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ACCUM, Friedrich Christian.

(1769 – 1838)

(Born: Bückeburg, Saxony, Germany, 29 March 1769; Died: Berlin, Germany, 28 June 1838) German chemist & mineralogist.

In 1793, Accum moved to London, where in 1800, he established a laboratory and laboratory supply business. He became the scientific lecturer at the Surrey Institute in 1803, and was hired as an advocate for the use of gas in lighting. Through this connection, he became a "practical chemist" for the London Gaslight Company in 1812. A position as librarian for the Royal Institution proved to be a disaster when his enemies accused him of damaging the books. This made Accum an outcast in London scientific circles, and as a result he had to reestablish himself in Berlin in 1822. From 1822 to 1838 he was a professor at the Gewerbe-Institute in Berlin. Accum held membership in the Royal Irish Academy, the Linnean Society of London and the Royal Academy of Sciences, Berlin.

Biographical references: ADB: 1, 27. Allibone, Dictionary of English Literature, 1859-71. BBA: I 4, 113-119; 1214, 90; II 1238, 278. Browne, C.A., "The life and chemical services of Fredrick Accum", Journal of Chemical Education, 2, (1925), 829-51, 1008-34 & 1140-9. Browne, C.A., "Recently acquired information concerning Fredrick Accum", Chymia, 1, (1948), 1-9, portraits. Callisen, Medicinisches Schriftstellar-Lexicon, 1830-45: 1, 22-5 & 26, 7-8. DBA: I 3, 154-164; II 5, 6-9. Deutsche Apotheker Biographie: 1, 1. DNB: 1, 57. Drugulin, Sechstausend Portraits, 1863: no. 8. DSB: 1, 43-4 [by A. Thackray]. Ferchl: 1-2. Fruton, Bio-Bibliography, 1982: 3. Hamberger & Meusel, Gelehrte Teutschland, 1796-1834. Hirsch, Biographisches Lexikon, 1884-8: 1, 44-5. Ireland, Index to Scientists, 1962: 4. ISIS, 1913-65: 1, 8. Journal of Nutrition: 89 (1966), 3-8 [by F.C. Bing]. NDB: 1, 27 [by F. Klemm]. Poggendorff: 1, cols. 6-7 & 7a Suppl., 15. Schaedler, Biographisch Handwörterbuch, 1891: 1. Thomas, Dictionary of Biography, 1884: 42. Watt, Bibliotheca Britannica, 1824. WBI. World Who's Who in Science: 7.

Practical Essay, 1804

1. English, 1804 [First edition].
A | Practical Essay | on the | Analysis of Minerals, | Exemplifying | the Best Methods of Analysing | Ores, Earths, Stones, Inflammable Fossils, | and Mineral Substances in General. | [tapered rule] | By Fredrick Accum, | Teacher of Practical Chemistry, Phramacy, and Mineralogy. | [vignette] | London: | Printed for the Author; | G. Kearsley, Fleet-Street; J. Johnson, St. Paul's | Church-Yard; and J. Callow, Crown | Court, Soho. | [double rule] | 1804.

12°: π4 a6 b2 A-E6 F2 2D4 G-Q6; 108l.; [i]-vi, [2], [i]-xvi, [1]-183, [i]-ix p., one text illustration (p. 16, "Portable Universal Furnace"), title page figure of chemical apparatus. Page size: 174 x 100 mm.

Contents: [i-ii], Blanks.; [iii-iv], Title page, verso printer notice.; [v]-vi, "Preface."; [vii], "Errata."; [viii], Blank.; [i]-xvi, "Table of Contents."; [1]-183, Text.; [i]-vi, "Chemical Demonstrations or Private Lectures on Practical Chemistry."; vii-ix, "A List of Chemical Preparations."

Scarce. This is a popular-style textbook describing the techniques used in the chemical determination of minerals. The preface gives the impression that the book was available only to pupils attending Accum's lectures, including the Americans Benjamin Silliman and William Peck; however, it appears to be common for this to be true. After a short description of the apparatus and general technique of mineral analysis, the first part of the book briefly describes the methods for analyzing the ores of twenty-two metals. The second part of the treatise is devoted to the analysis of the so-called earths, which in reality are natural oxide compounds of silica, aluminum, calcium, magnesium, strontium, barium, etc. This section also contains an interesting chemical examination of various soils. Part three discusses the analysis of mineral salts and the fourth part the examination of inflammable fossils or coal.

Bibliographical references: BL [990.a.12.]. BMC: 1, 8. Freilich Sale Catalog: no. 3. NUC: 2, 593-6. Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 1, 8.

Manual, 1808

2. English, 1808 [2nd edition].
A | Manual | of | Analytical Mineralogy, | intended to facilitate the | Practical | Analysis of Minerals. | In Two Volumes. | [tapered rule] | By | Fredrick Accum, | Honorary Member of the Royal Irish Academy; | Operative Chemist; | Lecturer on Experimental Chemistry, and on Mineralogy, | and Pharmacy. | [double rule] | Second Edition. | [double rule] | Vol. I. | [tapered rule] | London: | Printed for the Author, | and Sold by G. Kearsley, Fleet Street; | Bell and Bradfute, Edinburgh; and Archer and | Mahon, Dublin.

2 vols. [Vol 1] 12°: [a]6 b2 2b4 B-Z6 Aa-Dd6; 168l.; [2], [i]-xvi, [iii]-xvii, [1], [1]-311, [312] p., engraved frontispiece showing various balances and furnaces; [Vol 2] 12°: π1 Ee-Zz6 Aaa6 Bbb4; 125l.; [2], 313-562 p., engraved frontispiece showing a portable forge. The table of contents of the second volume appears to have been intentionally placed after the table of contents of the first volume at the time of binding. Page size: 175 x 98 mm.

Contents: [Vol 1] [2 pg], Half title page, "Manual of Analytical Mineralogy by Frederick Accum. The Second Edition with Plates," verso advertisements for two other works by Accum.; [i-ii], Title page, verso "Hayden, Printer ..."; [iii], Dedication to Richard Kirwan.; [iv], Blank.; [v]-x, "Preface."-dated 1808.; [xi]-xiv, "Contents of the First Volume."; [iii]-xvii, "Contents of the Second Volume."; [1 pg], Notice of "A System of Mineralogy and Mineralogical Chemistry. With application to the Arts," soon to be published and the errata.; [1]-49, "Introduction."; 50-62, "General View of the Solid Part of the Earth."; [63]-76, "Systematic Distribution of Minerals."; 77-91, "Tabular View of Hauy's Methodical Distribution of Minerals."-as taken from `A Synopsis of the Mineral Kingdom.'; [92]-311, "Part II. ... Metallic Minerals or Ores."; [312], Blank.

[Vol 2] [2 pgs], Title page, verso "Hayden, Printer ..."; [313]-506, "Part III. ... "Earthy Minerals,or Earths and Stones."; 507-523, "Part IV. ... Mineral or Native Salts."; 524-532, "Part V. ... Inflammable Fossils."; [533]-555, "Part VI. ... Analysis of Mineral Waters."; [556], Blank.; [557]-560, "Description of the Plates."; [561]-562, "Chemical and Mineralogical Apparatus and Insturments."-Catalog of items for sale.

Scarce. This greatly enlarged book is a second edition of A Practical Essay on the Analysis of Minerals (London, 1804). Written in the author's eloquent and comfortable style, this work appeared in an era when mineralogical pursuits were a popular pastime throughout the British Isles, and this book no doubt helped cultivate that popularity.

The book begins with a dedication to Richard Kirwan the great Irish mineralogist who by 1808 had probably ceased any activity in mineralogy. The preface then describes Accum's surprise at having the first edition sell out in 18 months. This of course spurred the preparation of this new edition. It has been completely rewritten and greatly enlarged by the inclusion of long quotations from Martin Heinrich Klaproth's Analytical Essays (English trans., London, 1801-4) and the writings of other mineralogists and chemists. In fact, fully half of the text of the present volumes are the product of other authors that are liberally quoted to illustrate principles developed by Accum.

The book is arranged along the lines of the former edition. It contains concise descriptions for the analysis of metallic ores, earths, stones and other minerals. Numerous detailed instructions help guide beginners through mineralogical analysis. The following text is divided into six parts. The first provides a general introduction to mineralogy, including definitions, descriptions of mineral substances, reagents and necessary equipment. Broad views of the mineralogical classifications of Werner and Haüy are then given. Included are table representations based upon two broadsides outlining these classifications methods that had been published about 1805. Accum's use of these earlier publications perhaps point to him as their anonymous author. Part two describes the tests and procedures necessary for analyzing minerals for any of the 25 metals then known. Part three, which opens volume two, describes the analysis of earths and stones. Part four describes the process for analyzing mineral and native salts. Part five describes the same for inflammable fossils, while part six covers mineral waters. The work concludes with a description of the two plates.

Bibliographical references: BL [990.a.13.]. BMC: 1, 8. Cole, Chemical Literature, 1988: no. 4. Freilich Sale Catalog: no. 4. Hoover Collection: no. 7. NUC: 2, 593-6 [NA 0042999].

3. English, 1809 [American issue].
A Practical Essay | on the | Analysis of Minerals, | Exemplifying | the Best Methods of Analysing | Ores, Earths, Stones, Inflammable, Fossils | and | Mineral Substances in General. | [double rule] | By Fredrick Accum, | Teacher of Practical Chemistry, Pharmacy, | and Mineralogy. | [double rule] | First American, from the London Edition. | [double rule] | Philadelphia: | Published by Kimber & Conrad, No. 93, Market | Street, and Benjamin & Thomas Kite, | No. 20, North Third Street. | [ornate rule] | 1809. | Brown & Merritt, Printers.

