Location: First Floor, Room 136, North Wall, Sequence 3
Source: Kedzie Collection
Sponsor: Gerald T. Babcock
A French scientist with one of the best minds of his era, he is regarded as the father of modern chemistry. His quantitative experiments established that combustion involves combination of a burning substance with oxygen; this led to the overthrow of the long-held incorrect phlogiston theory. He also improved the manufacture of gunpowder, promoted scientific agriculture, and was in part responsible for establishing the metric system. As a consequence of his connection with a private company used by the government to collect taxes, he was guillotined.