WOBO: Search for words and phrases in the texts here...

Enter either the ID of an entry, or one or more words to find. The first match in each paragraph is shown; click on the line of text to see the full paragraph.

Currently only Chalmers’ Biographical Dictionary is indexed, terms are not stemmed, and diacritical marks are retained.

a celebrated chemist and natural philosopher, was born March 20,

, a celebrated chemist and natural philosopher, was born March 20, 1735, at Catharineberg in Westgothland. His father was receiver-gene^ ral of the finances, and had destined him to the same employment but nature had designed him for the sciences, to which he had an irresistible inclination from his earliest years. His first studies were confined to mathematics and physics, and all efforts that were made to divert him from science having proved ineffectual, he was sent to Upsal with permission to follow the bet of his inclination. Linnaeus at that time filled the whole kingdom with his fame. Instigated by his example, the Swedish youth flocked around him; and accomplished disciples leaving his school, carried the name and the system of their master to the most distant parts of the globe. Bergman, struck with the splendour of this renown, attached himself to the man whose merit had procured it, and by whom he was very soon distinguished. He applied himself at first to the study of insects, and made several ingenious researches into their history; among others into that of the genus of tenthredo, so often and so cruelly preyed on by the larvae of the ichneumons, that nestle in their bowels and devour them. He discovered that the leech is oviparous, and that the coccus aquaticus is the egg of this animal, from whence issue ten or twelve young. Linnæus, who had at first denied this fact, was struck with astonishment when he saw it proved. “Vidi et obstupui” were the words he pronounced, and which he wrote at the foot of the memoir when he gave it his sanction. Mr. Bergman soon distinguished himself as an astronomer, naturalist, and geometrician; but these are not the titles by which he acquired his fame. The chair of chemistry and mineralogy, which had been filled by the celebrated Wallerius, becoming vacant by his resignation, Mr. Bergman was among the number of the competitors and without having before this period discovered any particular attention to chemistry, he published a memoir on the preparation of alum, that astonished his friends as well av his adversaries but it was warmly attacked in the periodi­^cal publications, and Wallerius himself criticised it without reserve. The dispute, we may suppose, was deemed of high importance, since the prince Gustavus, afterwards king of Sweden, and then chancellor of the university, took cognizance of the affair, and after having consulted two persons, the most able to give him advice, and whose testimony went in favour of Bergman, he addressed a memorial, written with his own hand, in answer to all the objections urged against the candidate, to the consistory of the university and to the senate, who elected him agreeably to his highness’s wishes.

a celebrated chemist of Amsterdam, and called the Paracelsus of

, 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.

a celebrated chemist, was born at Batavia in the island of Java,

, a celebrated chemist, was born at Batavia in the island of Java, Jan. 3, 1652, the son of John Homberg, a Saxon gentleman, governor of the arsenal of that place. His father at first put him into the army, but soon after quitting the service of the Dutch, and a military life, brought him to Amsterdam, where he settled. He was now educated, by paternal indulgence, at Jena and Leipsic, for the law, and was received as an advocate in 1674 at Magdebourg, but the sciences seduced him from the law: in his walks he became a botanist, and in his nocturnal rambles an astronomer. An intimacy with Otto de Guericke, who lived at Magdebourg, completed his conversion, and he resolved to abandon his first profession. Otto, though fond of mystery, consented to communicate his knowledge to so promising a pupil; but as his friends continued to press him to be constant to the law, he soon quitted Magdebourg, and went into Italy. At Padua and Bologna he pursued his favourite studies, particularly medicine, anatomy, botany, and chemistry. One of his first efforts in the latter science was the complete discovery of the properties of the Bologna stone, and its phosphoric appearance after calcination, which Casciarolo had first observed. The efforts of Hombergr in several scientific inquiries, were pursued at Rome, in France, in England with the great Boyle, and afterward in Holland and Germany. With Baldwin and Kunckel he here pursued the subject of phosphorus. Not yet satisfied with travelling in search of knowledge, he visited the mines of Saxony, Hungary, Bohemia, and Sweden. Having materially improved himself, and at the same time assisted the progress of chemistry at Stockholm, he returned to Holland, and thence revisited France, where he was quickly noticed by Colbert. By his interposition, he was prevailed upon to quit his intention of returning to Holland to marry, according to the desire of his father, and fixed himself in France. This step also alienated him from his religion. He renounced the Protestant communion in 1682, and thus losing all connexion with his family, became dependent on Louis XIV. and his minister. This, however, after the death of Colbert in 1683, became a miserable dependence; men of learning and science were neglected as much as before they had been patronized; and Homberg, in 1687, left Paris for Rome, and took up the profession of physic. He now pursued and perfected his discoveries on phosphorus, and prosecuted his discoveries in pneumatics, and other branches of natural philosophy. Finding, after some time, that the learned were again patronized at Paris, he returned there in 1690, and entered into the academy of sciences tinder the protection of M. de Bignon. He now resumed the study of chemistry, but found his finances too limited to carry on his experiments as he wished, till he had the good fortune to be appointed chemist to the duke of Orleans, afterwards regent. In this situation he was supplied with the most perfect apparatus, and all materials for scientific investigation. Among other instruments, the large burning mirror of Tschirnaus was given to his care, and he made with it the most interesting experiments, on the combustibility of gold and other substances. In examining the nature of borax he discovered the sedative salt, and traced several remarkable properties of that production. Pleased with the researches of his chemist, the duke of Orleans in 1704 appointed him his first physician. About the same time he was strongly solicited by the elector palatine to settle in his dominions, but he was too much attached to his present patron to quit Paris, and was besides not without an inclination of a more tender kind for mademoiselle Dodart, daughter to the celebrated physician of that name. He married her in 1708, though hitherto much averse to matrimony; but enjoyed the benefit of his change of sentiments only seven years, being attacked in 1715 with a dysentery, of which he died in September of that year.

