Old objects: what do 19th century element samples look like?
Old objects: what do 19th century element samples look like?
Electrolysis is really easy to use.

Today we enjoy a group of elemental samples with a long history. Like modern elemental samples, they are also encapsulated in small glass containers, prepared between 1807 and 1812.

Metallic sodium:

Metallic calcium:

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Metallic magnesium:

the person who prepared these elemental samples is the chemist Humphry Davy. One of his best-known achievements is the separation of many elemental elements by electrolysis, making him the person who discovered the most chemical elements in history. He used a voltaic stack to electrolyze the molten salt /alkali, thus obtaining a variety of metal elements. The first of these was metal potassium, which was obtained by electrolysis of potassium hydroxide in 1807. Since then, metal sodium and metal calcium have been successfully prepared, and people have been able to understand the active properties of these metal elements. In addition to the metal element, Humphrey David also proved that the previously discovered chlorine does not actually contain oxygen, but is an elemental element, and named the element chlorine.

(Volt stack, photo source: GuidoB. Humphrey David did a lot of electrolysis experiments with this old-fashioned chemical battery)

Humphrey David did a very interesting "volcano" experiment to show the very active chemical properties of potassium metal in the Royal Research of the United Kingdom. for details, see the previously pushed reproduction version: reaction diagram: volcanic eruption? It's potassium!

all the element sample pictures in this article are from: http://www.rigb.org/our-history/iconic-objects/iconic-objects-list/davy-samples