Biographies of Chemists

Prepared by Peter Morris
Web presentation by Gerry Moss

Quick move to Chemists starting with A, B, C, E, F, G, H, K, M, P, R, S, T, V, W, and Z. More to be added later.

Neil Kensington Adam (1891-1973). Born in Cambridge, England, the son of a Classics don. After studying chemistry at Trinity College, Cambridge, he became a fellow of the college. During the First World War, he served as a chemist at the Royal Naval Airship Service at Kingsnorth in Kent. As the Royal Society Sorby Research Fellow at the University of Sheffield, Adam extended his studies of surface films. He became a lecturer at University College, London, where he also carried out research on surface-active agents and detergents. He was then called to a Chair at the University of Southampton. Adam was an active Christian Scientist.

Paul Gabriel Adam (1856-1916). Born in Avesnes (Nord), near the Belgian border. After taking his doctorate at the Sorbonne, he became a principal sanitary inspector in Paris. He was then made Professor of Chemistry at a veterinary college at Alfort (Seine). Adam was interested in the bromination of organic compounds and the chemistry of biphenyl. He should not be confused with Paul Emilé Adam (1860-?), a French civil engineer and professor of mechanics.

Isaac Adams, junior (1836-1911). Born in Boston and educated at Bowdoin College, Harvard Medical School and the École de Médicine in Paris. He then pursued a dual career as a physician and an analyst in Boston. He developed a commercial nickel-plating process in 1869.

Roger Adams (1889-1971). Born in Boston and took his Ph.D. at Harvard before studying under Diels and Willstätter in Germany. Joined the faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana in 1916, which he converted into the leading centre of organic chemistry in America. Also forged close links between academia and industry, notably with Du Pont. He also established the series Organic Reactions. His name is associated with chemical warfare agent Adamsite (diphenylamine chloroarsine) and the Adams catalyst (platinum or palladium oxide, used for the hydrogenation of carbon-carbon double bonds).

(Carl Johann Philipp Noé) Richard Anschütz (1852-1937). Born in Darmstadt and initially studied engineering there before switching to chemistry. He took his doctorate at Heidelberg, then worked under Fittig at Tübingen and Kekulé at Bonn, where he remained for the rest of his career. He was interested in stereochemistry and studied the isomerism of unsaturated acids with Kekulé. He also proved the Graebe-Liebermann formula for anthracene by synthesis. Anschütz made a point of teaching chemistry to British POWs in the First World War because of his admiration for Couper's work on chemical structure. In later life he became interested in the history of chemistry. His name is associated with the Anschütz synthesis of anthracenes from substituted benzoyl chlorides.

His son Ludwig Eduard Heinrich Anschütz (1889-1954) was born in Bonn and studied chemistry at Bonn and Munich before taking his doctorate under K. von Auwers at Marburg. After teaching in Bonn, Berlin and Marburg, he became Professor of Organic Chemistry at the German Technische Hochschule in Brünn, Czechoslovakia. After the Second World War, he was eventually called to a Chair at Würzburg. His main interest was organophosphorus chemistry, especially the reaction of phosphorus chlorides with phenolic compounds (pyrocatechol, salicylic acid).

Aleksandr Erminingeldovich Arbuzov (1877-1968). Born in Arbuzov-Baran, near Kazan, and studied chemistry at the University of Kazan under Aleksandr Saytzev (or Zajcev). After a brief spell at the Institute of Forestry and Agriculture in Novo-Aleksandria, he spent the rest of his career at the University of Kazan. He was a major figure in the development of organophosphorus chemistry, notably the esters and thioesters of organophosphoric acids. His name is associated with the Arbuzov reaction (also called the Michaelis-Arbuzov rearrangement) which is used to prepare phosphonates from orthophosphates. He was also interested in the history of chemistry, perhaps not surprisingly given the association of Kazan with Butlerov and Saytzev.

His son Boris Aleksandrovich Arbuzov (1903-?) was also a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Kazan and worked on petroleum chemistry, an important research area in Kazan as there are many oilfields nearby.

Fritz Arndt (1885-1969). Born in Hamburg and no relation to Kurt Arndt. Studied chemistry at the universities of Geneva, Freiburg im Breisgau and Berlin; he took his doctorate under Howitz at Freiburg. After a varied academic career in Freiburg (as an assistant to Gattermann), Hamburg, Griefswald, Kiel, Breslau and Constantiople, he became a professor at Breslau. Forced to leave Germany in 1933, he went briefly to Oxford before returning to Istanbul. In 1955, he retired to Hamburg. Although his positions were often in inorganic chemistry, he carried out research on azo compounds. His name is associated with the Arndt-Eistert synthesis of diazoketones.

Kurt Arndt (1873-1946). Born in Frankfurt on the Oder and studied chemistry at the Techische Hochschule in Berlin. He took his doctorate at the University of Basle, where he became an assistant to Kahlbaum. He spent the rest of his career at the Techische Hochschule in Berlin, mainly within the Institute of Applied Electrochemistry. He worked on a wide range of electrochemical processes, including the production of calcium, sodium perborate (thereby enabling the production of Persil) and silicon carbide, and the improvement of batteries.

Werner Emmanuel Bachmann (1901-1951). Born in Detroit, he studied chemistry and chemical engineering at Wayne State University in Detroit and at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor nearby. He took his doctorate under Gomberg and spent the rest of his career at the University of Michigan, although he often studied overseas. He was interested in physical organic chemistry (rearrangements, free radicals) and organic synthesis. Bachmann was a pioneer in steroid synthesis, and carried out the first total synthesis of a steroidal hormone, equilenin. His name is associated with the Gomberg-Bachmann reaction for the synthesis of diaryl compounds from aryl diazonium chlorides.

Wilhelm Bachmann (1885-1933). Born in Kassel, he studied chemistry at the universities of Munich and Göttingen, where he took his doctorate. After a spell as a Privatdozent at Göttingen, under Zsigmondy, he worked for the de Haen company (later Reidel de Haen). He then became Professor of Pure and Applied Colloid Chemistry at the Technische Hochschule in Hanover. At de Haen, Bachmann pioneered the development of collodial graphite. He died in a hunting accident.

