inorganic Chemistry when sold in the USA. Smaller Chemical Analysis published in 1906 was his final book.

Newth's books were reviewed in a number of journals, including Science and The Lancet. The latter journal in February 1899 mentions that Newth was appointed an examiner in chemistry at the Royal College of Science.

Newth also had a number of scientific papers published (see Bibliography section).

An American chemist, George D. Timmons, had a book called Questions on Newth's Inorganic Chemistry published in 1912.

It has been reported of John D. R. Thomas, past president (1990) of the Royal Society of Chemistry that his interest in chemistry derived from his father’s 1913 edition of G. S. Newth’s Elementary Practical Chemistry - A Laboratory Manual for Use in Organized Science Schools.

A memoir of Herbert Marcus Powell (1906–1991) mentions a poem he wrote about chemicals ('The Chemists Dream') which included a reference to G S Newth.

Newth's books are well worth buying (or borrowing from local or The British Library) and are a fascinating insight into late Victorian chemistry for schools and colleges and he was in many ways ahead of his time.

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