Schuh’s Annotated Bio-Bibliography

Return to main Biobliography page

ACHARD, Franz Carl.

(1753 – 1821)

(Born: Berlin, Germany, 28 April 1753; Died: Kunern near Breslau, Silesia, Germany, 20 April 1821) German chemist.

Achard was hired as an aide to Andreas Sigismund Marggraf [1709-1782] at the Academy of Sciences, Berlin in 1776. After showing his merit as a chemist, he was appointed director of the "Class of Physics" at the Academy in 1782. Achard developed a commerical process to extract sugar from beets, and his essays on the process greatly contributed to promote the manufacturer throughout Europe especially Germany and France. He held membership in many learned bodies, including the Royal Academy of Sciences at Berlin to which he was elected in 1776.

Biographical references: ADB: 1, 27. Aykroyd, Story of Sugar, 1967: p. 97-8. Baxa, J. and G. Bruhns, Zucker im Leben der Völker. Berlin, 1967: 99-119 & 128-39. DBA: I 3, 187-188; 3, 190; II 5, 37-38, 44-90. Drugulin, Sechstausend Portraits, 1863: nos. 10-2. DSB: 1, 44-5 [by J.B. Gough]. Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th edition. ISIS, 1913-65: 1, 9. Lippmann, E.O.v., "Achard als Physiker", Z. Wirtsch. Zuckerind., Tech. Teil, 89, (1939), 33-43. Lippmann, E.O.v., "Franz Karl Achard, der Begründer der Rübenzucker-Industrie", Geschichtsbl. Tech. Ind., 3, (1916), 2-8. Lippmann, E.O.v., "Ein kleiner Beitrag zur Frage Hermbstädt-Achard", Deut. Zuckerind., 1930, 167. Lippmann, E.O.v., Geschichte der Rübe (Beta) als Kulturplanze von den ältesten Zeiten an bis zum Erscheinen von Achard's Hauptwerk (1809). Festschrift zum 75jährigen Bestande des Vereins der deutschen Zuckerindustrie. Berlin, J. Springer, 1925. viii, 184 p., illus. Mayerhöfer, Lexikon der Naturwissenschaften, 1958-75: 1, 128-9. NDB: 1, 27-8 [by J. Baxa]. Poggendorff: 1, col. 7. Schaedler, Biographisch Handwörterbuch, 1891: 1. Schlesische Lebensbilder: 4, 200-18. Speter, M., "Achard", Zentralblatt Zuckerindustrie, 1938, no. 20b, 493-502, 6 figs. Speter, M., "Achard. Vom Bekanntwerden seiner Versuche von 1799 in Frankreich und in England", Zentralblatt Zuckerindustrie, 46, (1938), 4 p. Speter, M., "Bibliographie von Zeitschriften-, Zeitungs-, Bücher-, Broschüren- und dgl. Veröffentlichungen Franz Carl Achards", Deutsche Zuckerindustrie, 6, (1938), 69-74 & 315-8. Speter, M., "Guillaume-Wilhelm Achard (1716-1755), Franz Carl Achards Vater!", Deutsche Zuckerindustrie, 6, (1938), 507-9. Stieda, W., Franz Karl Achard und die Frühzeit der deutschen Zuckerindustrie. Leipzig, S. Hirzel, 1928. [1]-218 p. [Published as: Abhandlungen der Philologisch-historischen Klasse der Sächsischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, vol. 39, no. 3.]. Thomas, Dictionary of Biography, 1884: 42. WBI. Webster's Biographical Dictionary: 8. World Who's Who in Science: 7.

Bestimmung der Bestandtheile, 1779

1. German, 1779 [First edition].
Bestimmung | der | Bestandtheile | einiger | Edelsteine | von | Franz Carl Achard, | [...7 lines of titles and memberships...] | [ornament] | [double rule] | Berlin, | bey Arnold Wever 1779.

8°: A-H8; 64l.; [1]-128 p., 2 folding plates (chemical apparatus). Page size: 200 x 122 mm.

