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BROMELL, Magnus von.

(1679 – 1731)

(Born: Stockholm, Sweden, 26 March 1679; Died: Stockholm, Sweden, 26 March 1731) Swedish physician & mineralogist.

The son of the physician O. Bromelius, Magnus choose the surname Bromell when he was raised to the nobility. From 1697 to 1704, Magnus had a far ranging education in Holland, England and France. Upon his return home he displayed a thorough knowlege of medicine, anatomy, chemistry and botany. Bromell became a professor of anatomy at the Collegium Medicum in Stockholm, before being elected head of the Institute in 1724. Being an accomplished chemist and mineralogist, Bromell was appointed to the Board of Mines, where in 1720 he was named assessor. On the death of U. Hjärne in 1724, Bromell succeeded him as head of the chemical laboratory.

Biographical references: Almquist, Bergskollegium, 1909: p. 180. Biographiskt Lexicon. Cleevely, World Palæontological Collections, 1983: 67. De Rebus, Uppsala: Nos. 1 & 2, 1973-4. DSB: 2, 490 [by S. Lindroth]. Hirsch, Biographisches Lexikon, 1884-8: 1, 584 [by Hedenius]. Hult, O., "Några anmärkningar om Olof och Magnus Bromelius", Svenska Linnésällskapets Årsskrift, 1926. Lambrecht & Quenstedt, Catalogus, 1938: 60. Poggendorff: 1, cols. 305-6. Regnell, Paleontology in Sweden, 1948. SBA: Scandinavian Biographical Archive: B-036, 283-291. Svenskt Biografiskt Handlexikon: 1, 140. Svenskt Biografiskt Lexikon: 6, 392-401, portrait, biblio [by O.T. Hult]. Thomas, Dictionary of Biography, 1884: 439. Warmholtz, Bibliotheca Sueo-Gothica, 1782-1817: 1-3, ??, 10, ??, 13, ??, & 15, ??. WBI. Wilson, History of Mineral Collecting, 1994: 162. Zenzén, Bergskollegii Mineralsamling, 1921.

Inledning til Nödig Kundskap, 1730

1. Swedish, 1730 [First edition].
Inledning | Til | Nödig Kundskap | At igenkiånna och upfinna | Allahanda | Berg=Arter / | Mineralier, Metaller, samt | Fossilier, | Och huru de måge til sin rätta | nytta anwändas. | Hwilken med Kongl. Privil. Academii | Bokföraren Joh. Henrich Russworms | bekostnad är uplagd. | [ornate rule] | Stockholm, | Tryckt hos Joh. Laur. Horrn, | Kongl. Antiqvit. Archiv. Boktr. | Anno Mdccxxx.

8°: ):(8 2):(4 A4 B-F8 G4; 60l.; [24], [1]-95, [1] p. Page size: 155 x 100 mm.

Contents: [2 pgs], Title page, verso dedication to Friedrich the I.; [4 pgs], "Stormächtigste / | Allernådigste | ..."; [5 pgs], "Bewågne Läsare."; [1 pgs], "Kongl. May:ts | Nådige | Placat | och | Förordning | ..."; [10 pgs], "Wt[?] Friedrich med Suds..."; [2 pgs], Contents.; [1]-95, Text, page 95, printer's device.; [1 pg], Blank.

Very scarce. This modest, little mineralogy had a profound influence upon the subsequent development of mineral classification. Designed as a handbook to help the Swedish naturalist in their mineralogical studies it is written for a threefold purpose. First, to distinguish and recognize the principal minerals, and to instruct the reader upon the proper names of rocks and ores, their nature, habit and use. Second, to describe which types of useful minerals should be found in Sweden, and third, which metals and minerals had already been found in the kingdom. This last section emphasises those minerals and ores for which additional deposits needed to be located.

In this work, Bromell uses chapters to separate the divisions of the minerals, ores and petrifications. Within each chapter the properties of the group are described. By this method, the author developed a mineral classification that employs both physical and chemical properties. He divides minerals into earths, salts, sulphur and sulphurous rocks, stones, minerals and semimetals, and ores and metals. These divisions parallel the classifications of John Woodward and Urban Hjärne. Like Agricola, Bromell subdivides the earths according to their use, into medicaments, earths used by painters and dyers, earths used for cleaning and polishing, earths used in ceramics, fertilizers, earthy ores, and fuels. However, in this early attempt at physical-chemical distinction, for the class of stones, Bromell is the first mineralogist to group together species according to the more consistant property of the minerals behavior in fire.

Through his father, Bromell became a passionate collector of minerals and fossils. He had inherited the cabinet begun by his father and had considerablly added to its numbers. While studying the collection, he became curious about the effect fire had on various specimens. Employing the crude qualitative techniques of the era, various samples of what were classified as stones by Bromell were placed in fire and the resulting reactions recorded. This lead Bromell to categorize stones into four subdivisions: fire-resistant stones, stones that calcine, stones that become harder and stones that fuse and become glass. Since a stone's chemical composition ultimately determined its reaction in the fire, and therefore the category to which it was assigned, Bromell foreshadowed the more elaborate chemical classification system to be developed later by Friedrich Axel Cronstedt. Bromell also demonstrates by his emphasis upon describing the properties of minerals his interest in an orderly description of their natural characters.

