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Fabric Stain Removal Guide

What Happened and When?

  • A Chronology of Notable Achievements

Democritus (465 BC)
First to conceive matter in the form of particles, which he called atoms.

Alchemists (about 1000-1650)
Attempted to (1) change lead and other base metals to gold; (2) discover a universal solvent; and (3) discover a life-prolonging elixir. Used plant products and arsenic compounds to treat diseases.

Boyle, Sir Robert (1637-1691)
Formulated fundamental gas laws. First to conceive the possibility of small particles combining to form molecules; distinguished between compounds and mixtures; studied air and water pressures, desalination, crystals and electrical phenomena.

Priestley, Joseph (1733-1804)
Discovered oxygen, carbon monoxide and nitrous oxide.

Scheele, C.W. (1742-1786)
Discovered chlorine, tartaric acid, sensitivity of silver compounds to light (photochemistry); and oxidation of metals.

Le Blanc, Nicholas (1742-1806)
Invented a process for making soda ash from sodium sulfate, limestone and coal.

Lavoisier, A.L. (1743-1794)
Discovered nitrogen; studied acids and described composition of many organic compounds. Generally regarded as the father of chemistry.

Volta, A. (1745-1827)
Invented the electric battery, a series of "piles" or stacks of alternating layers of silver and zinc, or copper and zinc, separated by paper soaked in brine (electrolyte). See Activity (1).

Berthollet, C.L. (1748-1822)
Corrected Lavoiser’s theory of acids; discovered bleaching power of chlorine; studied combining weights of atoms (stoichiometry).

Jenner, Edward (1749-1823)
Discoverer of vaccination for prevention of smallpox (1776).

Dalton, John (1766-1844)
The first great chemical theorist; proposed atomic theory (1807); stated law of partial pressure of gases. His ideas led to laws of multiple proportions, constant composition and conservation of mass.

Avogadro, A. (1776-1856)
Proposed principle that equal volumes of gases contain the same number of molecules. The number (6.02 x 1023 for 22.41 litres of any gas) is a fundamental constant that applies to all chemical units.

Davy, Sir Humphry (1778-1829)
Laid foundation of electrochemistry, studied electroysis of salts in water and other electrochemical phenomena; isolated Na and K.

Gay-Lussac, J.L. (1778-1850)
Discovered boron and iodine, studied acids and bases and discovered indicators (litmus); improved production method for H2SO4, did basic research on behavior of gases versus temp and on the ratios of gas volumes in chemical reactions.

Berzelius J.J. (1779-1850)
Classified minerals chemically; discovered and isolated many elements (Se, Th, Si, Ti, Zr); coined the terms isomer and catalyst; noted existence of radicals; anticipated discovery of colloids.

Faraday, Michael (1791-1867)
Extended Davy’s work in electrochemistry. He developed theories of electrical and mechanical energy, electrolysis, corrosion, batteries, and electrometallurgy.

Wohler, F. (1800-1882)
First to synthesize an organic compound (urea, 1828) (a rearrangement reaction). This discovery was the beginning of synthetic organic chemistry.

Goodyear, Charles (1800-1860)
Discovered vulcanization of rubber (1844) by sulphur, inorganic accelerator, and heat. Hancock in England made a parallel discovery.

Liebig, J. von (1803-1873)
Fundamental investigation of plant life (photosynthesis) and soil chemistry; first to propose use of fertilisers. Discovered chloroform and cyanogen compounds.

Graham, Thomas (1822-1869)
Studied diffusion of solutions through membranes; established principles of colloid chemistry.

Pasteur, Louis (1822 - 1895)
(1) First to recognize infective bacteria as disease-causing agents; (2) developed concept of immunochemistry; (3) initiated heat-sterilization of wine and milk (pasteurization); (4) observed optical isomers (enantiomers) in tartaric acid.

Lister, Joseph (1827-1912)
Initiated use of antiseptics in surgery, e.g., phenols, carbolic acid, cresols.

Kekulé, A. (1829-1896)
Laid foundations of aromatic chemistry; conceived of four-valent carbon and structure of benzene ring; predicted isomeric substitutions (ortho-, meta-, para-).

Nobel, Alfred (1833-1896)
Invented dynamite, smokeless powder, blasting gelatin. Established international awards for achievements in chemistry, physics and medicine.

Mendeléev, D.I. (1834-1907)
Discovered periodicity of the elements and compiled the first Periodic Table.

Hyatt, J.W. (1837-1920)
Initiated plastics industry (1869) by invention of Celluloid (nitrocellulose modified with camphor).

Perkin, Sir W.H. (1838-1907)
Synthesized first organic dye (mauveine, 1856) and first synthetic perfume (coumarin). His work on dyes was continued and expanded by Hofmann in Germany.

Beilstein, F.K. (1838-1906)
Compiled Handbuchder organischen Chemie, a multi-volume compendium of properties and reactions of organic chemicals.

Gibbs, Josiah W. (1839-1903)
Stated three principal laws of thermodynamics; expounded nature of entropy and phase rule and the relation between chemical, electric and thermal energy.

Chardonnet, H. (1839-1924)
First to produce a synthetic fibre (nitrocellulose) with properties similar to rayon.

Boltzmann, L. (1844-1906)
Developed kinetic theory of gases, their viscosity and diffusion properties are summarized in Boltzmann’s Law.

Roentgen, W.K. (1845-1923)
Discovered x-radiation (1895). Awarded Nobel Prize in 1901.