Edgar Henry Summerfield Bailey (1848-1933). Born in Middlefield, Connecticut, he studied chemistry at Yale. He then taught intermittently at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, before taking his Ph.D. at Illinois Wesleyan. He spent the rest of his career at the University of Kansas at Lawrence. He was interested in the chemistry of foods and the relationship between chemical composition and taste and odour. He published several books on analysis and food chemistry.

Edward Monroe Bailey (1879-1948). Born in New London, Connecticut and studied chemistry at Yale. He spend his entire career at the Connecticut Agricultural Experimental Station at New Haven. Published research on the chemistry of foods, drugs and agricultural products.

Frederick Eugene Bailey, junior (b.1927). Born in Brooklyn, New York, he studied chemistry at Amherst and Yale, where he took his Ph.D., before joining Union Carbide. He has developed the polymerisation of ethylene oxide, and the production of high molecular weight poly(ethylene oxide).

Kenneth Bailey (1909-1963). Born at Alsagers Bank, near Stoke-on-Trent, he studied chemistry at Birmingham and at Imperial College, where he studied under Astbury. He then worked briefly with Edwin Cohn at Harvard Medical School. He then moved to Cambridge, where he remained for the rest of his career. He studied the chemistry of proteins, mechanism of muscle contraction and of blood coagulation, notably myosin and ATPase.

Kenneth Claude Bailey (1896-1951). His birthplace is not recorded, but probably Dublin. After serving in the First World War, he won a classical studentship at Trinity College Dublin in 1921 at the height of the troubles, before taking a doctorate in chemistry at the University of Toulouse. He then became a fellow of TCD and subsequently Professor of Physical Chemistry at the University of Dublin. He had two major interests, the chemical writings of the elder Pliny and the inhibition of chemical reactions.

Philip Sigmon Bailey (b.1916). Born in Chickasha, Oklahoma, he studied chemistry at Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee and the University of Oklahoma in Norman. He took his Ph.D. under Lutz at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville. After working briefly for an oil company, Bailey joined the Office of Scientific Research and Development. After the Second World War, he went to the University of Texas in Austin. He now lives in Lago Vista, near Austin. Bailey has carried out extensive research on the mechanism of ozonolysis and has published Ozonation in Organic Chemistry.

William John Bailey (1921-1989). Born in East Grand Forks, Minnesota, he studied chemistry at the University of Minnesota. He took his Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Urbana under Carl "Speed" Marvel. After taking up a position at Wayne State University in Detroit, Bailey moved to the University of Maryland at College Park. He synthesised monomers for polymerisation studies, developed anionic polymerisation and studied the relationship between the structure of polymers and their properties.

Herbert Brereton Baker (1862-1935). Born in Blackburn, he studied chemistry under Dixon at Balliol College, Oxford. After teaching at Dulwich College, he went back to Oxford as Dr Lees' Reader at Christ Church. He later became Professor of Chemistry at Imperial College. Baker is most famous for his research on the catalytic effect of water on reactions, for instance distilling phosphorous in rigorously dried oxygen without any reaction taking place.

John William Baker (1898-1967). Born in London, he went up to Imperial College to study chemistry, but almost immediately became a chemist in the Royal Engineers in Mesopotamia. After returning to Imperial College where he did research under Sir Jocelyn Thorpe, he briefly became a schoolmaster. He then joined Ingold at the University of Leeds, where he remained for the rest of his career. Baker's name is associated with the Baker-Nathan effect, where the reactivity of (e.g.) alkyl chlorides is the opposite of that expected from the inductive effect. Baker and W. S. Nathan incorrectly assumed it was a result of hyperconjugation (a term coined by R. S. Mulliken in 1939), but nowadays it is usually explained by differential solvation. Baker published Hyperconjugation in 1953 and Electronic Theories of Organic Chemistry in 1958. He was an active member of the Chemical Society and the Congregational Church.

Philip Schaffner Baker (b.1916). Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and studied at Occidental College (Los Angeles), Antioch College (Ohio) and DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. Like many bright students from small Midwestern colleges, he took his Ph.D. at the University of Illinois. After working for an oil company in Texas and at the Institute for Paper Chemistry in Appleton, Wisconsin, he taught at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. He then joined Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he worked on the applications of isotopes and the production of lithium metal.

Richard Dean Baker (b.1913). Born in Hot Springs, South Dakota, and studied chemistry at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City before taking his Ph.D. at Iowa State University in Ames. After working for US Gypsum, he joined the Los Alamos Science Laboratory, where he worked on the chemistry of uranium and plutonium.

William Oliver Baker (b.1915). Born in Chesterton, Maryland, he studied chemistry at Washington College in Chesterton before taking his Ph.D. under Smyth at Princeton. He joined Bell Laboratories and was soon working on polythene obtained from ICI. He pioneered the application of physical methods to polymers, especially in the context of quality control. He went on to contribute to the development of electronics before taking over the direction of research of Bell Labs.

Wilson Baker (b.1900). Born in Runcorn, he studied chemistry at Manchester under Lapworth and Robinson. He taught chemistry at Queen's College, Oxford, before becoming Professor of Organic Chemistry at Bristol. Following in Robinson's footsteps, his early interests were in flower pigments, but he also worked on the chemistry of penicillin during the Second World War. Baker also became interested in non-benzenoid aromatic compounds. He revised Sidgwick's Organic Chemistry of Nitrogen with Thomas Taylor in 1937. His name is associated with the Baker-Venkataraman rearrangement which converts o-acyloxyketones into 1,3 diketones, providing a facile route to chromones and flavones.

Eugen Bamberger (1857-1932). Born in Berlin, he took his doctorate at Berlin University under Liebermann. He worked as an assistant to Rammelsberg in Berlin and taught in Munich before taking up a chair at ETH in Zurich. He carried out extensive research in heterocyclic and alicylic chemistry, as well as diazo compounds. He prepared nitrosobenzene and synthesised isoquinolines. His name is associated with the Bamberger rearrangement of N-phenylhydroxylamines to p-aminophenols.

