Brandt, Nicholas

, or, as some call him, Sebastian, a German chemist, much addicted to the fanciful researches of the period in which he lived, was born in 1458, and died in May 1521. Leibnitz, in the Melanges de Berlin for 1710, cited by Chaptal, in his “Elements of Chemistry,” vol. III. p. 350, mentions Brandt as a chemist of Hamburg, who, during a course of experiments upon urine, with a view of extracting a fluid proper for converting silver into gold, discovered phosphorus in 1667, or, as others say, in 1669. He communicated his discovery to Kraft, who imparted it to Leibnitz, and, as it is pretended, to Boyle. Leibnitz, says Chaptal, introduced Brandt to the duke of Hanover, before whom he performed the whole operation; and a specimen of it was sent to Huygens, who shewed it to the academy of sciences at Paris. It is said that Kunckel had associated himself with Kraft to purchase the process from Brandt; but Kunckel having been deceived by Kraft, who kept the secret to himself, knowing that urine was made use of, set to work, and discovered a process for making the substance and hence it has been called Kunckel’s phosphorus. 2


Rees’s Cyclopædia.