Bibliographical references: Beekman, Systematische Mineralogie, 1906. Dana's 7th (Bibliography): 68. Gatterer, Mineralogischen Literatur, 1798-9: 1, 43. LKG: XII 20. Nathorst, A.G., "Sveriges geologi allmänfattligt framställd med en inledande historik om den geologiska forskningen i Sverige (1892-94) jämte ett flertal arbeten i mineralogiens historia", ????????, ??, ??.. NUC: 77, 488 [NB 0834032]. St. Clair, Classification of Minerals, 1966. Wallerius, Brevis Introductio, 1779: 68.

2. Swedish, 1739 [2nd edition].
Afledna | Vice Præsidentens, Archiaterns | och Medicinæ Doctorens, | Herr Magni von Bromells | Minera- | logia, | Eller | Inledning til nödig kundskap at | igenkiånna och upfinna | Allahanda | Berg=Arter / Mineralier, | Metaller samt Fossilier, | Och huru de måge til sin, råtta | nytta anwåndas. | Andra Gången uplagd / | Och med ett fullkommligit Register förökt. | [rule] | Stockholm, | På Gottfried Kiesewetters bekostnad, | 1739.

8°: ):(8 2):(4 A4 B-F8 G4 2A-2D4 2E3; 79l.; [24], [1]-95, [1], [36], [2] publisher's list p. Page size: 165 x 93 mm.

Contents: [2 pgs], Title page, verso dedication to Friedrich the I.; [4 pgs], "Stormächtigste / | Allernådigste | ..."; [5 pgs], "Bewågne Läsare."; [1 pg], "Kongl. May:ts | Nådige | Placat | och | Förordning | ..."; [10 pgs], "Wt[?] Friedrich med Suds..."; [2 pgs], Contents.; [1]-95, Text, page 95 printer's device.; [1 pg], Blank.; [36 pgs], "Register."; [2 pgs], "Catalogus..."

Very scarce. Essentially a reissue of the 1730 text with the addition of a comprehensive index.

Bibliographical references: Dana's 7th (Bibliography): 68. LKG: XII 20. NUC: 77, 488 [NB 0834033]. Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 1, 171. Sallander, Bibliotheca Walleriana, 1955: no. 12123.

Mineralogia, 1740

3. German, 1740 [German transl.].
Herrn Magni von Bromell | [...3 lines of titles and memberships...] | Mineralogia et Litho- | Grapica Svecana | Das ist | Abhandlung | Derer in dem Königreich Schweden | befindlichen | Mineralien und Steinen | Ehemahls in Schwedischer Sprache | abgefaßt | Nunmehro aber | Ihrer besondern Merckwürdigkeit | halben ins Teutsche übersetzt, | Mit einem Vorbericht von dem vor kurtzer | Zeit in Schweden entblößten Gold=Ertz begleitet, | und mit darzu dienlichen Kupfern | ans Licht gestellt | Von Mikrandern. | [double rule] | Stockholm und Leipzig, | bey Gottfried Kiesewetter. 1740.

8°: )(8 2)(6 A-J8 K2; 88l.; [28], [1]-148 p., 80 woodcuts, folding map facing page 132. Page size: 165 x 93 mm.

Contents: [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [4 pgs], "Vorrede | des Ubersetzers."-dated 2 October 1793.; [7 pgs], "Geneigter Leser."; [7 pgs], "Vorbericht. | Von dem Anno 1738. in | Smoland geschursften Gold= | Ertze."; [8 pgs], "Inhalt."; [1]-148, Text.

Very scarce. Translation by "Mikrander" [i.e., psuedonym for Karl Ernst Klein] of Mineralogia, Eller Inledning til nödig kunskap at igenkiånna (2nd ed., Stockholm, 1739). In addition, this work also includes in chapter eight an abstracted translation of Bromell's paleontological treatise, Lithograpica Suecana. The original of which first appeared in Acta literaria Sveciæ, 2 (1725-9) & 3 (1730-4).

Karl Ernst Klein. (Born:      ; Died: Stockholm, Sweden, after 1752) . Klein worked as an advisor to the goverment and produced German translations of several Swedish books.

Bibliographical references: BMC: 1, 254. Freilich Sale Catalog: no. 98. Gatterer, Mineralogischen Literatur, 1798-9: 1, 167. NUC: 77, 488 [NB 0834034]. Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 1, 171. Sallander, Bibliotheca Walleriana, 1955: no. 12124. Ward & Carozzi, Geology Emerging, 1984: no. 328. (Klein) Jöcher, Gelehrten-Lexikon, Supplement: (1810), col. 456.