Cronstedt, Axel Frederic

, a Swedish mineralogist, and one of the first who improved that science by applying chemistry in the decomposition of mineral substances, was born in Sudermania in 1722, and educated at the university of Upsal, where he joined to his other studies, an uncommon predilection for natural history, and especially mineralogy, which was the cause of his being much employed in the royal college of mines, and being frequently sent to inspect those of Sweden and Norway. In 1753 he was elected a member of the academy of Stockholm, and contributed several papers on mineralogical subjects, particularly on nickel, which, by some experiments made in 1751 and 1754, he showed to contain a new semi-metal, or at least that a regulus different from all | others was obtainable from its ore. Cronstedt died Aug. 19, 1765. His principal work, which is well known in this country by translations, was “An Essay towards a System of Mineralogy,” originally published in 1758, translated from the Swedish by Engestrom, and from that into English by Emanuel da Costa, 1770, 8vo. Of this a second edition, greatly improved by the addition of the modern discoveries, and by a new arrangement of the articles, was published at London in 1788, by John Hyacinth de Magellan, 2 vols. 8vo. 1