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About Joseph Black
- He had discovered that a cubic inch of marble consisted of about half its weight of pure lime, and as much air as would fill a vessel holding six wine gallons. ... What could be more singular than to find so subtle a substance as air existing in the form of a hard stone, and its presence accompanied by such a change in the properties of that stone? ... It is surely a dull mind that will not be animated by such a prospect.
- John Robison, in the preface to Joseph Black, Lectures on the Elements of Chemistry Mundell and Son, Edinburgh, UK, 1803. Vol. 1, p. xxvi-xxix.
- This quote is paraphrased in several introductory science texts. I went to the special collections library of Case Western Reserve University to look at the original volume to make sure I got it right.