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Sir Humphry Davy

Penzance 1778 - Genève 1829
British chemist and inventor
W. & T. Wills

Penzance /  Sir Humphry Davy   Penzance /  Sir Humphry Davy


White marble statue.





Information Sign

Sir Humphrey Davy
The most famous son of Penzance was one of the leading scientists of the 19th century – Sir Humphry Davy.

Davy was born in Penzance in 1778 the son of a woodcarver. At the age of 16 he was apprenticed to a local doctor and became interested in chemistry. In 1798 he left to work in a medical laboratory in Bristol. There he discovered the pain relieving effects of laughing gas (nitrous oxide) and suggested its anaesthetic use.

By the age of 24 Davy was a professor of chemistry at the Royal Institution. He founded the science of electro-chemistry and discovered six new elements including potassium and sodium. He became famous and was honoured throughout Europe.

Davy is remembered now for his work on the miners safety lamp which bears his name, but perhaps his greatest contribution to science was the encouragement he gave to the young Michael Faraday.

Davy kept in touch with his roots and supported the Royal Geological Society in Penzance and left money to his old school. He died in 1829.

This statue was erected in 1872 and was produced by the sculptors Wills of London and is of white marble.



Locatie (N 50°7'8" - W 5°32'10")

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Item Code: gbsw001; Photograph: 20 July 2004  / updated: 14 September 2009
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