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Sir Humphrey Davy, Bart. P.R.S., ca. 1825

Sir Humphry Davy (1778–1829) was an English chemist and inventor. Davy is credited for identifying some properties of chlorine and iodine. He brought chemistry to the public by holding popular demonstrations of chemical phenomena at the Royal Institute in London. Mary Shelley grew up surrounded by intellectuals like Davy, who were friends of her parents. Shelley recorded in her diary that she was reading Davy's Elements of chemical philosophy when she was writing Frankenstein: or, the Modern Prometheus (1818).

Courtesy National Library of Medicine

A man (Humphry Davy) seated and looking to the left resting his arm on a desk.
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  • Creator:

    James Lonsdale, painter (1777–1839),
    James Thomson, engraver (1788–1850)