Did you know?

In Joseph Black's view, whisky's flavour comes from its essential oils. He wrote:

'Some of these oils are disagreeable to the palates and stomachs of most persons ... whiskey is the more improved the more it is deprived of its flavour'.

Joseph Black (1728-1799)

Reading list

Further reading about Joseph Black:

  • 'A reluctant catalyst: Joseph Black and the Edinburgh reception of Lavoisier's chemistry', by C E Perrin. 'Ambix' vol. 29, no. 3 (1982) p 141-176.
  • 'Joseph Black 1728-1799 a commemorative symposium', edited by A D C Simpson. (Edinburgh: Royal Scottish Museum, 1982).
  • 'Joseph Black (1728-1799): an early adept in quantification and interpretation', by C S Breathnach. 'Journal of medical biography' vol. 8, no. 3 (2000), p 149-155.
  • 'Joseph Black and fixed air: a bicentenary retrospective with some new or little known material', by Henry Guerlac. Parts 1 & 2 'Isis' vol. 48 (1957), p 124-151 and p 433-456.
  • 'Lectures on the elements of chemistry: delivered in the University of Edinburgh', by Joseph Black. Published from his manuscripts by John Robison. 3 vols. (Philadelphia: Printed for Mathew Carey by B Graves, 1806-1807).
  • 'Letters from Dr Withering, of Birmingham, Dr Ewart, of Bath, Dr Thornton, of London, and Dr Biggs, ... together with some other papers, supplementary to two publications on asthma, consumption, fever, and other diseases', by Thomas Beddoes. (Bristol: Bulgin and Rosser, 1794).
    NLS shelfmark: Mf.134, reel 5625, no. 10.
  • 'Partners in science: letters of James Watt and Joseph Black', edited by Eric Robinson and Douglas McKie. (London: Constable, 1970).
  • 'Philosophical chemistry in the Scottish Enlightenment: the doctrines and discoveries of William Cullen and Joseph Black', by A L Donovan. (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1975).
  • 'Report respecting the distilleries in Scotland', by the House of Commons, UK Parliament. (London, 1799).
  • 'Scientists of the industrial revolution. Joseph Black, James Watt, Joseph Priestley, Henry Cavendish', by J G Crowther. (London, 1962).
  • 'Spirit, air and quicksilver: the search for the "real" scale of temperature', by H S Chang. 'Historical studies in the physical and biological sciences' vol. 31, part 2 (2001) p 249-284.
  • 'Studies in history and philosophy of science', by Patrick Maher. 30A, no. 2 (1999), p 335-353. The confirmation of Black's theory of lime.
  • 'The supposed effect of boiling upon water, in disposing it to freeze more readily ascertained by experiments', by Joseph Black. 'Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London' vol. 65 (1775), p 124-128.

Search the National Library of Scotland main catalogue for details of these titles.

Portrait of Joseph Black © Royal Medical Society, Edinburgh