The Story Of Chemistry(From Magic to Knowledge)

Brand discovered phosphorous, the first element discovered since ancient times, by gradually teasing it out of (many) buckets of human urine. He was trying to make gold and may have thought that maybe color had something to do with it. In his era, that wouldn't have been silly.

There are reports that Henri Moissan poisoned himself badly four times before he finally isolated fluorine.

Key techniques used by Ernest Rutherford to discover radon had nothing to do with chemistry.