Max Georg Matthais Bamberger (1861-1927). Born in Kirchbichl, near Kufstein in the Tirol, he studied chemistry at the Hochschule für Bodenkultur and the Technische Hochschule in Vienna, before taking his doctorate at Giessen. he then spent the rest of his career at the Technische Hochschule in Vienna. He studied the chemistry of resins, gas-masks, nitrogen-free explosives and the radioactivity of spa waters and minerals. Bamberger was also a member of the International Atomic Weight Commission.

Neil Bartlett (b.1932). Born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, he studied chemistry at King's College, Durham, where he took his doctorate. He went to the University of British Columbia at Vancouver before briefly taking up a chair at Princeton in conjunction with a position at Bell Laboratories. He then joined Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, with a Chair of Chemistry at University of California at Berkeley. Bartlett made the first noble-gas compound xenon hexafluoroplatinate. He has also worked on the reaction between halogen compounds and boron nitride or graphite.

Paul A[?] Bartlett (b.1948). Born in Trenton New Jersey, but grew up in Boston. He studied chemistry at Harvard, working with David Dolphin, before taking his Ph.D. at Stanford University under William S. Johnson. After working as a NIH Postdoctoral Fellow at University of California at San Diego, Bartlett was appointed to the faculty of the University of California at Berkeley. He is a synthetic organic chemist, working initially on stereospecific synthesis of natural products, before switching to the synthesis of enzyme inhibitors and metabolic intermediates. As a result of his work of his work on enzyme inhibitors, Bartlett has also developed the computer modelling of 3-D chemical structures.

Paul Doughty Bartlett (1907-1997). Born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, he studied chemistry at Amherst, before taking his Ph.D. at Harvard under Conant. After brief spells at the Rockefeller Institute, Columbia University and the University of Minnesota, Bartlett returned to Harvard. After his retirement from Harvard, he started afresh at Texas Christian University at Fort Worth. He has studied a wide range of organic reaction mechanisms, notably the Wagner-Meerwein rearrangements and carbonium ions. An obituary on a Yale website also cited substitution and rearrangement mechanisms, strained lactones, highly branched molecules, alkyl lithium compounds, and polymerisation and chain reactions, among many many other topics.

(Johann Friedrich Wilhelm) Adolf [von] Baeyer (1835-1917). Born in Berlin, the son of a Prussian military surveyor who became a lieutenant-general. He studied chemistry at Heidelberg under Bunsen, then followed Kekulé to Ghent. he taught at the Gewerbeschule in Berlin before joining the newly Germanised University of Strassburg. Baeyer then succeeded Liebig at Munich where he remained for the rest of his career. He also acted as a consultant and research leader for Badische Anilin- & Soda-Fabrik. His major work was the structure and synthesis of indigo. He also discovered the phthalein dyes and synthesised oxonium compounds. His centric formula for benzene is well-known. Baeyer ennobled by Ludwig II in 1885, and was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1905 for his work on dyes and hydroaromatic compounds. His name is associated with the Baeyer-Drewson indigo synthesis from o-nitrobenzaldehyde, the Baeyer-Villiger oxidation of ketones to esters or lactones, the (discredited) Baeyer photosynthesis equation, the Baeyer strain theory of alicyclic compounds and the Baeyer test for olefins (decolourisation of glacial acetic acid and potassium permanganate).

Friedrich Bayer (originally Beyer) (1825-1880). Born in Barmen, the grandson of a weaver from Nördlingen. He served an apprenticeship as a chemical merchant, then set up his own business. Seeing the potential of the new synthetic dyes, he joined forces with a friend Friedrich Westkott and formed Friedrich Bayer & Cie in Barmen. Initially, the new firm had only one worker, but a chemist was soon hired. A new factory was built near Elberfeld in 1867. By the time of Bayer's death, his firm had become a major dye manufacturer.

Karl Josef Bayer (1847-1904). Born in Bielitz, Silesia, he initially trained as an architect (his father was an architect) before switching to the study of chemistry at Wiesbaden. After working in a steelworks, he took his doctorate under Bunsen at Heidelberg. After teaching briefly at the University of Brünn, he worked in various chemical factories in Russia. His name is associated with the Bayer process for the purification of bauxite.

Otto Bayer (1902-1982). Born in Frankfurt-on-the-Main, he studied chemistry at Frankfurt University, and after taking his doctorate, he was an assistant to von Braun. He then joined I.G. Farben's Mainkur factory, and he quickly became the leader of the main research laboratory at Leverkusen. He eventually joined the board of Bayer AG. His major achievement was the development of polyurethanes. Despite working for Bayer, He was not related to Friedrich Bayer (compare the similar situation of Alastair Pilkington and Pilkington Brothers).

Arnold Orville Beckman (b.1900). Born in Cullom, Illinois, he took his BS degree in chemical engineering at the University of Illinois before taking his Ph.D. at California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. After teaching at Caltech, he founded National Technical Laboratories in South Pasadena in 1935, to make pH meters. NTL became Beckman Instruments in 1950. Beckman Instruments merged with SmithKline in 1982 (it was later demerged), by which time Beckman had already started a new career as a philanthropist, distributing over $300 million through his charitable foundation and thereby establishing numerous institutions including the Beckman Center for the History of Chemistry (now part of the Chemical Heritage Foundation). His name is especially associated with the Model G pH meter and the DU ultraviolet spectrophotometer.

Ernst Otto Beckmann (1853-1923). Born in Solingen, he began his career as an pharmacist's assistant in Arolsen, Burg (Wupper), Leipzig and Cologne. After working for Fresenius in Wiesbaden, Beckmann studied chemistry and pharmacy at Leipzig. He taught pharmacy and chemistry at the Technische Hochschule in Brunswick, before moving back to Leipzig as an assistant to Wislicenus. He was briefly a Professor of Physical Chemistry at Leipzig and Giessen in turn before moving to Erlangen. He then became Director of the Laboratory of Applied Chemistry at Leipzig, and finally, Director of the new Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry in Berlin-Dahlem. His name is associated with the Beckmann thermometer, used to measure freezing and boiling point depressions, and the Beckmann rearrangement of oximes to amides. He was also interested in the analysis of foodstuffs and the chemistry of camphor.

