F.H. MacDougall (1921)

Thermodynamics and Chemistry by F.H. MacDougall, published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. and printed in USA. This copy, which once graced the shelves of the library of Christ’s College Cambridge, is a first edition from 1921.

MacDougall’s book is of historical interest in that it was published in the USA two years before the book which is credited with establishing chemical thermodynamics as a textbook science, namely Lewis and Randall’s Thermodynamics and the Free Energy of Chemical Substances.

Born in 1883, Frank Henry MacDougall’s education included PhD studies at Leipzig of Wilhelm Ostwald fame, so he seems to have traveled the same European training path in physical chemistry as GN Lewis. But their textbooks are quite different in content and ambition. Whereas Lewis focused his missionary zeal on the thermodynamics of solutions and his own inventions of fugacity and activity, MacDougall gave particular attention to Gibbs’ Phase Rule, devoting four detailed chapters to the principle and its applications. Even today these chapters are worth a read.

As far as I can ascertain from internet sources, MacDougall’s book went to three editions with the last being published in 1939.

– – – –