Salt: A World History - Section 8(Chapter 18 The Odium of Sodium, Chapter 19 The Mythology of Geology, Chapter 20 The Soil Never Sets On) Summary & Analysis

Mark Kurlansky
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Chapter 18 begins with a discussion of Sir Humphry Davy, the inventor of Sodium. Davy was an experimenter with laughing gas, Nitrous Oxide, and with breaking down chemical compounds through the process of electrolysis. In 1807, he isolated the element Sodium, an important step on the road to understanding the chemical makeup of salt. For centuries it was known that different salts could be used in different ways and that salts from different location even had different tastes, but it was not known why. The chemistry behind some types of salt was being unraveled in the 18th and 19th century, but Sodium Chloride, table salt, was still a mystery. In 1810, though, Davy isolated the chemical...

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