Aleksandr Porfireviè Borodin (1833-1887). Born in St Petersburg, the illegitimate son of a prince, a curious link with another pioneer of condensation chemistry, Edward Frankland, who was also illegitimate. He studied chemistry under Nikolai Nikolaeviè Zinin (1812-1880) and succeeded him as Professor of Chemistry at the St Petersburg Academy of Medicine and Surgery in 1864. He prepared methyl bromide from silver acetate in 1861, but another eighty years elapsed before Heinz and Cläre Hundiecker converted Borodin's synthesis into a general method, the Hunsdiecker or Hunsdiecker-Borodin reaction (1942). Borodin deserves to have more reactions named after him, as he developed general methods of condensing aldehydes and fluoridating organic compounds, a synthesis of fatty acids, and the well-known estimation of urea with hypobromite. He also pioneered the medical and chemical education of women, until the government stopped the teaching of women medical students in 1887. Borodin composed music as a hobby and kept a piano outside his laboratory.

Heinrich Caro (1834-1910). Famous dye chemist and colourist, born in Posen. Studied chemistry and dyeing in Berlin at the Royal Trades Institute and the university. Worked at Troost's calico printing works in Mülheim, Roberts, Dale in Manchester and finally BASF in Ludwgishafen. Associated with Caro's acid (persulfuric acid) and Caro's reagent.

Nikodem Caro (1871-1935). Born in Lodz, and studied chemistry in Berlin. Worked with Adolf Frank and Friedrich Rothe on the development of calcium cyanamide as a means of fixing nitrogen, hence the Frank-Caro process. Became an important figure in the nitrogen fixation industry and a bitter rival of Fritz Haber. All the Caros claim descent from a famous sixteenth century rabbi in Prague, but our two Caros were not closely related.

Rainer Ludwig Claisen (1851-1930). Born in Cologne and studied chemistry at Bonn, and briefly at Göttingen. He took his doctorate at Bonn under August Kekulé (1829-1896). Unusually for a German chemist, he then spent four years at Owens College, Manchester (now Manchester University) working with Henry Enfield Roscoe (1833-1915) and Carl Schorlemmer (1834-1892), and then joined Adolf von Baeyer (1835-1917) in Munich. He held Chairs in Organic Chemistry at Aachen Polytechnic and the University of Kiel, before he went to Berlin in 1904 to work with Emil Fischer in Berlin. In addition to the Claisen (1887) and Claisen-Schmidt (1881) condensations, the Claisen rearrangement (1912) and the Claisen isatin synthesis (1879), his name is associated with the Claisen flask and Claisen's rule which relates acidity to enolisation. The Claisen rearrangement has since been "hyphenated" to yield the Eschenmoser-Claisen rearrangement (1964), the Johnson-Claisen rearrangement (1970), and the Ireland-Claisen rearrangement (1972).

Erik Christian Clemmensen (1876-1941). Born in Odense in Denmark and was educated at the Royal Polytechnic Institute in Copenhagen. He emigrated to the United States in 1900 and worked as a research chemist for the pharmaceutical company, Parke, Davis & Co. He was awarded a doctorate by the University of Copenhagen for his development of the Clemmensen reduction. He co-founded the Commonwealth Chemical Corporation in 1914, which merged with the Mathieson Alkali Works in 1923. After a fire in 1929, the company was taken over by Monsanto, where Clemmensen worked on organic phosphates and thiophosphates. He founded the Clemmensen Chemical Corporation in 1933. His name is associated with the Clemmensen reduction of ketones (1913).

Theodor Curtius (1857-1928). Born in Duisburg in the Ruhr, and originally intended to study music, but switched to chemistry under the influence of Bunsen at Heidelberg and Kolbe at Leipzig. After working with Baeyer at Munich, he became the director of analytical chemistry at Erlangen, before taking up a Chair in Chemistry at Kiel in 1890. After a brief appointment at Bonn, Curtius succeeded Victor Meyer as Professor of Chemistry at his old university, Heidelberg, in 1898. He published the Curtius rearrangement in 1890 and also discovered diazoacetic acid, hydrazine and hydrazoic acid. He also composed music and sang in concerts.

Bernd Eistert (1902-1978) Born in Ohlau, in lower Silesia, and entered the local university at Breslau. After working with Fritz Arndt (1885-1969), he joined I.G. Farben in Ludwigshafen (later became BASF), where he made a particular study of tautomerism. After retiring from BASF in 1957, he became a professor at Saarbrücken. His name is associated with the Arndt-Eistert synthesis (1935).

Emil Hermann Fischer (1852-1919), perhaps the greatest organic chemist and a pioneering biochemist, was born in Euskirchen near Bonn and studied chemistry at Bonn after a commercial education. He took his doctorate at Stassburg (Strasbourg) under Baeyer. After teaching in Munich, Erlangen and Würzburg, he succeeded August Wilhelm von Hofmann in Berlin and won the Nobel Prize in 1902. His name is associated with several reactions and syntheses, notably the Fischer phenylhydrazine synthesis, Fischer indole synthesis, Fischer peptide synthesis and the Kiliani-Fischer synthesis (discovered independently not jointly). He also gave his name to the Fischer projection of carbohydrates.

His son Hermann Otto Laurenz Fischer (1888-1960), born in Würzburg, studied under Knorr at Jena and became a well-known carbohydrate chemist. After teaching at Berlin, he went to the University of Basel in 1934, Banting Institute at the University of Toronto in 1937 and the University of California at Berkeley in 1948. His name is associated with the Grosheintz-Fischer-Reissert aldehyde synthesis and the Macdonald-Fischer degradation of aldoses.

Emil's cousin Otto Phillipp Fischer (1852-1932) was also born in Euskirchen. He studied chemistry in Berlin, Bonn and Strassburg. With Liebemann and Emil Fischer, he worked on the structure of dyes, particularly the triphenylmethane dyes. He succeeded Emil as professor of organic chemistry in Erlangen in 1885. His name is associated with the Fischer-Hepp rearrangement. Curiously, his name is sometimes given as Phillipp Otto Fischer, can anyone confirm which is the correct order?

Anton Fischer (1901-1978). Born in Pressburg (now Bratislava, Slovakia) and took his MD at the University of Vienna in 1925. He was a specialist in the study of rheumatism, but also published papers on the analysis of blood serum.

