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KLAPROTH, Martin Heinrich.

(1743 – 1817)

(Born: Wernigerode, Germany, 1 December 1743; Died: Berlin, Germany, 1 January 1817) German apothecary & chemist.

Klaproth was the third son of a tailor. In 1759, he was apprenticed to a Quedlinburg apothecary. In 1766, he moved to Hannover, then in 1768 to Berlin, where he managed the apothecary shop of the deceased Valentin Rose the Elder. In 1780, using his wife's dowry, he purchased his own apothecary shop. In 1782, Klaproth was named to the Prussian medical board, and he successively moved through the bureaucracy as assessor (1782-97), councilor (1797-99), and high councilor (1799-1817). He had teaching posts that included: private lecturer at the Medical-Surgical College (1782-1810), General War School (1787-1812), and professor of chemistry in the University of Berlin's Philosophical Faculty (1810-17). Klaproth was the outstanding analytical chemist of his time, being the discovery or co-discovery of the elements: zirconium (1789), uranium (1789), titanium (1792), strontium (1793), chromium (1797) and cerium (1803). He also confirmed the previous discoveries of tellurium (1798) and beryllium (1798). He was influential in spreading A. Lavosier's theories throughout Germany, and earning him the description, "Father of analytical chemistry." Klaproth also pioneered the application of chemistry to archaeology. Among many memberships in 1795 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society and in 1804 a foreign associate of the Institute of France. The discredited mineral species "Klaprothite" and "Klaprotholite" was named for him in 1811 and 1872.

Biographical references: ADB: 16, 60-61. Barr, Index to Biographical Fragments, 1973: 141. Dann, G.E., Martin Heinrich Klaproth (1743-1817). Ein deutscher Apotheker und Chemiker. Sein Weg und seine Leistung. Berlin, 1958. [i]-x, [1]-171 p., 23 plates. DBA: I 655, 106-128; II 709, 418-433. Drugulin, Sechstausend Portraits, 1863: nos. 2935-40 & 6174. DSB: 7, 394-5 [by K. Hufbauer]. Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th edition. Great Chemists: 293-302, portrait. Hufbauer, German Chemical Community, 1982. Ihde, Development of Modern Chemistry, 1964. ISIS, 1913-65: 2, 22-3. NDB: 11, 707-9 [by G.E. Dann]. Poggendorff: 1, cols. 1266-9. Schaedler, Biographisch Handwörterbuch, 1891: 58. Szabadváry, History of Analytical Chemistry, 1966: 117-24, portrait. Thomson, History of Chemistry, 1830-1: 2, 191-210. WBI. World Who's Who in Science: 941.

1. English, 1787.
Observations | relative to the | Mineralogical and Chemical | History | of the | Fossils of Cornwall. | By Martin Henry Klaproth, | [...3 lines of titles and memberships...] | Translated From The German | By John GottliebGroschke, M.D. | Professor Of Natural History In The College Of Mitav. | [tapered rule] | London: | Printed For J. Johnson, No. 72, St. Paul's | Church-Yard. | [rule] | M, DCC. LXXXVII.

8°: [i]-vii (i.e., viii), [i]-iv, 5-84 p., frontispiece (hand-colored). Page size: 203 x 121 mm.

Contents: [i-ii], Title page, verso blank.; [iii], Dedication to Baron de Offenberg.; [iv], Blank.; v-viii, "Advertisement."; [i]-iv, "Introduction."; 5-84, Text.

Very scarce. Translated by John Gottlieb Groschke. This treatise by the greatest German chemist of his time, deals with the chemical analysis of tin and copper ores from Cornwall, England. Although originally published as an article (see: Schriftteller der Gesellschaft für Naturforscher in Berlin, 7, 1786), the thoroughness of the study was considered important enough to have this English translation prepared. It is based on research done in cooperation with the English geologist, John Hawkins, who supplied samples of the ores. Using these specimens, Klaproth preformed many chemical experiments, and the descriptions of his tests together with their results makeup the content of the book. The frontispiece illustrates various specimens of wood tin (cassiterite).

Bibliographical references: Fischer, Mineralogie in Sachsen, 1939: 303, no. 801. LKG: XIV 439. NUC: 298, 449.

