Joseph Priestley Statue

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The statue of Joseph Priestley stands in Chamberlain Square in the centre of Birmingham. It was erected on the 100th anniversary of his discovery of oxygen in 1774 (he called it "dephlogisticated air").
Priestley (1733 - 1804) was an 18th-century British theologian, dissenting clergyman, natural philosopher, educator, and political theorist who published over 150 works. He is also usually credited with the discovery of oxygen.

A Priestley Memorial Committee was created in 1871. The statue, originally cut in marble, was made by Francis Williamson and unveiled on 1 August 1874 on the eastern side of the Town Hall. The statue shows scientist at the age of 41 making the experiment which led to the discovery of oxygen. He is directing the sun rays through a lens onto some redoxide of mercury in a crucible over which he holds an inverted test-tube. In 1951 the statue was removed and cast in bronze and in 1980 it was placed in its present position. The stone pedestal the Priestley statue stands on is 4.2 metres tall and the statue itself is 2 metres tall.
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