IN THE 19TH
1800 - 1825
1825 - 1850
1850 - 1875
1875 - 1900
Jakob Berzelius proposes a system of chemical symbols in which elements
are represented by the first letters of their names. Compounds are represented
by these letters with superscripts indicating combining weights, which
in turn suggest the number of atoms combining.
Thomas Thomson begins an annual retrospective review of chemical
literature in his Annals of Philosophy, a practice later adopted
by other editors like Berzelius.
Leopold Gmelin publishes
the first edition of his Handbuch der Anorganischen Chemie.
The Pharmacopoeia of the United States is published,
establishing standard English and Latin names for drugs.
Babbage develops his "difference engine," the first step towards the
In Germany Pharmaceutisches Centralblatt is issued
as the first chemistry-related abstracts journal. Becomes Chemisches-Pharmaceutisches
Centralblatt in 1850 and Chemisches Zentralblatt in 1856. The
Deutsche Chemische Gesellschaft assumes responsibility for publication
Hoe and Company build the first cylinder press constructed in the US
Justus Liebig acquires Annalen der Pharmacie. Name
later changes to Justus Liebigs Annalen der Chemie and, most recently,
to European Journal of Organic Chemistry.
Babbage designs his "analytical engine."
Library in the Patent Office’s Agricultural Section is established.
Precursor to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Library and the National
Library of Agriculture (NAL) (Emard, 1976).
Dancer develops microphotography,
combining photography and microscopy (Emard,
The Chemical Society of London is established.
Richard Hoe installs first commercial application of his
rotary printing press (Emard, 1976).
American Medical Association (AMA) establishes a committee
on medical literature (Emard, 1976).
Quarterly Journal of the Chemical Society of London
(later, Journal of the Chemical Society) is first published. In
1871 it begins including abstracts of the chemical literature.
F. Poole begins the Index to Periodical Literature, the first
general periodical literature index in the US.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
is founded. It includes a section devoted to chemistry.
Boole publishes his An Investigation into Laws of Thought...,
which lays the foundations for Boolean algebra, which is later used in
information retrieval (Smith, 1993).
The Société Chimique de Paris is established.
Begins publication of Bulletin as well as Répertoire de
chimie pure and Répertoire de chimie appliquée,
which includes abstracts.
In a published outline of a chemistry course, Stanislao Cannizzaro
clarifies the calculation of atomic weights, then a highly contentious
subject, using, in part, the long-neglected hypothesis put forward by Amedeo
Avagadro in 1811.
Friedrich August Kekule and Archibald Scott Couper recognize
that carbon atoms have the ability to link to one another in chains.
Archibald Scott Couper uses straight lines to indicate valence
bonds in organic compounds, as is still the practice in most modern structural
Chemical News and Journal of Physical Science (with
which is incorporated the Chemical Gazette), the first weekly chemistry
periodical, is published in England. It continues to be published until
Congress is held at Karlsruhe Technische Hochschule to discuss
the feasibility of establishing a systematic and rational nomenclature
for chemistry. The congress does not reach any conclusive results, but
several key participants return home with Stanislao Cannizzaro's outline
(1858), which ultimately convinces them of the validity of his scheme for
calculating atomic weights. (Skolnik, "Milestones,"
Government Printing Office is established.
The Deutsche Chemische Gesellschaft is established. Begins
publication of its journal, Berichte.
The Royal Society begins publication of its Catalogue
of Papers in London.
Sholes, Carlos Glidden, and S. W. Soule produce the first practical
typewriter (Emard, 1976).
The Rossiskoe Khimicheskoe Obschestvo (now Russko Khimichesko
Obschestvo) is established in Russia. Begins publication of a journal the
Julius Lothar Meyer publishes a periodic table similar to
Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev's that he has been developing since 1864.
Societa Chimia Italiana is established in Italy. Begins publication
of a journal the same year.
Jacobus Henricus van't Hoff and Joseph Achille LeBel's recognition
that there are two ways of arranging four unlike substituents tetrahedrally
around a carbon atom marks the beginning of three-dimensional
structural organic chemistry and the associated problem of representing
these structures graphically and, much later, in a machine-readable code.
Baldwin is granted the first US patent for a practical calculating
machine that performs four arithmetic functions (Emard,
Kagaku-kai is established in Tokyo and, two years later,
publishes its journal in Japanese; in 1921, becomes Nippon Kagaku-kai.
issues the first edition of his Handbuch der Organischen Chemie,
a ready reference to fifteen hundred organic chemicals.
AAAS Committee on Indexing Chemical Literature is established.
London's Chemical Society publishes Nomenclature and Notation,
guidelines for establishing systematic and uniform practices.
ACS establishes the Committee on Nomenclature and Notation.
Lexicon der Kohlenstoffverbindungen, a formula index
to Beilstein's Handbuch der Organischen Chemie, is published by
Victor von Richter.
Journal of the Association of Engineering Societies
begins abstracting section, "Index Notes," covering about one hundred journals
in the field of engineering. Becomes Engineering Index in 1896.
Hollerith’s card tabulating system is used for the first time to collect
public health statistics in Baltimore. (Norberg,
1990). Hollerith credits much of his idea for developing the system
to Billings of the Army Medical
Merganthaler Linotype machine is invented by Ottmar Merganthaler
Burroughs invents the first workable adding and listing calculator.
First edition of Merck Index is published; at first
it is just a list of chemicals and drugs available from Merck & Co.
Eastman develops a practical photographic film.
Library of the USDA issues a catalog of its collections.
establishes principles that set the stage for an evolving chemical nomenclature.
These principles are developed more fully by various forerunners of the
International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), which is founded
in 1919 (Skolnik, "Milestones," 1976).
AAAS Committee on Indexing Chemical Literature presents plans
for an international index to the chemical literature (Emard,
Herbert H. Field proposes a plan for the control of international
literature in the field of zoology. A bureau, with Field as director, is
established in Zurich in 1896. It begins the Concilium Bibliographicum,
which lasts until World War I (Werdel &
Otlet and Henri LaFontaine found the International Institute of Bibliography
(IIB) (Rayward, "International Federation,"
Paul Otlet and others at the IIB develop the Universal Decimal
Classification (UDC) System (Buckland, 1996).
First U. S. venture in chemical abstracting, the Review
of American Chemical Research (a supplement to the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology's (MIT) Technology Quarterly), undertaken
by Arthur A. Noyes. In 1897 it is incorporated into the Journal of the
American Chemical Society.
Alfred Werner introduces a systematic nomenclature for coordination
compounds based on the groups surrounding a central metal atom.
Hollerith establishes his Tabulating
Machine Company to hold all his patents and manufacture the tabulating
First patent for a marginal
punch card is issued to H. P. Stamford (Reichman,
Royal Society (London) holds an international conference
on the planning of an International Catalogue of Scientific Literature.
US representatives include: Simon Newcomb, Director of the Smithsonian
Institution, and Billings (Werdel
& Adams, 1976).
Noyes’ abstracting publication becomes a part of the ACS'