London: Published by R. Ackermann, 1821. First edition. With a hand-colored engraved frontispiece and decorative title-page. Some dustsoiling. Spine lightly faded. Clean and fresh throughout despite some offsetting to title-page and frontispiece. A very good copy. Uncommon in commerce. Original red cloth with gilt spine. Twelvemo. xxii, , 356, xxiii, [1, ads] pp. Item #17298
Fredrick Accum (1769 - 1838) was German chemist. His most significant achievements were advancements in gas lighting, efforts to keep processed food free from dangerous additives, and promoting chemistry to the public. Given his extensive experimental work in gas lighting, his name was listed as “practical chymist” on the 1812 list of the first Corporation of London’s highly successful Gas-Light and Coke Company. He also wrote an 1815 treatise that became the classic text of gas technology. Most of his publications were in English and he lived in London for several years. His books were composed in a style that made them accessible to the common reader and were influential in the popularization of chemistry during his era. Accum published Treatise on Adulteration of Food (1820), which warned of the dangers of chemical additives. He was also the first person to bring significant awareness to the subject, but his work proved controversial, as it criticized standard industry food practices of the time. Accum applied his expertise in chemistry to cooking, and his book A Treatise on the Art of Brewing (1820) covered many topics including the history of beer brewing, the chemical constitution of malt liquors, how to brew porters, ales, and table beer, mashing (preparation of the wort), etc.