a celebrated chemist, was born at Husurn, in the duchy of Sleswick,

, a celebrated chemist, was born at Husurn, in the duchy of Sleswick, in 1630. He was originally intended for the practice of pharmacy; but having applied himself with equal diligence to the study of chemistry and metallurgy, he obtained great reputation in. these sciences, and was appointed chemist to the elector of Saxony. He afterwards went to the court of Frederic William, elector of Brandenburg, with a similar appointment; and subsequently to that of Charles XI. king of Sweden, who, in 1693, granted him letters of nobility, under the name of Kunckel de Loewenstern. He was elected a member of the imperial Academia Naturae Curiosorum, under the name of Hermes III. He died in Sweden, in March 1703. Notwithstanding his advantages and fame, his theoretical knowledge was very imperfect; he was altogether destitute of the least tincture of philosophy, and was even said to have been one of the searchers for the philosopher’s stone. He is now principally known as the discoverer of phosphorus, which he prepared from urine, and which bears his name in the shops. He was the author of several works, written in German, in a very bad style, and with as little method as the rest of the alchemists. His treatise “On Phosphorus,” was printed at Leipsic in 1678, and his “Art of Glass-making” in 1689. Two or three of his essays have been translated into Latin.

a celebrated chemist, was born Nov. 17, 1645, at Rouen in Normandy,

, a celebrated chemist, was born Nov. 17, 1645, at Rouen in Normandy, of which parliament his father was a proctor, and of the reformed religion. Having received a suitable education at the place of his birth, he was put apprentice to an apothecary, who was a relation; but, finding in a short lime that his master knew little of chemistry, he left him in 1666, and went to improve himself in that art at Paris, where he applied to Mr. Glazer, then demonstrator of chemistry in the royal gardens; but as Mr. Glazer was one of those professors who are full of obscure ideas, and was also far from being communicative, Lemery stayed with him only two months, and then proceeded to travel through France in quest of some better masters. In this resolution he went to Montpelier, where he continued three years with Mr. Vernant, an apothecary, who gave him an opportunity of performing several chemical operations, and of reading lectures also to some of his scholars. By these means he made such advances in chemistry, that in a little time he drew all the professors of physic, as well as other curious persons at Montpelier, to hear him; having always some new discoveries, which raised his reputation so high, that he practised physic in. that university without a doctor’s degree.

a celebrated chemist, was born at Berlin, March 3, 1709. His father

, a celebrated chemist, was born at Berlin, March 3, 1709. His father was apothecary to the court, and assessor of the college of medicine, and under his care his attention was naturally turned to the pursuits of chemistry and pharmacy. To pursue these, his father sent him to study under the celebrated professor Neumann, for five years, and subsequently under professor Spielmann, at Strasburg. In 1733 he went to the university of Halle, where be became a pupil of Hoffmann in the study of medicine, and continued his chemical pursuits under the direction of Juncker, to which last science he ultimately devoted his sole attention. He also studied mineralogy, under Henckel, and the art of assaying under Susmilch. In the following year he visited the Hartz mines, and then returned to Berlin, where his incessant application to chemical labours so materially injured his health, that it was never afterwards vigorous. In 1738 he was received into the society of sciences, and furnished some memoirs for the “Miscellanea Berolinensia;” and when this society was renovated in 1744, as the royal academy of sciences and belles lettres, he was placed in the class of experimental philosophy, of which he was chosen director in 1760. He had also the high gratification of being entrusted with the laboratory of the academy in 1754, in which he almost lived, absorbed in the study or practice of his favourite art. He was, nevertheless, a man of great amenity of temper, and considerable conviviality, when mixing in the society of his friends. He had been for some years liable to spasmodic affections, and in 1774, was attacked with apoplexy, which left a paralysis behind it. He continued, however, to attend the meetings of the academy till the autumn of 1776; after which his mental and bodily powers gradually declined, and he died in August, 1782.