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Best, Robert (1790–1830)

A native of Somersetshire, England, and born in 1790 he came to America in 1803. As a child he had but three months' schooling, being early trained in the watch and clockmaking trade, but he devoted his leisure to the study of mechanical sciences, and extended his skill to the manufacture of various kinds of scientific instruments. In 1818 the Western Museum of Cincinnati was founded, and Best was appointed curator and artist. In the autumn of 1820 he delivered a course of experimental lectures on electricity. At this time he was appointed assistant to the professor of chemistry in the Medical College of Ohio, and in 1823 removed to Lexington, Kentucky, having been appointed lecturer on chemistry in Transylvania University. While there he published a number of papers entitled: "Tables of Chemical Equivalents, Incompatible Substances, and Poisons and Antidotes," with an explanatory introduction. In 1826 he graduated at Transylvania and began practice immediately after, rising rapidly in the profession, but was unfortunately cut down by consumption in the beginning of his career, and died in 1830.