Antedating of "Helium"

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Mon Jan 21 23:13:21 UTC 2013

helium (OED 1872)

1871 _Nature_ 3 Aug. 268 (Nature Digital Archive)  It seems to have been proved that at least some sensible part of the light of the "corona" is a terrestrial atmospheric halo or dispersive reflection of the light of the glowing hydrogen and "helium"* round the sun. ... * Frankland and Lockyer find the yellow prominences to give a very decided bright line not far from D, but hitherto not identified with any terrestrial flame.  It seems to indicate a new substance, which they propose to call Helium.

Fred Shapiro

The American Dialect Society -

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