Arthur Fischer (1878-1922). Born in Wiesbaden and took his doctorate in engineering under Classen at Aachen in 1924. He worked in the official materials testing bureau in Berlin and published papers on inorganic chemical analysis.

Bernhard Fischer (1956-1905). Born in Hultschin near Breslau (now Wroclaw), and later director of a chemical research institute there. Not to be confused with Bernhard Fischer (1852-1915), who was an army surgeon (he died at Ypres) and marine bacteriologist.

Edmond Henri (or Henry) Fischer (b.1920). Born in Shanghai, he was educated at Geneva, Montpellier and Basel. At the University of Washington in Seattle he studied phosphorylase with Edwin Krebs (no relation of Hans Krebs). For work on the mechanism of in vivo phosphorylation, they were awarded the Nobel Prize in 1992.

Ernst Gottfried Fischer (1754-1831). Born in Hoheneiche near Saalfeld. After studying theology and mathematics at the University of Halle, he was a teacher in Berlin before becoming Professor of Physics at Berlin in 1810. He translated Claude-Louis Berthollet's* Recherches sur les lois de l'affinitié in 1802, thereby giving publicity to Richter's views. He proposed a system of equivalents based on sulfuric acid = 100. *The Berthel(l)ots will appear in this feature soon.

Ernst Otto Fischer (b.1918). Born in Munich, the son of Karl Tobias Fischer (1871-1953), a physics professor at the Technische Hochschule. He took his doctorate in organometallic chemistry there under Hieber in 1952. Soon afterwards, he began his study of ferrocene which won him the Nobel Prize (with Geoffrey Wilkinson) in 1973. He taught at the University and Technische Hochschule in Munich.

[Heinrich August Wilhelm] Ferdinard Fischer (1842-1916). Born in Rödermühle in the Harz and educated at Göttingen and Berlin, taking his Ph.D. at Jena in 1869. He was a pioneering chemical technologist, specialising in fuel technology, and from 1894 taught at Göttingen University. Fischer founded the Gesellschaft für angewandte Chemie in 1886, which became the Verein deutscher Chemiker ten years later. His brother [Friedrich Wilhelm] Hermann Fischer (1840-1915) was a well-known engineer.

Franz Josef Emil Fischer (1877-1947), of the Fischer-Tropsch process, was born in Freiburg im Breisgau and studied under Elbs at Giessen. After a varied academic career, during which he worked with Wilhelm Ostwald and Emil Fischer, he became director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Coal Research in the Ruhr in 1913.

[Franz] Gottwalt Fischer (1902-1960). Born in Florence, he took his doctorate under Wieland at Freiburg. He developed the hydrogenation of ozonides in the late 1920s and taught at the Universities of Munich, Freiburg and Würzburg.

Hans Fischer (1881-1945). Born in Frankfurt-Höchst. He took his Ph.D. under Zincke at Marburg, and studied medicine at the University of Munich. After undertaking research with Emil Fischer and a spell at the University of Innsbruck, he became Professor of Organic Chemistry in Munich in 1921. An expert on porphyrins, he won the Nobel Prize for the synthesis of hæmogoblin in 1930. Fischer committed suicide at the end of the Second World War. His father Eugen Fischer (1854-1917) was an industrial chemist and a director of the dye firm, Kalle.

Hellmut Johannes Fischer (1902-1976). Took his Ph.D. under Stock at Berlin in 1926. He worked for Siemens & Halske at the huge Siemens complex in Berlin. He carried out research on inorganic analysis and microanalysis, particularly the use of diphenyl thiocarbazone (dithizone), first synthesised by Emil Fischer.

Joseph Karl Anton Fischer (1901-1978). Born in Mainz, he took his doctorate in engineering under Ruff at the Technische Hochschule in Breslau. After working as an analytical chemist for Degussa and its associated companies for many years, he became Professor of Analytical Chemistry at the University of Frankfurt in 1951.

Karl Fischer (1901-1958). He introduced the eponymous method of water determination in 1935. Fischer worked for a German petroleum company (the DEA Group), and became the leader of its research laboratories.

Martin Henry Fischer (1879-1962). Born in Gaarden near Kiel, but took his MD at Chicago in 1901. Later became Professor of Physiology at the University of Cincinnati and was closely involved with Wolfgang Ostwald and the promotion of colloid chemistry in the interwar period (see Yasu Furukawa's book, reviewed in this issue).

Nikolaus Wolfgang Fischer (1782-1850). Born in Grossmeseritz near Mähren. Educated as a physician, he became the first Professor of Chemistry at the University of Breslau. He studied the action of light on silver chloride and the displacement of one metal by another. His name is associated with Fischer's salt (also called Fischer's yellow), potassium cobaltinitrite [potassium hexanitrocobaltate(III)].

Phillipp Wilhelm Fischer (1877-1946). Born in Schweinfurt, he took his Ph.D. at Würzburg under Krauss. Became the official pharmacist in Nürnberg, and published papers on pharmaceutical analysis.

Robert Walter Fischer (b.1903). Born in Innsbruck and took his Ph.D. there in 1927 under Kofler. He became Professor of Pharmacognosy in Innsbruck and Graz. He has also published papers on pharmaceutical analysis and microanalysis.

Rudolf Fischer (1881-1957). Born in Berlin, he studied at Strassburg and Berlin, where he took his doctorate under Emil Fischer in 1903. He took out pioneering patents for colour photography in 1911-1913 and founded his own photographic film company in 1927.

Viktor Fischer (1875-1943). Born in Vienna and trained as an engineer at the Technische Hochschule there. However, he went into physical chemistry when he worked with the Gesellschaft für Lindes Eismachinen in the 1930. He studied the equilibria and phase diagrams for mixtures including ammonia and water, and carbon monoxide, hydrogen and water.

Waldemar Rudolf Johann Fischer (1881-1934). Born in Moszczenice in what was then Russian Poland. Took his Ph.D. under Hantzsch at Leipzig in 1903. Became Professor of Analytical Chemistry at Riga.

Werner Reinhold Lothar Fischer (b.1902). Born in Elberfeld and studied chemistry at the Technische Hochschule in Hanover. He is best known for his purification of rare metals such as hafnium and zirconium. Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at Hanover, he rebuilt the institute after the war.