Beiträge zur Chemische Kenntniss, 1795

2. German, 1795-1815.
Beiträge | zur | Chemische Kenntniss | der | Mineralkörper | von Martin Heinrich Klaproth, | [...8 lines of titles and memberships...] | Erster Band. [-Sechster Band.] | [rule] | Posen, bei Decker Und Compagnie, | und | Berlin, bei Heinrich August Rottmann. | MDCCXCV. [-MDCCCXV.]

6 vols. [Vol 1] 8°: [i]-xvi, [1]-374, [2] publisher's list p.; [Vol 2] 8°: [i]-xii, [1]-332 p.; [Vol 3] 8°: [i]-x, [1]-331, [1] errata p.; [Vol 4] 8°: [i]-xii, [1]-396 p.; [Vol 5] 8°: [i]-viii, [1]-264, [i]-xv, [1] blank p. [Vol 6] 8°: [iii]-viii, [1], [1] blank, [1]-380 p., [one plate?]. Page size: 204 x 115 mm.

Contents: [Vol 1] [i-ii], Title page, verso blank.; [iii], Dedication to John Hawkins.; [iv], Blank.; [v]-xiv, "Vorbericht."; xv-xvi, "Inhalt."; [1]-374, Text.; [2 pgs], Publisher's list.

[Vol 2] [i], Half title page, "Klaproths Beiträge zur chemischen Kenntniss der Mineralkörper. Zweite Band."; [ii], Publisher's list.; [iii]-[iv], Title page, verso blank.; [v], Dedication to Dietrich Ludwig Gustav Karsten.; [vi], Blank.; [vii]-viii, "Vorbericht."; ix-xii, "Inhalt des zweiten Bandes."; [1]-332, Text.;

[Vol 3] [i], Half title page, "Klaproths Beiträge zur chemischen Kenntniss der Mineralkörper. Dritter Band."; [ii], Publisher's list.; [iii]-[iv], Title page, verso blank.; [v], Dedication to Nicolas Louis Vauquelin.; [vi], Blank.; vii-x, "Inhalt des dritten Bandes."; [1]-331, Text.; [1 pg], "Druckfehler."

[Vol 4] [i], Half title page, "Klaproths Beiträge zur chemischen Kenntniss der Mineralkörper. Viertes Band."; [ii], Publisher's list.; [iii]-[iv], Title page, verso blank.; [v], Dedication to Claude Louis Berthollet.; [vi], Blank.; vii-xii, "Inhalt des vierten Bandes."; [1]-396, Text.

[Vol 5] [i-ii], Title page, verso blank.; [iii], Dedication to Alexander von Humbolt.; [iv], Blank.; [v]-viii, "Inhalt des fünster Bandes."; [1]-264, Text.; [i]-xv, "Register über alle fünf Bände."; [1 pg], Blank.;

[Vol 6] [i-ii], [Half title page, verso blank ?? - missing from copy examined].; [iii-iv], Title page, verso blank.; [v], Second title page, "Chemische | Abhandlungen | Gemischten Inhalts, | Von | Martin Heinrich Klaproth, | [...12 lines of titles and memberships...] | [rule] | Nebst einer Kupfertafel. | [tapered rule] | Berlin und Stettin, | In der Nicolaischen Buchhandlung. | MDCCCXV."; [vi], Blank.; [vii]-viii, "Vorbericht."; [1 pg], Dedication to Siegismund Friedrich Hermbstädt."; [1 pg], Blank.; [1]-376, Text.; 377-380, "Inhalt."

Very scarce. The index contained in volume 5 covers the previous volumes. Klaproth expressed doubt that the publication would continue; however, the rare sixth volume, which is not present with many copies appeared in 1815. It was issued as a supplement to the previous volumes and contains its own index. Throughout his professional life, Klaproth published a large number of chemical researches, mostly in the field of analytic chemistry. These studies were based in large measure on thorough examination of various mineral species. The labratory techniques shown off in these studies were far in advance of their time, as is evident by the several new elements Klaproth discovered and the accuracy of the anaylses, which are comparable to present standards. Periodically, Klaproth would collect his papers together, and publish them together in Beiträge zur chemische Kenntniss der Mineralkörper. These volumes must, therefore, be considered one of the greatest works in chemical and determinitive mineralogy ever published.

