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It was only after that reliable and full translations of his monumental textbook began to appear, which was first begun in Swedish in A new edition, edited from on by Friedrich Wöhler, appeared first in German, the Swedish version following along behind. This edition was the first by Berzelius to treat organic chemistry in detail; the two organic volumes can be viewed as the first full-length organic chemistry textbook in history. Moreover, Berzelius' new position as Secretary of the Swedish Academy of Sciences brought with it an obligation to write an annual report on the progress of chemistry in all subfields throughout the world.

The first of these reports, for the calendar year , was quickly translated into German, and a pattern was established that persisted until Berzelius' death. The size of these reports, usually known by their German name Jahresberichte , gradually increased until they were the size of substantial books.

In the s, Berzelius was at the top of his form and he knew it. His magisterial judgments of his colleagues' work in the reports were closely followed and highly respected. Berzelius had become the supreme judge and legislator in his science, the one man whose word mattered to all. An additional factor promoting Berzelius' high standing in Germany was his practice of accepting selected applicants for advanced work in his laboratory.

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His second guest worker, and the first non-Scandinavian, was C. Gmelin in , who later became a professor at Tübingen. Closely following Berzelius' first visit to Germany came the young Eilhard Mitscherlich and the brothers Heinrich and Gustav Rose, all from Berlin and all in Mitscherlich's visit resulted from the circumstance that Altenstein had offered Berzelius the chair of chemistry at the university, vacated by Klaproth's. Berzelius declined; at least six others were then offered or were considered for the chair, including Stromeyer and Leopold Gmelin.

Asked his advice during his visit to Germany in , Berzelius recommended Mitscherlich, whom he had only just befriended. Altenstein agreed, but with the proviso that Mitscherlich should first study with Berzelius in Stockholm. The Rose brothers' trips were also related to this connection, as well as to their friendship with Mitscherlich.

At most, Berzelius accommodated two or three guests in his laboratory, and he often had none at all.


Systematic instruction was not given; rather, Berzelius allowed visitors to follow their own research ideas, simply giving advice whenever it was desired. In addition to the four Germans just mentioned, Wöhler came to Stockholm in and Gustav Magnus, another Berliner, in By Justus Liebig could be considered a disciple of Berzelius, even though he had not studied directly with the master; a few years later, Robert Bunsen joined the Berzelians, again in spirit if not in the flesh in Stockholm.

German chemistry was thus strongly infused with Berzelian ideas in the s and s, through both direct and indirect channels. By the late s, however, Berzelius was in a theoretical retreat, most noticeably in the field of organic chemistry, largely because of the experiments and ideas of upstart French chemists such as J. Dumas, Auguste Laurent, and Charles Gerhardt. Berzelius himself, who gave up most laboratory work by about , grew increasingly inflexible and cantankerous. His opinions were always freely and openly expressed in his Jahresberichte , and they created much ill will among those whom he attacked—above all, the French chemists, but also his hitherto devoted admirer Liebig.

His most loyal disciple and friend, however, was Wöhler. Wöhler [12] was the son of a Hessian agronomist and veterinarian, and he grew up near Frankfurt. After attending the Gymnasium there, he entered Marburg University in with the intent of studying medicine. His passion from early childhood, however, had been chemical experimentation and mineral collecting, and Ferdinand Wurzer's lectures did not attract him.

Accordingly, he transferred to Heidelberg to study with Leopold Gmelin. But Gmelin judged that Wöhler already knew too much chemistry to profit from his courses; he advised Wöhler to study with Berzelius after receiving his M. In the fall of , upon receiving a favorable response to his inquiry from Stockholm, Wöhler took this step.

It determined the course of his life. Wöhler not only learned Berzelian techniques in his year in Stockholm, he also learned fluent Swedish and formed an extremely close friendship with the older Swede that lasted until Berzelius' death. Berzelius eventually urged the familiar form of address upon his student—for the time, an unusually strong mark of regard of an older for a younger man.

Back in Germany, Wöhler sought habilitation at Heidelberg, but was instead hired for the new Berlin Gewerbeschule trade school at a salary of thalers. Three years later, he had become a highly respected chemist and was earning thalers. Late in Wöhler accepted for personal reasons a call to the newly founded Technische Hochschule Institute of Technology in Kassel at a diminished salary of thalers plus free rent.

There he continued the experimental work that he had begun so well in Berlin. Wöhler's work on cyano compounds, beryllium, yttrium, and aluminum had already brought him fame; his synthesis of urea in was particularly dramatic, in its implications both for organic synthesis and organic isomerism. Wöhler's models were the sober empiricist Gmelin and the incomparable Berzelius; he was a superb and enormously prolific experimental chemist.

Disinclined toward philosophy or even chemical theory, Wöhler fit in well with the rationalist and practical traditions of the Berlin Gewerbeschule and Kasseler Technische Hochschule and, later, the University of Göttingen. He impressed everyone with his kind and unassuming character. In their correspondence, he and Berzelius often ridiculed the Naturphilosophen and the Hegelian philosophers.

Wöhler first met Liebig in , and the two young chemists always seemed to be stepping on each others' toes in their research during the middle to late s. To avoid future problems, in they began to collaborate occasionally on topics of interest to both of them. By this time they were already close friends, and they maintained this friendship until Liebig's death in Wöhler learned from Liebig the newly improved method for elemental organic analysis one year after Liebig developed it in the fall of In the spring of , Wöhler transferred to Göttingen as Stromeyer's successor.