Karl Theophil Fries (1875-1962). Born at Kiedrich near Wiesbaden on the Rhine, and was educated at Darmstadt Polytechnic and Marburg, where he took his doctorate under Theodor Zincke (1843-1928). After working for the chemical firm of Hoechst, he returned to Marburg in 1906 and became a professor. In 1918, he became Professor of Chemistry at Brunswick Polytechnic. When he retired in 1938, Fries returned to teaching at Marburg. He was very interested in polycyclic compounds, and fused ring heterocyclic compounds. His name is associated with the Fries rearrangement of phenolic esters (1908).

Ludwig Gattermann (1860-1920). Born in Goslar, the son of a baker. He studied chemistry briefly at Leipzig and Heidelberg, before coming under the influence of Carl Liebermann (1842-1914) at the polytechnic (Gewerbe Akademie) in Berlin. He took his doctorate at Göttingen where he met Sandmeyer. He became Meyer's assistant and followed him to Heidelberg. He became Professor of Chemistry at the University of Freiburg im Breisgau in 1900, where he was succeeded by Hermann Staudinger (1881-1965). Gattermann's name is associated with the Gattermann reaction (1890), the Gattermann-Koch reaction (1897), the Gattermann aldehyde synthesis (1898) and the Gattermann-Stika pyridine synthesis (1916). He was very interested in aromatic acids, but also prepared various exotic inorganic compounds, notably the preparation of pure (and highly explosive) nitrogen trichloride. His famous textbook of practical organic chemistry was fondly known (or perhaps more accurately derided) as "Gattermanns Kochbuch".

Carl Magnus von Hell (1849-1926). Studied chemistry at the polytechnic in his home town Stuttgart and Munich Polytechnic. He worked at Stuttgart with Hermann von Fehling (1812-1885) and succeeded him as Professor of Chemistry in 1883. His greatest achievement was the synthesis of then largest known hydrocarbon (C60H122) in 1889. His name is associated with the Hell-Volhard-Zelinski bromination (1881-1887).

Felix Hoffmann (1868-1946). Born in Ludwigsburg, Württemberg. Studied pharmacy and chemistry (under Eugen Bamberger) at Munich. He worked at Bayer, where he synthesised acetylsalicylic acid and proposed it as an alternative to sodium salicylate as an antirheumatic drug in 1897. After his retirement in 1928, he studied art history in Italy and Switzerland, where he died.

Friedrich Hoffmann (1660-1742). Born in Halle, the son of a physician of the same name (d. 1675, confusingly his father's name was sometimes spelt Hofmann). Visited England and met Robert Boyle. Professor of medicine at Halle for forty-eight years. Carried out important work on spa waters, including the Epsom spa. Associated with Hoffmann's drops (solution of ether in ethanol).

Fritz Hoffmann (1868-1920). Born in Basle. Married Adèle La Roche in 1895 and joined her surname to his. Founded the Swiss pharmaceutical company Hoffmann-La Roche in October 1896.

Roald Hoffmann (1937-). Born in Zloczow, Poland. Went to Columbia and Harvard Universities after narrowly escaping from the Nazis. Collaborated with R. B. Woodward on the conservation of orbital symmetry, hence the Woodward-Hoffmann rules. Awarded the Nobel prize in 1981.

Ulrich Hoffmann (1900-1970). Born in Chemnitz and studied chemistry at the Technische Hochschule in Dresden. At I. G. Farben in Ludwgishafen in the 1920s, he worked with Walter Reppe on the industrial synthesis of butadiene. Became joint managing director of Chemical Werke Hüls (1938-1945). He was dismissed from CW Hüls by the British and later worked for Degussa.

Albert Hofmann (1906-). Born in Baden, Switzerland. Worked for Sandoz. Famous for his work on the ergot alkaloids, including the accidental discovery of the pyschotomimetic effects of LSD in 1943 and the total synthesis of ergotamine in 1961. Despite experiencing the first 'acid trip', Albert Hofmann is still alive and well at the age of 92.

August Wilhelm [von] Hofmann (1818-1892). Born in Giessen and studied under Liebig. Professor at the Royal College of Chemistry in London (1845-1865), and then Berlin (1865-1892). Associated with the Hofmann reaction (and various other double-barreled reactions), Hofmann degradation (sometimes mistakenly given to the unrelated Hofmann reaction), Hofmann primary amine test (carbylamine reaction), Hofmann rule, Hofmann's violet, Hofmann method of vapour densities, and the Hofmann voltammeter, which is surely more than enough for one person, even one as ambitious as AW.

Fritz Hofmann (1866-1956). Born in Kölleda, Thuringia (now in Saxony-Anhalt), apprenticed to a pharmacist in Göttingen (other sources say Berlin) and studied chemistry in Berlin and Rostock (under August Michaelis). After working as an assistant to Ludwig Claisen in Aachen, he joined Bayer. Developed synthetic rubbers, notably 'methyl rubber', between 1907 and 1918. Director of the Coal Research Institute at Breslau (1918-1934). Died in Hanover.

Karl Andreas Hofmann (1870-1940). Born in Ansbach, Bavaria, and studied chemistry under Adolf von Baeyer at Munich. Became professor of inorganic chemistry at the Technische Hochschule, Charlottenburg. Best known for his textbook of inorganic chemistry, first published in 1918.

Klaus H. Hofmann (1911-). Born in Karlsruhe, studied chemsitry at ETH, Zurich, under Ruzicka. Professor at University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Studied biotin and fatty acids containing cyclopropene and cyclopropane rings; also synthesised an ACTH-related polypeptide.

Ulrich Hofmann (1903-1986). Born in Munich, son of Karl Andreas Hofmann. Studied under his father at the Technische Hochschule, Charlottenburg. Professor of inorganic chemistry at several number of universities, starting with Rostock in 1936 and culminating with Heidelberg in 1960.

Nikolai Matveeviè Kishner (1867-1935). Born in Moscow and educated at the university there under Valdimir Vasilieviè Markownikov (1838-1904). He became a professor at Tomsk Institute of Technology and in 1914, at the short-lived Municipal University of Moscow. After the Communists took over, he was given the task of developing the Soviet dye industry. His anme is associated with Wolff-Kishner reaction (1911-2).

