Books Received | Published:

The History of the Phlogiston Theory

Nature volume 131, page 531 (15 April 1933) | Download Citation



THIS little book, originally a thesis for the Ph.D. degree of the University of London, is written, according to the author, to dispel the mists which are gathering around our conception of the phlogiston theory: indeed, definite misstatements with regard to it are becoming increasingly common. In any event, it is useful to have in one book the full story of the wax and wane of the theory through a century of chemical history. At the outset of the eighteenth century, alchemy was flourishing and the philosopher's stone was still eagerly sought. By the end of it, quantitative chemistry had begun, chemical combination was being understood: chemistry had advanced in spite of the phlogiston theory, the work of Lavoisier had overthrown the doctrine of Stahl.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

About this article

Publication history





    By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

    Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing