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The First Periodic Table of the Elements

Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev (1834-1907). Osnovy khimii. [Principles of Chemistry]. St Petersburg: 1869-71. First edition of Mendeleev's principal work. Five parts in two octavo volumes. Engraved illustrations in text, folding letterpress table. Contemporary Russian roan-backed boards. Vol. 2 rebacked preserving original spine, Vol. 1 lacks rear free endpaper, bindings rubbed, lacks half-titles; inscription dated 1869 on flyleaf, a few repairs to table, some occasional pale spotting, housed in a morocco case.

Though his work built upon earlier discoveries, Dmitri Mendeleev is the scientist who is generally given sole credit for the development of the periodic table of elements. Mendeleev's periodic table first appeared in his preface to this work, dated March 1869, which followed soon after he had realized how to group the elements according to their atomic number or atomic weight. Earlier, while serving as chair of Chemistry at the University of St. Petersburg, Mendeleev did not have a text book to teach his students from, so he set out to write his own and in the process developed his table based on arranging groups of elements by their atomic weight, and eventually, seeing the regular progression between the weights of all elements he formulated the relationship between elements in his periodic table. Mendeleev also predicted the discovery of other elements and left space in his table for these new elements. Grolier Science 74.

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April, 2013
10th Wednesday
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