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Actorum Chemicorum Holmiensium
cum Annotationibus Joh. Gotschalk Wallerii. Engraved folding allegorical frontis. & two folding engraved plates. xviii, [2], 283 pp., [7] pp., one leaf of errata; xi, [1], 194, [10] pp. Two vols. 8vo, cont. calf (joints a little cracked but strong, some rubbing), spines gilt, red morocco lettering pieces on spines. Stockholm: L. Salvi, 1753. Second edition (1st ed.: 1712), greatly enlarged with the addition of an entire second volume, edited by Wallerius. These two volumes contain the account of the work done at the Royal Laboratory in Stockholm during some of its most fruitful years. Hjärne (1641-1724), studied medicine at Uppsala, travelled and studied in England, France, and Germany, and was appointed by Charles XI director of the Royal Laboratory in 1683. "The most important result of his travels was an advanced grounding in analytical and experimental chemistry, which he acquired chiefly during three years of study in Paris with the famous Christopher Glaser... "Hiärne and several interested colleagues established a chemical research laboratory, which later became a national institution under the Board of Mines. Hiärne was appointed head of this Laboratorium Chemicum and simultaneously was named ordinary assessor at the Board of Mines (he became the board's vice-president in 1713). Hiärne set forth as the main purposes of the laboratory the examination of minerals and ores and the discovery of useful inventions. Extensive pharmaceutical research was also included in his program, and it is clear from detailed records how much Hiärne cherished the field of spagyric pharmacology... "The chemical research program was comprehensive enough to make its full realization exceedingly difficult. But Hiärne's supervision, unusual energy, and outstanding laboratory equipment brought rapid success to the venture, a success evident even in the 1680's. He had capable laboratory workers, the most able of them being Johann Georg Gmelin from Tübingen. The foundations laid by Hiärne, who envisioned the eventual creation of a viable Swedish center for advanced chemical research, proved to be enduring. Following Hiärne's death in 1724, the research program remained virtually at a standstill for several years. But as soon as a qualified successor, Georg Brandt, took over, it soon began anew to foster many of the remarkable advances in Swedish chemistry in the 1700's... "Hiärne's contributions in applied chemistry included work on improved methods for producing alum and vitriols, on impregnating agents to safeguard trees against rot, and on rust preventatives. In the field of pure chemistry he worked on problems concerning the formation of materials and the composition of bodies and ultimate particles; as his analytical method, he dissolved the substances and then tested them with different reagents and indicators which would elucidate the acid or alkaline nature of the bodies. He also studied alkalies in plants and the phenomenon in metals of increased weight through calcination. He is best known for his work on formic acid, which he produced through the distillation of ant specimens... "A polymath whose breadth of activity stretched over many disciplines, he did outstanding work in each of his fields and was one of the luminaries of Sweden's golden age of science."-D.S.B., VI, pp. 380-81. Very good set. ❧ Cole 656. Duveen, p. 296. Partington, III, pp. 162-64. .
      [Bookseller: Jonathan A. Hill, Bookseller, Inc.]
Last Found On: 2013-07-24           Check availability:      Biblio    


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