Ludwig Knorr (1859-1921). Studied chemistry at the university in his home town, Munich, and at Heidelberg. He became a close colleague of Emil Fischer and followed him to the Universities of Erlangen and Würzburg, before being appointed Professor of Chemistry at Jena in 1888. Knorr gave his name to syntheses of pyrazoles (1883), pyrroles (1884) and quinolines (1886). He was the brother-in-law of Oskar Piloty.

Hans Meerwein (1879-1965). Born in Hamburg, the son of a architect, he studied chemistry at the Fresenius chemistry school in Wiesbaden before going to Bonn. After taking his doctorate at the polytechnic in Berlin-Charlottenburg, he returned to Bonn. He later held Chairs at Königsberg and Marburg. Meerwein's main interest was carbonium ion chemistry and carbonium ion polymerisation. The chemical giant I.G. Farben was very interested in his research and funded his work generously. In 1914, during his study of the pinacol-pinacolone rearrangement, he generalised Egor Vagner's mechanism for the conversion of a-pinene into bornyl chloride (Wagner-Meerwein rearrangement). Meerwein's name is also associated with the Meerwein methylation, the Meerwein arylation (1939) and Meerwein-Ponndorf-Verley reduction (1925-6).

Arthur Michael (1855-1942). Born in Buffalo and studied chemistry at Heidelberg under Robert Bunsen (1811-1899) and at Berlin under August Wilhelm Hofmann (1818-1892). He then studied under Adolphe Wurtz (1817-1884) in Paris and Dimitri Ivanoviè Mendeleev (1834-1907) in St Petersburg, but never bothered to take a degree. He was made Professor of Chemistry at Tufts College near Boston. In 1889, he married one of his most brilliant students, Helen Cecilia DeSilver Abbott (1857-1904), one of the few women organic chemists in this period. After a failed attempt to run the chemistry department at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1891, he spent three years working with his wife in his private laboratory on the Isle of Wight before returning to Tufts. After he retired from Tufts in 1907, Michael set up another private laboratory at Newton Center near Boston. Five years later, he was appointed a Professor of Chemistry, without lecturing duties, at Harvard University.

Oskar Piloty (1866-1915). Was the son of an artist and was educated at the university in his home town of Munich, under Adolf von Baeyer and later married Baeyer's daughter. Piloty was also the brother-in-law of Ludwig Knorr (1859-1921). He took his doctorate under Emil Fischer in Würzburg and followed Fischer to Berlin. In 1899, he joined his father-in-law in Munich as Professor of Inorganic Chemistry. Piloty initially focussed on sugar chemistry, but later turned his attention to the structure of the natural pyrroles. After one of his sons was killed in the early days of the First World War, Piloty volunteered to serve at the western front, and was killed by a bullet while on duty at the front near the Somme.

Sergei Nikolaeviè Reformatski (1860-1934). Born in Borisoglebskoe, near Ivanovo (which later became a centre of the Soviet petrochemical industry with the help of Zelinski), and studied chemistry under Aleksandr Michailoviè Sayteff or Zajcev (1841-1910) at Kazan, before travelling to Heidelberg and Leipzig. He took his doctorate at the University of Warsaw. Reformatski was Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Kiev for over forty years and was also associated with the development of the Soviet synthetic rubber industry in the 1930s. His synthesis of a-hydroxy esters (1887) has remained popular.

Karl Ludwig Reimer (1845-1883). Born in Leipzig, but grew up in Berlin. He studied chemistry at Göttingen, Griefswald and Heidelberg, and took his doctorate under August Wilhem Hofmann (1818-1892) in 1871. He then entered industry, but continued his research. In 1876, he discovered a new synthesis of salicylaldehyde from phenol, which he developed in collaboration with his former Berlin colleague Ferdinand Tiemann (1848-1899). Reimer soon dropped out of this research, presumably to concentrate on the development of Haarmann and Reimer of Holzminden, founded in 1876 and now part of Bayer. His place was taken by Karl Ludwig Reimer (1856-1921).

Karl Ludwig Reimer (1856-1921). Was also the son of a Berlin publisher and may have been a relative. The younger Reimer also went into industry after taking his doctorate and eventually worked in the potash industry at Stassfurt.

Traugott Sandmeyer (1854-1922). Born in Wettingen near Zurich, and lived in the Zurich area for nearly all of his life. He trained as a precision instrument-maker, but became interested in chemistry. Self-educated in chemistry, he carried out chemical experiments in his kitchen. In 1881, he became a lecture assistant to Victor Meyer (1848-1897). He followed Meyer to Göttingen in 1886, but soon returned to Zurich and worked for Arthur Hantzsch (1857-1935). Sandmeyer joined Geigy as a research scientist in 1888, and eventually became a director of the firm. He discovered the decomposition of aryl diazonium chlorides to chloroarenes in the presence of copper (I) chloride in 1884. He also worked on the triphenylmethane dyes and the synthesis of isatin. Many years before, he had suggested to Victor Meyer an impurity in commerical benzene was responsible for the isatin reaction with sulphuric acid, thereby paving the way for Meyer's discovery of thiophen.

Karl-Friedrich Schmidt (1887-1971). Born in Heidelberg and studied chemistry in his home town and at the University of Munich, before taking his doctorate under Theodor Curtius (1857-1928) at Heidelberg. He became Professor of Organic Chemistry at the Swedish University at Åbo (or Turku) in Finland in 1922, returning to Heidelberg three years later. He then became a board director of the pharmaceutical firm Chemische Fabrik Knoll of Ludwigshafen, but set up his own laboratory in 1936.

Hans Stobbe (1860-1938). Born in Tiegenhof, near Danzig, and was educated at Heidelburg, Munich, Strassburg and Leipzig, finally switching to chemistry under the influence of Johannes Wislicenus. He became Professor of Organic Chemistry at Leipzig in 1904, after the death of Wislicenus. Stobbe was not only one of the founders of physical organic chemistry, but also a pioneer of polymer chemistry, and he investigated the polymerisation of styrene as early as 1909. Between 1928 and 1938, Stobbe was an editor of "Poggendorff" (properly speaking the Biographisch-Literarisches Handwörterbuch). His name is associated with the Stobbe condensation of diethyl succinate (1893).

