The Royal Institution and the Lecture Theatre in which we are assembled to-night are associated with a long tradition of scientific work. Many famous scientists have spoken from this table and have performed here experiments which were destined to revolutionise wide phases of life and to throw light upon mysteries which, had previously been enshrouded in obscurity. Humphry Davy was one of the first Professors at the Institution. His chemical researches brought him the world-wide fame which has ever since been accorded to him. His research on the miner's safety lamp and the control of methane ignition by means of a wire gauze was epoch-making; and the oil safety lamp of to-day is designed on the principle which he evolved. Davy was followed, after an interval, by Michael Faraday. Faraday's career is an object lesson to all aspiring young men. Apprenticed as a youth to a book-binder, he had high ideals respecting education and culture. After being taken, in 1812, by a customer of his master to hear lectures by Davy, he made notes, amplified them, and finally sent a report of the lectures to Davy himself. In the following year, Faraday became Davy's assistant. In 1825 he was appointed Director of the- Laboratory; and in 1833 just 100 years ago-he became the first Fullerian Professor of Chemistry, an appointment which he held till the end of his life. The petroleum industry is under a great debt to Faraday. It was he who first isolated benzole in the course of studying the gas from cracked oil, and by so doing may be said to have laid the foundation of the petroleum industry. This audience, composed of delegates to the World Petroleum Congress, owes a tribute to the memory of Faraday. j Davy and Faraday have been succeeded by men no less worthy than they of this Institution. Dewar carried on the work of Fullerian Professor of Chemistry from 1877 to 1923. The brilliance of his lectures was equalled by that of his laboratory work on the liquefaction of gases and the properties of matter at low temperatures. It was Dewar who made possible the commercial extraction of helium and the low-temperature rectification of liquefied gases. He was followed by the present Resident Professor, Sir William Bragg, who is noted in the world of Science for his work by X-ray analysis on the elucidation of crystal structures and of solid substances generally. His achievements here will entitle him to a high place in the history of scientific research and in the future. his name will be coupled with those of the other distinguished men who have preceded him. Before proceeding with the experiments which it has been arranged to show you to-night it is appropriate to draw attention to two interesting landmarks in the recent history of petroleum * Lecture delivered at the Royal Institution on July 21st, 1933. f At this point the audience rose and stood in silence in memory of Faraday.
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Cadman, John. "Science in the Petroleum Industry." Paper presented at the 1st World Petroleum Congress, London, UK, July 1933.
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