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The famous scientific residents of Dowry Square

The famous scientific residents of Dowry Square

I live in Hotwells, Bristol and am fascinated by the history of Dowry Square, where people coming to 'take the waters' at the Hot Well stayed. In addition there were some important long term medical and scientific residents in the square. Humphrey Davey invented the Davey Lamp which detected dangerous and poisonous gasses in mines, saving many lives. He and his friend Dr. Beddowes also invented 'laughing' gas used as an early anaesthetic. It is said that they persuaded their friends and servants to try this out! Dr. Beddowes, finding that dairy maids did not contract small pox, worked out that by contracting cow pox, these women had developed an immune response to small pox. This led to the development of a vaccine against small pox. Another resident was an Austrian immigrant Mr. Schweppes who developed carbonated fizzy water. I am a Hotwells artist and I have decorated some tiles to commemorate these famous scientific residents of Dowry square.

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