Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Fownes, George
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FOWNES, George (1815-1849), Ph.D., F.R.S., an eminent chemist, was born in London. He early showed an interest in scientific pursuits, and when seventeen or eighteen years of age joined with Dr Henry Watts and Mr Everett in establishing a philosophical class at the Western Literary Institution in Leicester Square. In 1837 he entered the laboratory of Everett, lecturer on chemistry at the Middlesex Hospital; and in 1839 he studied for some time under Professor Liebig at Giessen. He was lecturer on chemistry first at the Charing Cross and then at the Middlesex Hospital Medical School, as also at the school of the Pharmaceutical Society. In 1845 he was appointed director of the Birkbeck Chemical Laboratory in University College, London. He died of consumption, January 31, 1849. Besides his well-known and frequently re-edited Manual of Chemistry, and the Acton prize essay of the Royal Institution, entitled Chemistry, as exemplifying the Wisdom and Beneficence of God, Fownes wrote numerous scientific papers, among others the following: —
“On the Direct Formation of Cyanogen from its Elements,” Rep. Brit. Assoc., 1841, part ii. pp. 52, 53; “On the Preparation of Artificial Yeast,” Mem. Chem. Soc., i., 1841-43, pp. 100-103; “On the Preparation of Hippuric Acid,” Phil. Mag., xxi., 1842, pp. 382-384; “On the Food of Plants” [prize essay], Jour. Agric. Soc., iv., 1843, pp. 498-556; “On the Existence of Phosphoric Acid in Rocks of Igneous Origin,” Phil. Trans., 1844, pp. 53-56; “An Account of the Artificial Formation of a Vegeto-alkali” (Furfurol), and “On Benzoline,” ib., 1845, pp. 253-268; “On the Production of Furfurol,” Pharm. Journ., 1849, 113-116; “On the Equivalent or Combining Volumes of Solid Bodies,” ib., pp. 334-339.