8°: A-T6 U4; 118l.; [i]-xxiv, [25]-236 p., frontispiece plate showing a chemical retort setup. A plate of a furnace occurs on p. 42. Page size: 165 x 95 mm.

Contents: [i-ii], Half title page, verso blank.; [iii-iv], Title page, verso blank.; [v]-vii, "Preface."; [viii], Blank.; [ix]-xxiv, "Contents."; [25]-50, "Introduction."; [51]-236, "General Classification of Minerals."

Scarce. This is an American edition of the original 1804 issue published in London. The text has been completely reset and new plates created; however, the content is altered very little from the original.

Bibliographical references: BL [no copy listed]. Hazen & Hazen, American Geological Literature, 1980: no. 15. NUC: 2, 593-6. Rink, Technical Americana, 1981: no. 774. Shaw & Shoemaker, American Bibliography, 1958-83: no. 16788.

Elements of Crystallography, 1813

4. English, 1813.
Elements | of | Crystallography, | after the Method of Haüy; | with, or without, | Series of Geometrical Models, | both Solid and Dissected; | Exhibiting the Forms of Crystals, their Geometrical | Structure, Dissections, and General Laws. | According to which the | Immense Variety of Actually Existing Crystals | are Produced. | [double rule] | By Frederick Accum, | Operative Chemist, | Lecturer on Practical Chemistry, on Mineralogy, and on Chemistry | applied to the Arts and Manufactures; Member of the Royal | Irish Academy, Fellow of the Linnæan Society, &c. | [tapered rule] | With Copper Plates. | [double rule] | London: | Printed for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, | Paternoster-Row. | [rule] | 1813.

8°: [a]7 b-z8 Aa-Bb8 Cc4 Dd2; 205l.; [i]-lxiii, [1], [1]-396 p., frontispiece, 3 folding plates. Page size: 212 x 127 mm.

Contents: [i-ii], Half title page, "Accum's | Elements of Crystallography; | with or without | Series Of Geometrical Models, | and | With Plates And Wood-Cuts," verso blank.; [Frontispiece].; [iii-iv], Title page, verso blank.; [v]-vi, Dedication to Earl Percy, Count Münster Meinhovel, Sir John Borlase Warren and Sir John Saunders Sebright.; [vii]-xv, "Preface."; [xvi], Instructions to the binder.; [xvii]-xli, "Contents."; [xlii], Blank.; [xliii]-lii, "List of Crystallographic Models, both solid and dissected referred to in this work."; liii-lxiii, "Models Illustrative of Crystallography."; [1 pg], "Notice."-dated 14 March 1813.; [1]-391, Text.; [392]-396, "Mineralogical Chests, Chemical Preparations and Apparatus manufactured and sold by Accum and Garden, Operative Chemists."; [At end], 3 folding plates.

Plates: The 4 plates, numbered Pl. I to Plate IV, are all signed Lowry sculp. At the top of each is the description, "Accum's Crystallography." No information about the illustration appears on the plates themselves. Pl. I. (frontispiece), Dissected scalenaohedron of Haüy. Pl. II., Basic crystallographic shapes (9 figs., folding plate). Pl. III., Dissected octahedron and pyritahedron of Haüy (2 figs.). Plate IV., Wollaston reflecting goniometer.

Scarce. The first independent textbook published in English to describe the crystallographic theories of René Just Haüy. The work is dedicated to Earl Percy, Count Münster Meinhovel, Sir John Borlase Warren and Sir John Saunders Sebright who were among the students Accum taught. The text describes in detail Haüy's ideas on crystallography. In 1784, Haüy had first published his ideas in the Essai d'une Théorie sur la Structure des Crystaux (Paris, 1784). In this work, Haüy brought together the advances in crystallography made by Romé de l'Isle, Bergman and others into a coherent structural theory, based upon the idea of a microscopic "molecule integrante." This polyhedral unit contained all the elements of the macro crystal, and Haüy's model depicted crystals as built up out of these molecular units. Haüy also theorized a common "nucleus" or "primitive form" for all crystals of the same mineral species. This primitive form was thought to be revealed by cleavage of a crystal symmetrically along its angles and edges. Haüy's theory of crystal structure changed little in its essentials during the remainder of his career, and it is that theory that Accum describes in this work. The text is illustrated with diagrams and four plates which help describe principles outlined in the text. Ever the businessman, Accum also includes at the end an interesting sales catalog describing a wide variety of mineralogical apparatus, including various crystal models that Accum stocked in his Soho shop.

Bibliographical references: BMC: 1, 8. Hoover Collection: no. 6. NUC: 2, 593-6. Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 1, 8.

