Dung? Alchemy is full of it

In working through the Mymer manuscripts, I have been struck on more than one occasion by their repeated references to dung. While calculating his expenses, for instance, Georg Mymer lists horse manure and coal alongside the various flasks he needs for his tinctures. [1] Like coal, dried horse manure was used for heating. Maintaining constant … Continue reading Dung? Alchemy is full of it

‘The Art of Distillation’: Alchemy in Eighteenth-Century Recipe Books

By Katherine Allen Two aspects of eighteenth-century recipe books that interest me are the use of distillation in domestic medicine and the relationship between print and manuscript sources of medical and scientific knowledge. Rebecca Tallamy’s recipe book beautifully illustrates the union of both these aspects as she recorded her recipes in a 1691 edition of … Continue reading ‘The Art of Distillation’: Alchemy in Eighteenth-Century Recipe Books

Gershom Bulkeley (1635-1713): A Sensory Chymist in Colonial Connecticut

By Donna Bilak Who was Gershom Bulkeley? (you may well ask). A Harvard-educated Puritan gentleman from an important New England family, Bulkeley spent most of his life in Connecticut as a colonial divine, physician, and magistrate of upstanding (and by contemporary accounts obstinate) character. Bulkeley was also an iatrochymist – an aspect of his work … Continue reading Gershom Bulkeley (1635-1713): A Sensory Chymist in Colonial Connecticut