Bibliographical references: Dana's 7th (Bibliography): 75. LKG: XI 21. NUC: 298, 449. Partington, History of Chemistry, 1961-70: 3, 653-56. Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: no. 3436.

3. English, 1801-4 [English transl.].
Analytical Essays | Towards Promoting | the | Chemical Knowledge | of | Mineral Substances. | [tapered rule] | By Martin Henry Klaproth, | [...4 lines of titles and memberships...] | [double rule] | [-Vol. II.] | Translated From The German. | [double rule] | London: | [rule] | Printed For T. Cadell, Jun. And W. Davies, In The Strand | By G. Woodfall, No. 22, Paternoster-Row. | [rule] | 1801. [-1804.]

2 vols. [Vol 1: 1801] 8°: a8 B-Z8 2A-2P8; 303l.; [1]-xvi (page xiv misnumbered xvi), [1]-591, [1] errata p. [Vol 2: 1804] 8°: A4 B-R8 S4 T2; 138l.; [4], [i]-ii, [2] contents, [1]-267, [1] errata p. Page size: 215 x 130 mm.

Contents: [Vol 1] [i-ii], Title page, verso blank.; [iii], "Advertisement."; [iv], Blank.; [v]-xii, "Preface."- signed M.H. Klaproth.; [xiii]-xvi, "Contents."; [1]-315, Part I.; 316-519, Part II.; [1 pg], "Errata."-colophon, "Printed by G. Woodfall...";

[Vol 2] [2 pgs], Half title page, "Analytical Essays towards promoting the Chemical Knowledge of Mineral Substances," verso blank.; [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [i]-ii, "Notice."; [2 pgs], "Contents."; [1]-267, Continuation of part II, first begun in the previous volume.; [1 pg], Errata.

Very scarce. Translation by ?? Gruber from the first three volumes of Beiträge zur chemishische Kentniss der Mineralkörper (1795-??). Volume one represents a translation from the first volume and part of the second, while volume two continues the translation of the German edition's second volume. The second volume of this translation is almost never seen with the first; it is a very rare book, much more difficult to find than the first volume.

Bibliographical references: Hoover Collection: no. 488. LKG: XI 21a.

4. French, 1807 [French transl.].
Mémoires | de Chemie, | contenant | des analyses de minéraux, | par Martin Henri Klaproth, | [...5 lines of titles and memberships...] | Traduit de l'Allemand | Par B.M. Tassaert, Chimiste, l'un des Collaborateurs | des Annales de Chimie. | Tome Premier. [-Second.] | A Paris, | Chez F. Buisson, Libraire, rue Gîte-le-Coeur, n° 10, | ci-devant rue Haute-Feuille, nos 20 et 23. | [rule] | 1807.

2 vols. [Vol 1] 8°: π2 a2 1-308 316; 250l.; [4], [i]-iv, [1]-490, [2] p. [Vol 2] 8°: π2 1-308; 242l.; [4], [1]-476, [4] p.

Contents: [Vol 1] [2 pgs], Half title page, "Mémoires | De Chemie. | T. I.", verso authentication notice, signed Buisson.; [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [i]-iv, "Préface Du Traducteur."; [1]-6, "Préface de l'Auteur Allemand."; [7]-476, Text.; [477]-490, "Table des Matières contenues dans ce Volume."; [1 pg], Errata.; [1 pg], Blank.

[Vol 2] [2 pgs], Half title page, "Mémoires | De Chemie. | T. II.", verso blank.; [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [1]-464, Text.; 465-476, "Table des Matières contenues dans ce deuxième Volume."; [1 pg], Errata.; [3 pgs], "Nouveautes en Vente, du fonds de François Buisson, ..."

Rare. Translation by B.M. Tassert from the first three volumes of Beiträge zur chemischen Kenntniss der Mineralkörper (Berlin, 1795-1802). Some of the papers had previously appeared in the Journal des Mines and other French journals.

Bibliographical references: Bolton, Bibliography of Chemistry, 1893: p. 578. Cole, Chemical Literature, 1988: no. 727. NUC: 298, 449 [NK 0175660].

Chemisches Laboratorium, oder einweisung zur chemischen Analyse der Naturalien. Nebst Darstellung der nothigsten Reagentien von Johann Friedrich John. Mit einer Vorrede von M.H. Klaproth. (Berlin, 1808).
See under: John, Johann Friedrich.