In 1826, Faraday founded the Friday evening discourses at the Royal Institution. These, though mainly for members, rapidly became an important vehicle for widely diffusing knowledge of the latest scientific and technological developments through reports of them published in the newspapers.
Originally they were fairly informal lectures but by the 1840s they had become very formal affairs indeed. In total, Faraday delivered 123 discourses. They were not all on his own scientific work: he discussed the work of others. For example, he was a champion of the Thames Tunnel
and delivered three lectures about it on behalf of Marc Isambard Brunel (1769-1849) in the 1820s. He also lectured on Marc Brunel's block making machinery
and many other practical technologies.
Faraday also helped to establish, in late 1825, the Christmas lectures for children, of which he gave 19 series, including his Chemical History of a Candle which was published and still remains in print after nearly 150 years.
In addition, from 1827 onwards he delivered an annual series of Saturday afternoon lectures on chemical or physical topics.
Though most of Faraday's lectures were delivered at the Royal Institution, in early 1827 he also delivered a course of 12 lectures on chemical manipulation to the London Institution. Later that year he turned these lectures into his only book conceived as a single entity, Chemical Manipulation.