Robert Hare

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Robert Hare (1781–1858) was famous American chemist of his time best known as an experimentalist and an innovator in the production of chemical apparatus. His inventions include the calorimeter, the deflagrator, and, most significantly, the oxyhydrogen blowtorch. He was Professor of Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania for nearly three decades.

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. These are examples of his publications:

Professional publications

  • 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.
  • The Whirlwind Theory of Storms. 1841. Available at Internet Archive.
  • Memoir on the Explosiveness of Niter. 1850.

Spiritualist publications

  • Spiritualism Scientifically Demonstrated. 1855.
  • "Lecture on spiritualism: delivered before an audience of three thousand, at the Tabernacle, in the City of New York, in November 1855: comprising an account of the manifestations which induced the author's conversion to spiritualism, and confirmed his hope of immortality." Philadelphia: S. Barry; New York: Partridge & Brittan, 1855. Available at Internet Archive.
  • "Experimental investigation of the spirit manifestations, demonstrating the existence of spirits and their communion with mortals. Doctrine of the spirit world respecting heaven, hell, morality, and God. Also, the influence of Scripture on the morals of Christians." New York, Partridge & Brittan, 1855. Available at Internet Archive.