Chemistry in 17th Century New England

Gary Patterson, Harvey Mudd College class of ’68, discusses how the Puritan migration to New England brought much more than just turkeys and tribulation. He is introduced by Vanessa Chiu, Assistant Director in the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations at Harvey Mudd College. Click here for the one-hour video of his presentation.

John Winthrop Jr. brought real chemistry to the new world. He was a recognized adept in England and was a founding member of the Royal Society of London. In his lifetime, Winthrop was credited with founding chemical industries, such as an ironworks and a saltworks, treating thousands of people as an alchemical (iatrochemical) physician for free, and discovering many mineral deposits and mining them.

In this presentation Patterson discusses Winthrop’s activities as a chemist, and how this worldwide community functioned in the 17th century and how Winthrop’s work can serve as a modern model for chemists. (Above) John Dee, another chemist of the time, is shown next to Queen Elizabeth who named him as her personal physician.