Problems of Applied Chemistry

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    THE science and art of the engineer are intimately interlaced with those of the practical chemist. The practical, as distinguished from the scientific, chemist possesses sufficient knowledge and experience to see to the working of machines and to minor repairs without calling in an engineer, save in difficult or complicated cases. In former times the chemical manufacturer learned his trade, both on the chemical and the engineering side, as far as it was indispensable, but he learned it simply “by rote,” as the saying goes. To be sure, this never took place without large sums of money being thrown away, either in the form of misshapen or faulty apparatus and machinery, or of spoilt chemicals, and so on. And this happened to the unstudied “practical man,” who, through family connections or by mere chance, had stumbled into chemical manufacturing, as well as to men who had studied the science of chemistry, and who desired to apply the knowledge thus gained to the execution of some well-known process, or to the working of some laboratory invention on a large scale. Those men who possessed a scientific foundation were, in their turn, compelled to learn the technical side of their profession by dint of practice, just as the tailor has to learn the art of making clothes and the barber the art of shaving. A man of scientific attainments had certainly, even in the olden times, a clear advantage over the mere practical man.”

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