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Wilhelm August Lampadius

Wilhelm August Lampadius German chemist

German chemist
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro German chemist
A.K.A. Lampadius, Лампадиус, Вильгельм, Вильгельм Август Лампадиус, Вильгельм Лампадиус, Лампадиус Вильгельм Август, Лампадиус В., Лампадиус В. А., Лампадиус
Was Chemist Professor Educator Pharmacist Metallurgist
From Germany
Type Academia Engineering Healthcare Science
Gender male
Birth 8 August 1772, Hehlen, Germany
Death 13 April 1842, Freiberg, Germany (aged 69 years)
Star sign LeoLeo
The details

Wilhelm August Lampadius was born in Hehlen (Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel) on 8 August 1772 and died on 13 April 1842 in Freiberg. He was a German pharmacist in Göttingen from 1785 until 1791. Also he was an "extraordinary professor" of chemistry and mineralogy in 1794 and an "ordinary professor" in 1795. He taught at the Mining Academy in Freiberg.
Lampadius is best known for inflaming the first coal gas lantern on European ground.

Life and work

Lampadius completed in five years (started in 1785) his qualifications and became a pharmacist by completing the exam. At the University of Göttingen (1791–92) he was taught by Johann Friedrich Gmelin and Georg Christoph Lichtenberg. After that he got to know Martin Heinrich Klaproth and Sigismund Friedrich Hermbstädt in Berlin. At the same time Joachim Graf von Sternberg offered Lampadius to accompany him on a research travel to Russia and China. Their trip stopped in Moscow because they did not get the permission to enter interior Russia. So Lampadius followed von Sternberg to his possessions in Bohemia. There he worked as a chemist for the ironworks in Radwitz.

Klaproth helped him to become a professors's assistant at the mining academy in Freiberg. He specialized himself for metallurgical chemistry. Abraham Gottlob Werner recommended Lampadius and he was named as a professor for metallurgy. In 1811/12 Lampadius illuminated his street in front of his house in Freiberg with the first hard coal gas lantern in Europe.


In 1796 he accidentally obtained carbon disulfide (Schwefelalcohol) by destilling iron pyrites with moist charcoal. He concluded that sulphur and hydrogen are the source materials for the 'alcohol of sulphur'. He is regarded as the discoverer for "alcohol sulfuris". He figured out that lead dissolves in acids more easily, if it is alloyed with tin. This realisation read him the harmfulness of many plates and pans.
He dealt also with researches about the fodder beet sugar.



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