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Timeline; 1777

Because of it's low boiling point, it was very easy to use mercuric oxide to produce pure oxygen (leaving Mercury). In fact, this proved incredibly useful for Priestley and Lavoisier in this year to use to help in the development of the foundations of modern chemistry. It was essential in Lavoisier's final defeat of the phlogiston theory, when he proved resperation to be a slow form of combustion.