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Theodor Schuchardt

Conrad Gideon Theodor Heinrich Schuchardt was born in Landeshut in Silesia (now Kamienna Gora in Poland) on June 22, 1829, the son of Theodor Schuchardt, a trader. Schuchardt was a pharmacist and an eminent botanist. He received his doctor's degree in 1853 in Göttingen on the basis of his botanical dissertation, Synopsis Tremandrearum (the last Latin biological dissertation in Göttingen). He published “Beiträge zur Kenntniss der Deutschen Nymphaeen" (Botanische Zeitung, 11, 1853) and "Synopsis Stackhousiacearum" (Linnaea, 26, 1853). He became a member of the Leopoldinisch-Karolinischen Akademie der Naturforscher in 1854. From 1857 until 1860 he was a lecturer at the Agricultural Academy in Regenwalde (now Resko in Poland) and in Waldau (now Nizowje in Russia).

He must have begun early as a mineral collector and dealer; in 1862 he was awarded a prize at a commercial fair in London. He then established a chemical supply house and mineral dealership ("Chemische Fabrik & Mineralienhandlung") in 1865 in Muskau, in the Görlitz district in the Lusatian Neisse, Germany, where he had been placed in charge of the Princely Dutch Alum Works. The business grew rapidly from just a few employees in a small building to a manufacturing floor of over 8,000 square meters by 1876.

Schuchardt was a prominent seller of mineral specimens, and most of his labels carry a catalog number in the corner, suggesting that they were sold as a part of large sets. Schuchardt also sold sets of glass models of the 15 largest and most interesting diamonds of the world; one such set was purchased in 1876 by Karl Eggerth, who donated it to the mineral cabinet of the Kremsmünster Observatory.

A note in the St. Gallischen naturwissenschaftlichen Gesellschaft yearbook for 1887-1888 states that "Of outstanding value for the [Natural History] Museum [in St. Gallen] is a very special, small series of minerals received from Dr. Riemann (successor to Dr. Schuchardt) in Görlitz." This indicates that Theodor Schuchardt sold the mineral portion of his business to Carl Riemann before 1888, probably around 1885 when Riemann is first mentioned as a supplier of mineral specimens.

The Schuchardt company issued their first chemicals catalog in 1891, and a year later Theodor Schuchardt died. The business was taken over by his son-in-law, Dr. A. Weil, by which time mineral specimen sales had probably ceased and manufactured chemicals became the company's sole business.

In 1941 the firm issued its 98th and final catalog from Görlitz (Chemische Fabrik Dr. Theodor Schuchardt Görlitz. Hauptkatalog Nr. 98. Görlitz, Selbstvlg.). The company moved from Görlitz to Munich (Ainmillerstr. 25) in 1944; around 1964 the company moved to a different location in Munich (Gaisbergstr. 1-3). The Schuchardt company was taken over by Merck around 1980, and is today known as Merck-Schuchardt OHG, located in Hohenbrunn, about 20 km from the Munich city center. The company now deals only in organic chemicals.

The mineral schuchardtite was name in honor of Theodor Schuchardt in 1892, but was later discredited as a nickel-rich chlorite-vermiculite.


HOLTZ, J.F., et al. (1893) Führer durch die Ausstellung der chemischen Industrie Deutschlands auf der columbischen Weltausstellung in Chicago 1893.
Dr. Theodor Schuchardt †, Die Chemische Industrie, 15, 1892, p. 161.
Geburten, Schlesische Provinzialblätter, 90, 1829, p. 94.
Mühlhäuser, O. (1893) Die Chemische Industrie auf der Columbischen Weltausstellung. J. Dinglers Polytechnisches Journal, 290, , pp. 159-167.
Neu aufgenommene Mitglieder, Bonplandia, 2, 1854, p. 161 (Berichtigung, p. 268).
Personal-Notizen, Flora, 41, 1858, p. 304.
Personalnotizen, Österreichische Botanische Zeitschrift, 8, 1858, p. 207.
Tagesgeschichte (Dr. Theodor Schuchardt †), Pharmazeutische Zeitung, 37, 1892, p. 255.
Theodor Schuchardt †, Berichte der Pharmazeutischen Gesesellschaft, 2, 1892, p. 167.
Wagenitz, G. (1988) Göttinger Biologen 1737-1945, Göttingen, pp. 159-160.
Zeitungsnachrichten, Bonplandia, 6, 1858, p. 133.
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