SKU: AM00316 Category:


Description: In this informative two-page autograph letter signed to Petty Vaughan, Eben Horsford shares his impressions of the University at Giessen and the Semi-Annual Chemical dinner. Horsford, who is studying under Justus von Liebig, wants to find a publisher for what he considers Dr. Will’s– a chemist who is the superintendent of the Filial Laboratory–valuable work.

Upon his arrival, he finds the arrangements “most admirably adapted to the economization of money, time, and labor, a spirit of enthusiasm prevails which might perhaps be expected in the immediate society of such a man as [Jutsus von] Liebeg . . .”  He is aghast by the student behavior however after Liebig’s departure, “I never happened to know anything so little worthy of young men. . . all was drinking and uproar. . .”  He wants to publish a translation of Dr. Will’s book which is a “guide for students in the Giessen Laboratory, written as it is at Liebig’s suggestion, to supersede Fresenius, it can but command in England a rapid sale.” He elaborates on the content of the book, “The volume will not contain the first part, which in Fresenius is devoted to the preparations of reagents–because such things are found in Pharmacopoeias -more at length. . .”  He prefers to submit the copies to the publishing house, Wiley and Putnam, but is willing to concede to Vaughan or Mr. [Edward] Brayley’s (a librarian and science author) suggestions. Signed “Respectfully and gratefully yours, E. N. Horsford.”

Letter is written on a 11” x 9” sheet used as a stampless cover with two cancellations and a wax seal. Item #AM00316

Included with this letter is a typed transcription, along with three articles on Eben Horsford: “Horsford, Early Rensselaer Great” (Dr, Samuel Rezneck; “E.N. Horsford’s Contribution to the Advancement of Science in America” (Rolf King); “Leibig and His American Pupils” (H. S. van Klooster). Also included are several pages of transcribed material from Hosford letters written to his mother, Maria C. Hosford.

Eben Horsford (1818-1898) was an American scientist who discovered baking powder. He was trained as a civil Engineer but pursued his interest in analytical chemistry under Justus von Liebig who was considered the “father of the fertilizer industry.” Hosford was dubbed “The Father of American food technology.” He taught chemistry and conducted research at the Lawrence Scientific School at Harvard for 16 years.

Petty Vaughan Esq. (1788-1854) was the son of Benjamin Vaughan, a British political radical. He was born in Maine but moved to England to work with his uncle. They were sugar merchants in the West Indies; their family history links them to slavery.

Condition: There are several splits at folds repaired with archival tissue/tape, creases at edges, light soil. Generally good condition and quite clear and legible with no loss of text.