Birthplace: Saint-André-d'Hébertot, France
Location of death: Saint-André-d'Hébertot, France
Cause of death: unspecified
Race or Ethnicity: White
Executive summary: Discovered beryllium and chromium
French chemist, was born at Saint-André-d'Hébertot in Normandy on the 16th of May 1763. His first acquaintance with chemistry was gained as laboratory boy to an apothecary in Rouen (1777-79), and after various vicissitudes he obtained an introduction to Antoine François Fourcroy, in whose laboratory he was an assistant from 1783-91. At first his work appeared as that of his master and patron, then in their joint names; but in 1790 he began to publish on his own authority, and between that year and 1833 his name is associated with 376 papers. Most of these were simple records of patient and laborious analytical operations, and it is perhaps surprising that among all the substances he analysed he only detected two new elements -- beryllium (1798) in beryl and chromium (1797) in a red lead ore from Siberia. Either together or successively he held the offices of inspector of mines, professor at the School of Mines and at the Polytechnic School, assayer of gold and silver articles, professor of chemistry in the Collège de France and at the Jardin des Plantes, member of the Council of Industry and Commerce, commissioner on the pharmacy laws, and finally professor of chemistry to the Medical Faculty, to which he succeeded on Fourcroy's death in 1809. His lectures, which were supplemented with practical laboratory teaching, were attended by many chemists who subsequently attained distinction. He died at his birthplace on the 14th of November 1829.
Professor: School of Mines, Paris
Professor: École Polytechnique, Paris
Professor: Collège de France
Professor: Jardin des Plantes
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