This talk explores the relationship between alchemical laboratory work and the early modern scientific household economy in the Anglo-Atlantic colonial world by focusing on the 17th-century Connecticut minister, physician, and alchemist Gershom Bulkeley. Elliott will also examine the sources of goods brought into Bulkeley’s laboratory: from both local sources and the wider Atlantic region. These goods included not just ingredients for experimentation and medical production but also alchemical books that undoubtedly provided a textual tradition with which Bulkeley was able to engage. However, beyond these transatlantic ties to European print culture, commerce, and science, Elliott seeks to draw out alchemy’s ties to its specific colonial context and the potential sources of labor and knowledges present within this scientific household, from the African slave Hannah to women within the Bulkeley family.
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