Martin Heinrich Klaproth

1743 (Wernigerode, Germany) – 1817 (Berlin)

Klaproth, described as “incorruptibly accurate”, was a pioneer of analytic chemistry, discovering or co-discovering several metallic elements. Berzelius, the truly great chemist of the age, was a correspondent, and closely involved in the discovery or identification of some of the same elements. Van Marum also corresponded with Klaproth, while Humboldt made a point of introducing his friend Gay-Lussac to him. Bode was a professional colleague; Klaproth’s naming of uranium, after Uranus, helped seal the planet’s agreed name. Werner was both student and friend, while the orientalist Julius Klaproth was his son.

Martin Heinrich Klaproth knew…