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Gmelin had declined the offer, and Wöhler, supported by Gmelin and Berzelius, was preferred over his close rival and friend Liebig. Liebig wrote Wöhler that he, like Gmelin, would have declined, but regretted that he did not get the offer to use to good effect with his administration.

Gmelin a small but well-equipped teaching and research laboratory on the ground floor of an old but spacious dwelling; a director's residence was provided upstairs. Shortly after his arrival, Wöhler wrote Berzelius describing many details, quite pleased with his new environs. Since soon after his arrival in Göttingen Wöhler provided Kolbe with his first detailed introduction to chemistry, and since Wöhler's early teaching career has never been closely studied, a discussion of the latter is warranted. Every semester Wöhler taught general theoretical inorganic chemistry at A.

In the summer semester he also taught pharmacy Monday through Friday at A. Advanced students were allowed to work all day every day in the lab.

He used the laboratory left him by Stromeyer, although he reappointed it in "Berzelian" style during his first semester and refloored and repainted it two years later. It appears that Wöhler had reasonable demand for his lectures and practicum during his first two years, but precise numbers and names are not available. Whatever the initial numbers were, Wöhler's correspondence provides evidence for a noticeable increase in his enrollments beginning in summer semester —coincidentally, the semester that Hermann Kolbe entered the university.

Although exact information is sketchy here, too, we do know that he had twenty-eight students taking the practicum by the spring of and forty by the end of , a remarkable level that continued to be maintained thereafter. After the influx started, it appears that Wöhler began to assign special projects to his most advanced students, investigations that might yield publishable results. There is no evidence that he ever did this in Berlin or Kassel, although it appears that he did have a practicum in Kassel.


Among the first of what Jeffrey Johnson properly calls "second-generation institutes," [7] it was for a decade gewerbeschule blind dating far the largest and most modern academic laboratory in the world and was much imitated. In conclusion, Kolbe's career provides an unexcelled lens through which to view transformations in pedagogy, theory construction, research practice, and administration of academic science in the context of German society. Carl Friedrich Ludwig Kolbe 18 December October attended the Göttingen Gymnasium, preparatory to the study of theology at the university, matriculating during the French occupation in April A convenient vehicle for this purpose is the life and career of Hermann Kolbe Partial tears and chips along the folds; uneven bottom edge. Share 0 0 0. To my mind, Kolbe also appears to have developed a mental illness. As it happens, Elliehausen was a relatively well-endowed position, possessing not only fertile prebendal lands but also agricultural assets at the parsonage. Feuilles d'Acanthe, rouge. Stromeyer is a particularly interesting figure since it appears that his practicum was the first to gewerbeschule blind dating advertised in a university course list. Light foxing on some of the pages. He maintained a lifelong commitment to physiological chemistry and to practical and empirical medicine due to his convictions of utility, he taught his entire career at a professional medical school rather than a university, and he tenaciously fought the neohumanists, Naturphilosophen, and other idealist philosophers of the Schelling-Hegel school. Doch damit nicht genug: Das erste Kind aus der Beziehung darf lebenslang gratis in Neusell Skifahren! London: Hodder and Stoughton, n.

Schnedermann, who came in the fall of Apparently all were from bourgeois Hanoverian families. Schnedermann worked with Wöhler for no less than six years, published a number of short papers, and became Wöhler's assistant in his last semester. The first Wöhler chemistry Ph. He later became professor of chemistry in Solothurn, Switzerland. In these early years, Wöhler's approach to publication of his student's work varied according to its significance and the student's precise role. He did not hesitate to use student results in his own papers, often without even naming the student, if the work was simply straightforward or mechanical assistance.

If more skill or persistence had been needed, Wöhler was careful to acknowledge the assistance by name. Finally, there are a few examples in these years of Wöhler supervising what was essentially independent original research, and in such cases, the student published in his name alone. From until , Wöhler appears to have had only a very small number of these select advanced students working on such projects at any given time—one, two, or three per semester. By summer semester —again, ironically, the very semester Kolbe became an all-day Praktikant—a real research cohort of eight advanced workers emerged for the first time.

The pattern for the future was now set. Wöhler's increasing popularity and fame, and the rising profile of the chemistry profession itself, ensured that Wöhler would have substantial and rising enrollments ever after. Having inherited Stromeyer's assistant, H. That semester he had another increase, now past forty Praktikanten, more than the space could really accommodate.


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No fewer than fourteen of these men were doing advanced projects and working not just the scheduled four or eight hours per week but morning to evening in the lab. Some additional information on Wöhler's students can be obtained from careful study of the Göttingen matriculation registry. During the. Eight listed chemistry as their field of study; the third of these was Kolbe.

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Kolbe's preparation apparently was not as thorough—or his progress not as swift—as that of Voelckel or Schnedermann, who arrived slightly later but were earlier in publishing articles from the lab. Nonetheless, it is interesting to note that Wöhler's most famous student was also very nearly his first. The rest of these twenty-one Wöhler students from Kolbe's days in Göttingen are divided by discipline roughly equally among pharmacy, medicine, and philosophy.

This cohort represents but a small fraction of the total number passing through Wöhler's lab during these years. The rest cannot be identified by name, but it is probable that they were mostly students of pharmacy or medicine. All told, the number of students who passed through his laboratory from his arrival in Göttingen until Kolbe left for Marburg six years later was probably between and Early in the spring of , ground was broken for a new laboratory extension in Hospitalstrasse, immediately adjacent to the old lab.