Glauber, John Rodolph

, a celebrated chemist of Amsterdam, and called the Paracelsus of his age, was born in Germany in the beginning of the sixteenth century. He travelled much in the pursuit of chemical knowledge, and collected many secret processes; and his experiments contributed to throw much light on the composition and analysis of the metals, inflammable substances, and salts. In fact he passed the greater part of his life in the laboratory. He did not always see the proper application of his own experiments, and vainly fancied that he had discovered the panacea, and the philosopher’s stone, which were at that time objects of pursuit; and the disappointment of many persons who had been seduced by his promises, contributed to bring the art of chemistry into contempt. His theory is full of obscurity; but his practice has perhaps been misrepresented by those who listened to his vain and pompous pretensions; and who accuse him of a dishonourable traffick, in first selling his secrets to chemists at an enormous price, of again disposing of them to other persons, and lastly, of making them public in order to extend his reputation. Glauber published about twenty treatises; in some of which he appears in the character of physician, in others in that of an adept or | metallurgist; in the latter he most particularly excelled. However, it would be unjust not to give him the praise of acuteness of mind, of facility and address in the prosecution of his experiments, and of extensive chemical knowledge. He was the inventor of a salt which to this day retains his name in the shops of our apothecaries. The works of Glauber have appeared in different languages; the majority of editions are in German, some in Latin, and others in French. A collection of the whole in Latin was published at Francfort in 1658, in 8vo, and again 165y, in 4to. An English translation was published by Christopher Pack, London, 1689, fol. 1


Rees’s Cyclopasdia, from —Eloy’s —Dict. Hist.