Ambrose Godfrey-Hanckuvitz, chemist, 1718.

Vertue, George

Ambrose Godfrey-Hanckuvitz, chemist, 1718.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 25cm x 32cm


Engraving by George Vertue after a painting by R Shmutz, of Ambrose Godfrey, or Ambrose Godfrey-Hanckuvitz, the elder (d 1741). Godfrey was employed by Robert Boyle (1627-1691), and set up the 'Golden Phoenix' laboratory in London in 1707. Here he perfected the process for manufacturing phosphorous which had been discovered in 1680 by Boyle, assisted by Godfrey. The discovery of a way to manufacture phosphorous led to the invention of the match. Godfrey also patented a device for extinguishing fires 'by explosion and suffocation' in 1724. Below his portrait bust are illustrations of furnaces and laboratory equipment, with animals, plants, a mining scene and a burning phoenix.

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© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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