Very scarce. Among the earliest systematic attempts at analyzing gemstones was Bestimmung der Bestandtheile einiger Edelsteine. Sinkankas (1981) notes that Achard performed essentially the same kind of analysis as Bergman described the next year, and for which Bergman has been given all credit; however, Achard was not the careful technician Bergman was and his results were badly contaminated. In this work, Achard records his analyses of sapphire, ruby, zircon, emerald, garnet, and chrysoprase determined the presence of silicon, calcium, magnesium, and iron in his specimens, but as in the case of zircon where the zirconium was completely overlooked, many of the analyses are wrong (Partington). This carelessness was due in most part to the analyses being conducted in an iron crucible, which undoubtedly contaminated the results, as well as the lack of experimental technique of the author. Another paper, continuing Achard's research, was published as "Chemische Untersuchungen der Edelsteine" (see: Abhandlungen des München Akademie, 1800, 219-350).

Bibliographical references: Allgemeine Deutsche Bibliothek: 45, no. 1, 113. BL [B.404.(3.)]. BMC: 1, 8. Cobres, Deliciæ Cobresianæ, 1782: 2, 737. Dryander, Catalogus Banks, 1796-1800: 4, p. 83. Freilich Sale Catalog: no. 5. Gatterer, Mineralogischen Literatur, 1798-9: 2, 19 ["Ganz vorzüglich lehrreich, und merkwürdig für Mineralogen und Chemiker."]. LKG: XVI 238. NUC: 2, 628. Partington, History of Chemistry, 1961-70: 3, 593. Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: no. 13. Sinkankas, Emerald and other Beryls, 1981: 50.

2. French, 1783 [French transl.].
Analyse | De | Quelques Pierres Précieuse: | Par M.F.C. Achard, Membre de l'Academie | [...4 lines of titles and memberships...] | Ouvrage traduit de l'Allemand, | avec des Remarques: | Par M.J.B. Dubois, Conseiller de la Cour de S.M. le | [...4 lines of titles and memberships...] | [ornament] | A Paris, | Chez Moutard, Libraire-Imprimeur de l'Académie Royale | des Sciences. | [double rule] | M. DCC. LXXXIII. | Avec l'Approbation & sous le Privilége de l'Academie | Royale des Sciences.

8°: a8 A-L8 M1; 97l.; [i]-xvi, [1]-178 p., tables. Title vignette, head and tail-pieces.

Very scarce. French translation by Jean Baptiste Dubois [see note below] of Bestimmung der Bestandtheile einiger Edelgesteine (Berlin, 1779). Contains a preface and notes by Dubois, and reports to the Paris Academy by Brisson, Macquer, de Fontanieu, and Cadet.

Jean Baptiste Dubois. (Born: Burgundy, France, 1753; Died: Paris, France, 1808) French litterateur & agriculturist. Dubois resided for a time in Poland, where he became councilor at court. After returning to Paris, he became a friend and assistant to Chrétien Guillaume Malesherbes [1721-1794]. After the reign of terror he held high office in the ministry of the interior. He wrote a notice of the life and labors of Malesherbes in 1806, among other works.

Bibliographical references: BL [234.h.8.]. Freilich Sale Catalog: no. 6. NUC: 2, 628. Partington, History of Chemistry, 1961-70: 3, 593 [note 13]. Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 1, 8. Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: no. 14 [not seen]. (Dubois) ABF: I 333, 377-389. Beauchamp, Biographie Moderne, 1816. Biographie Universelle. Feller, Biographie Universelle, 1851. Nouvelle Biographie Générale (Hoefer). Thomas, Dictionary of Biography, 1884: 795. WBI.

3. German, 1780.
Franz Carl Achards, | [...7 lines of titles and memberships...] | Chymisch=physische | Schriften. | [ornament] | [ornate rule] | Berlin, | bey Arnold Wever 1780.

8°: [1]-367, [1] p., 10 folding tables.

Contents: [1-2], Title page, verso blank.; [3], "Vorerinnerung."; [4], Blank.; [5]-367, Text.; [1 pg], Blank.; [At end], 10 folding tables.

Very rare. The collected chemical papers of Achard, including his paper "Von der Heilung eines Paralitici durch die Electrizitat" as well as others on electricity.

Bibliographical references: BL [1034.i.12.]. NUC: 2, 628.

4. German, 1784.
Sammlung physikalische und chemische Abhandlungen von Franz Carl Achard ... Erste Band. Berlin, Bey Johann Friedrich Unger, 1784.

8°: [1]-480 p., 2 folding plates.

Very rare. No more published. The collected scientific papers of Achard to be published in a multivolume set, but only the first volume ever appeared.

Bibliographical references: BL [1135.h.15.]. Catalog of the Edgar Fahs Smith Collection: p. 5. NUC: 2, 628.