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Sir Robert Kane (1809–1890) was a noted Irish chemist, becoming a professor at the age of twenty-two. His work on compounds of ammonia were considered internationally important. His 1,200-page textbook, Elements of Chemistry (1841) was considered 'the best extant in the English language' and was widely used in England and America. The Industrial Resources of Ireland, published in 1844 and reissued in 1845, had originated in a series of lectures to the Royal Dublin Society, and contains a mass of factual detail on the energy, mineral, agricultural, capital and labour resources of the country. Kane believed that Ireland did not lack natural resources so much as the knowledge of how to exploit them, and technical education was necessary. The book outlines an ambitious plan to harness the raw materials which Ireland possessed, or was believed to possess. However, the outbreak of the Famine overtook his schemes.