MENDELEEV, Dmitri Ivanovich (1834-1907). Osnovy khimii. [Principles of Chemistry]. St Petersburg: 1869-71.

Add to collection

His preface, dated March 1869, contains the first appearance of his periodic table, it was only shortly before publication that Mendeleev first realised how to group the elements according to the principle of atomicity. Principles of Chemistry was first conceived two years earlier, after Mendeleev had been appointed to the chair of chemistry in the University of St. Petersburg. Finding there was no book he could recommend to his students as a text for his lectures, he set out to write his own, deriving his basic plan from Gerhardts theory of types, whereby elements were grouped by valence in relation to oxygen. However, in his early chapters on alkali metals and specific heat, Mendeleev organised the halogens and alkali metals according to their atomic weight in order to show that, in spite of their common valency, they had a contrary chemical relationship. In seeing there was a regular progression between the atomic weights of all the elements, he was led on remarkably quickly to the formulation of the periodic law. DSB IX, p. 288, Bolton p. 664, cf. Grolier Science 74. 2 volumes, octavo (179 x 105mm). Half titles, engraved illustrations in text, folding letterpress table (faint dampstaining, some spotting, small repair in upper margin of second title, table mounted.) Contemporary Russian roan-backed boards (joints cracked, spines chipped, some abrasions to leather on the sides with loss, edges rubbed, endpaper renewed), in a cloth box. Provenance : an early reader (some pencil notes and underlining) – T. I. Kavrovskii (embossed stamps to titles).