5. English, 1812 [First edition].
Descriptive catalogue of the apparatus and instruments employed in experimental and operative chemistry, in analytical mineralogy, and in the pursuits of the recent discoveries of electro-chemical science ... Manufactured and sold by Accum and Garden, operative chemists ... [By Friedrich Christian Accum.] London, W. Hayden, printer, 1812.

8°: [2], 59, [1] p., 16 plates.

Very scarce. Accum was one of the premier suppliers of chemical and mineralogical apparatus in London during the first decades of the nineteenth century. This trade catalog of the apparatus, chemicals, etc that were sold by the firm of Accum and Garden. There are described and listed 328 pieces of apparatus and 340 chemicals.

6. English, 1816 [Another issue].
Descriptive | Catalogue | Of The | Apparatus & Instruments | Employed In | Experimental And Operative | Chemistry, | In Analytical Mineralogy, | And In The | Pursuits Of The Recent Discoveries | Of | The Recent Discoveries | Of | Voltaic Electricity. | [short rule] | Manufactured And Sold | By Accum And Garden, | Operative Chemists, | Compton Street, Soho, London. | [short rule] | 1816.

8°: π1 B-F6; 31l.; [2], [1]-59, [1] p. Colophon: (p. 59) London:-Printed by G. Hayden, printer. Page size: 192 x 116 mm.

Contents: [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [1]-43, "Chemical | Apparatus And Insturments."; 44-47, "Chemical Chests."; 48-50, "Chemical Preparations | For Philosophical Amusement."; 51-54a, "Chemical Preparations | Employed | In Philosophical Chemistry, In | Mineralogy, &c."; 54b-59, "Directions | For | Fitting Up A Laboratory ..."; [1 pg], Publisher's list.

Very scarce. This edition was appended at the end of the author's Practical Essay on Chemical Re-Agents (London, 1816), and lists blow-pipes, balance, voltaic piles, diamonds, test papers, and many and various chemical compounds for sale by Accum and Gardner.

Bibliographical references: BL [957.l.30.; appended at end]. NUC: 2, 593-6.

7. English, 1809.
Analysis | Of A | Course Of Lectures | On | Mineralogy, | And On | The Chemical Examination Of Minerals; | With Application To | The Arts And Manufacturers. | To Be Delivered In The | Surrey Institution, | By Fredrick Accum, M.R.I.A. | Operative Chemist. | [...4 lines of titles and memberships...] | [double rule] | London: | Printed by R. Edwards, Crane Court, Fleet Street; | And Sold At The Surrey Institution; Also, By Callow, | Crown-Court, Prince's-Street, Soho; Murray, | Fleet-Street; Maxwell And Wilson, | Skinner-Street, Snow-Hill; And | Asperns, Cornhill. | 1809. | Price One Shilling And Sixpence.

8°: A-B8 C7; 23l.; [1]-45, [1] p.

Very rare. It is known that in 1808 or 1809 Accum circulated a one page advertisement, "Lectures on practical chemistry and analytical mineralogy, announcement of annual courses." The present work is the syllabus to these lectures. It was enlarged and reprinted in 1810 under the title, Manual of a Course of Lectures on Experimental Chemistry and Mineralogy (London, 1810).

Bibliographical references: BL [T.255.(4.)].

8. English, 1810.
Manual | Of | A Course Of Lectures | On | Experimental Chemistry, | And On | Mineralogy; | Containing In The Form Of Axioms And Concise Outlines | The Elements And Fundamental Truths Of Chemical And | Mineralogical Science. | Intended To Illustrate | The Lectures delivered on these Branches of Knowledge in | The Theatre | Of | The Surry Institution, | [tapered rule] | With An Account Of The Action Of | Chemical Tests | And Modes Of Applying Them In The Practice Of The Science. | [tapered rule] | By Fredrick Accum, | Operative Chemist. | [...5 lines of titles and memberships...] | [double rule] | London: | Printed by G. Hayden, 4, Brydges Street, Covent Garden; | And Sold By G. Kearsley, Fleet Street; And J. Callow, | Crown Court, Princes Street, Soho. | 1810.

12°: iv, 190, 28 p.

Very rare. In 1809, Accum prepared Analysis of a Course of Lectures on Mineralogy for a series of courses he was preparing to present in 1810. The described title is the textbook used during the course. It appears to be an expanded version of the aforementioned Analysis with more detail and wide margins for students to scribble notes.

Bibliographical references: BL [990.a.15.]. NUC: 2, 593-6.

9. English, c1800.
Synopsis of the Mineral Kingdom, according to the methodical distribution of the Abbé Haüy. London, c1800.


Rare. Accum in the second edition of his Analytical Mineralogy (2 vols., London, 1808) makes use of this work to prepare his own table of the distribution of the mineral kingdom. This broadside was probably prepared by Accum.