Step Into My Chamber
Ever hear of the chemist Wilbur O. Atwater? He developed a four-foot by eight-foot chamber in the late 1800s. Called the respiration calorimeter, the chamber was big enough for a person to step inside. Atwater then measured the amount of heat the individual released, the amount of oxygen he consumed and the carbon dioxide given off after eating a variety of foods.
Using the device, Atwater calculated the precise amount of energy in thousands of food items. His discoveries still form the basis for much of what we know about nutrition and what goes into the nutritional labels seen on practically everything we eat.