Adolph Strecker (1822-1871). Born in Darmstadt, the son of an archivist, and studied chemistry at Giessen under his fellow Darmstadter Justus von Liebig (1803-1873). He then became Professor of Chemistry at the University of Kristiania (Oslo), moving to Tübingen in 1860 and to Würzburg ten years later. Strecker synthesised alanine from acetaldehyde via its condensation product with ammonia and hydrogen cyanide in 1850. Twenty-five years later, Emil Erlenmeyer (1825-1909) developed this reaction into a general synthesis of amino-acids, and showed that the intermediate was probably the á-aminonitrile. It remains very popular today, nearly one and a half centuries after its initial appearance. Strecker also synthesised taurine and organometallic compounds of mercury, antimony and tin. His name is also associated with the Strecker degradation (1862) of á-amino-acids, and the Strecker sulphite alkylation (1868), a result of his work on alizarin.

Johann Carl Wilhelm Ferdinand Tiemann (1848-1899). Born in Rübeland, in the Harz, and originally trained as a pharmacist at the polytechnic in Brunswick. He then switched to chemistry and worked as an assistant to August Wilhelm Hofmann (1818-1892), preparing TNT for the first time in 1870. Tiemann became a silent partner to Haarmann in Holzminden and Georges de Laire (1836-1908) in Paris, and carried out research on fragrances. He later elucidated the structure of the interrelated terpenes. His name is associated with the Reimer-Tiemann reaction (1876) and the Tiemann rearrangement of amide oxides (1891).

Egor Egoroviè Vagner (1849-1903). Born in Kazan. He initially trained at the University of Kazan to become a lawyer like his father, but soon switched to chemistry, probably under the influence of another Kazan native Aleksandr Michailoviè Sayteff or Zajcev (1841-1910). He then went to the University of St Petersburg, and Institute of Forestry and Agriculture in Novo-Aleksandria (near Lublin) before taking up a Chair in Organic Chemistry at the University of Warsaw. He soon transferred his chair to the new polytechnic in Warsaw. Initially Vagner prepared secondary alcohols using zinc alkyls, but soon switched to terpene chemistry. In the course of this work, he suggested in 1899, that the formation of bornyl chloride from á-pinene involved an internal rearrangment. In 1914, this reaction was generalised by Hans Meerwein (1879-1965) as the Wagner-Meerwein rearrangement. Vagner used the German spelling of his name in papers published in German journals.

Victor Villiger (1868-1934). Born in the Swiss village of Cham am Zuger See in the Aarau, and studied chemistry under Carl Graebe (1841-1927) at the University of Geneva. After his military service, Villiger went to Munich to work with Adolf von Baeyer. Baeyer was very pleased with his new assistant and they worked together for eleven years. In 1904, Villiger decided to become a research chemist at BASF, a firm with close links with Baeyer. At BASF in Ludwigshafen, he initially worked with August Bernthsen (1855-1931) on thiazin and oxazin dyestuffs, and later joined the central research laboratory. His name is associated with the still popular Baeyer-Villiger oxidation of ketones (1899).

Jacob Volhard (1834-1910). Born in Darmstadt and he studied chemistry at Giessen under his fellow Darmstadter Justus von Liebig, whom he followed to Munich. After working in London (under Hofmann) and Marburg (under Kolbe), he became Professor of Organic Chemistry at Munich, briefly at Erlangen and finally in Halle. Volhard is best known for his development of volumetric analysis, notably the titration of silver with ammonium thiocyanate, but he also synthesised creatine in 1868. His name is associated with the Hell-Volhard-Zelinski bromination (1881-1887) and the Volhard-Erdmann cyclisation (1885).

von Hell see Hell

Gertrude Maude Walsh (1886-1954). Born in Over near Manchester, the daughter of a coal salesman, and studied chemistry at Manchester University, where she worked under Chaim Weizmann (1874-1952). She then joined the research group of Robert Robinson (1886-1975) and married him in 1912. She continued her research alongside her husband and did some important work on plant pigments and penicillin. Her name is associated (with her husband) with the Piloty-Robinson reaction (1910, 1918).

Wagner see also Vagner

Theodor Wagner-Jauregg (b.1903). Born in Vienna, the son of Leopold Wagner-Jauregg, the Nobel Laureate for medicine in 1927. He studied chemistry at the Universities of Vienna and Munich, before working with Richard Kuhn (1900-1967) in Zurich. He taught at Heidelberg before taking up a position at the Georg-Speyer-Haus research institute in Frankfurt in 1936. After the war, Wagner-Jauregg was transferred by the US Army to the United States, one of the few German chemists to co-operate with "Operation Paperclip". He worked in the US Chemical Corps at Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland. In 1955, he went to Switzerland to become research director of a small pharmaceutical company. The Wagner-Jauregg reaction (1930), the addition of maleic anhydride to 1,1-diarylethenes, is fairly obscure, and is usually considered to be a special case of the Diels-Alder reaction.

Ludwig Wolff (1857-1919). Born in Neustadt in the Palatinate and was educated at the University of Würzburg and Munich Polytechnic. He was one of the ambitious young German chemists who flocked to the recently Germanised University of Strassburg, where Rudolf Fittig (1835-1910) and Adolf von Baeyer were professors and Emil Fischer was a fellow student. In 1891, he became Professor of Analytical Chemistry at Jena, where he worked with Ludwig Knorr. His name is associated with the Wolff-Kishner reaction (1911-2) and the Wolff rearrangement (1912).

Nikolai Dimitrieviè Zelinski (1861-1953). Born in Tiraspol near Kishinev in Bessarabia and educated at the University of Odessa, before studying at Leipzig and Göttingen. After taking his doctorate at Odessa, he became Professor of Organic and Analytical Chemistry at the University of Moscow. In 1911, he resigned in protest at the government's education policies, like Borodin he was a strong supporter of women's education, and became director of a government laboratory in St Petersburg. After the revolution in 1917, he returned to Moscow University, where he helped to develop the Soviet petrochemical and synthetic rubber industries. His name is associated with the Hell-Volhard-Zelinski bromination (1881-1887).

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