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Joseph Priestley
Date Issued: 1983-04-13
Postage Value: 20 cents

Commemorative issue
Joseph Priestley
Joseph Priestley

Joseph Priestley began his career as a minister, serving a small congregation in Suffolk, England. Moving to Warrington in 1761 to tutor students in the classics, he began studying chemistry and electricity and was elected to membership in the Royal Society. Priestly invented soda water in 1772. His most famous discovery, however, was a colorless gas he obtained during an experiment. He called it dephlogisticated air, which now is known as oxygen. Not well received in London, a point brought home when a mob sacked his home and burned his chapel, Priestley moved to Northumberland, PA, in the United States. The American Chemical Society was established there in his honor.

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