Robert Hare (chemist)

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Robert Hare

Robert Hare (January 17, 1781 – May 15, 1858) was an early American chemist.[1]


Hare was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on January 17, 1781. He developed and experimented with the oxy-hydrogen blowpipe, with Edward Daniel Clarke of Oxford, shortly after 1800. He married Harriett Clark and had six children. He was a professor at the University of Pennsylvania between 1810 and 1812 and between 1818 and 1847. By the 1820s, Hare had developed the "galvanic deflagrator", a type of voltaic battery having large plates used for producing rapid and powerful combustion.

In 1854, Hare converted to Spiritualism and wrote several books that made him very famous in the United States as a Spiritualist. In the same year he published a book entitled Experimental Investigation of the Spirit Manifestations. His work was criticized by his fellow scientists but was warmly welcomed with enthusiasm by the Spiritualists.

Hare was a prolific writer, writing about hundred and fifty articles in the American Journal of Science. Among his other publications, there are:

  • A Brief View of the Policy and Resources of the United States (1810);
  • Chemical Apparatus and Manipulations (1836);
  • Compendium of the Course of Chemical Instruction in the Medical Department of the University of Pennsylvania (1840);
  • Memoir on the Explosiveness of Niter (1850);
  • Spiritualism Scientifically Demonstrated (1855).

Hare wrote also two novels:

  • Standish the Puritan: A Tale of the American Revolution
  • Overing: or, The heir of Wycherly. A historical romance (1852)

Hare died in Philadelphia on May 15, 1858.

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ "Sketch of Robert Hare". Popular Science Monthly 42: 695–699. March 1893.