Le Chatelier, H.L. (1850-1936)
Fundamental research on equilibrium reactions (Le Chatelier’s Law), combustion of gases, and metallurgy of iron and steel.

Becquerel, H. (1851-1908)
Discovered radioactivity, deflection of electrons by magnetic fields and gamma radiation. Nobel Prize 1903 (with the Curies).

Moisson, H. (1852- 907)
Developed electric furnace for making carbides and preparing pure metals; isolated fluorine (1886). Nobel Prize 1906.

Fischer, Emil (1852-1919)
Basic research on sugars, purines, uric acid, enzymes, nitric acid, ammonia. Pioneer work in sterochemistry. Nobel Prize 1902.

Thomson, Sir J.J. (1856-1940)
Research on cathode rays resulted in proof of existence of electrons (1896). Nobel Prize 1906.

Arrhenius, Svante (1859 - 1927)
Fundamental research on rates of reaction versus temperature, expressed by the Arrhenius equation; and on electrolytic dissociation. Nobel Prize 1903.

Hall, Charles Martin (1863-1914)
Invented method of aluminium manufacture by electrochemical reduction of alumina. Parallel discovery by Heroult in France.

Baekeland, Leo H. (1863-1944)
Invented phenolformaldehyde plastic (1907), the first completely synthetic resin (Bakelite).

Nernst, Walther Hermann (1864-1941)
Awarded Nobel Prize in 1920 for his work in thermochemistry, did basic research in electrochemistry and thermodynamics.

Werner, A. (1866-1919)
Introduced concept of coordination theory of valence (complex chemistry). Nobel Prize in 1913.

Curie, Marie (1867-1934)
Discovered and isolated radium; research on radioactivity of uranium. Nobel Prize 1903 (with Becquerel) in physics; in chemistry 1911.

Haber, F. (1868-1924)
Synthesized ammonia from nitrogen and hydrogen, the first industrial fixation of atmospheric nitrogen (the process was further developed by Bosch). Nobel Prize 1918.

Rutherford, Sir Ernest (1871-1937)
First to prove radioactive decay of heavy elements and to carry out a transmutation reaction (1919). Discovered half-life of radioactive elements. Nobel Prize 1908.

Lewis, Gilbert N. (1875-1946)
Proposed electron-pair theory of acids and bases; authority on thermodynamics.

Aston, F.W. (1877-1945)
Pioneer work on isotopes and their separation by mass spectrograph. Nobel Prize 1922.

Fischer, Hans (1881-1945)
Basic research on porphyrins, chlorophyll, carotene, synthesized hemin. Nobel Prize 1930.

Langmuir, Irving (1881-1957)
Fundamental research on surface chemistry, monomolecular films, emulsion chemistry. Also electric discharges in gases, cloud seeding, etc. Nobel Prize 1932.

Staudinger, Hermann (1881-1965)
Fundamental research on high-polymer structure, catalytic synthesis, polymerization mechanisms, resulting eventually in development of stereospecific catalysts by Ziegler and Natta (stereoregular polymers). Nobel Prize 1963.

Flemming, Sir Alexander (1881-1955)
Discovered penicillin (1928); initiated antibiotics. Nobel Prize 1945. The science was developed in the U.S. by Selman A. Waksman.

Moseley, Henry G.J. (1887-1915)
discovered the relation between frequency of x-rays emitted by an element and its atomic number, thus indicating the element’s true position in the Periodic Table.

Adams, Roger (1889-1971)
Noted educator and contributor to industrial research in catalysis and structural analysis. Priestley Medal.

Midgley, Thomas (1889-1944)
Discovered tetraethyllead and antiknock treatment for gasoline (1921) and fluorocarbon refrigerants early research on synthetic rubber.

Ipatieff, Vladimir N. (1890?-1952)
Basic research and development of catalytic alkylation and isomerisation of hydrocarbons (with Herman Pines).

Banting, Sir Frederick (1891-1941)
Isolated the insulin molecule. Nobel Prize 1923.

Chadwick, Sir James (1891-1974)
Discovered the neutron (1932) Nobel Prize 1935.

Urey, Harold C. (1894-1981)
Discovered heavy isotope of hydrogen (deuterium). Nobel Prize 1934. A leader of he Manhattan Project. Made original contributions to theories of he origin of the universe and of life processes.

Carothers, Wallace (1896-1937)
Polymerization research resulting in synthesis of neoprene (polychloroprene) and of nylon (polyamide).

Kistiakowsky, George B. (1900-1982)
Developed the detonating device used in first atomic bomb.

Heisenberg, W.K. (1901-1976)
Research in quantum mechanics resulting in development of the orbital theory of chemical bonding. Stated Uncertainity Principle. Nobel Prize 1932.

Fermi, Enrico (1901-1954)
First to achieve a controlled nuclear fission reaction (1939); basic research on subatomic particles. Nobel Prize 1938.

Lawrence, Ernest O. (1901-1958)
Invented the cyclotron in which first synthetic elements were created. Nobel Prize 1939.

Libby, Wilard F. (1908-1980)
Developed radiocarbn dating technique based on carbon-14. Nobel Prize 1960.

Crick, F.H.C (1916- ) with Watson, James D.
Elucidated structure of DNA molecule (1953) resulting in development of gene-splicing (recombinant DNA) techniques.

Woodward, Robert W. (1917-1979)
Nobel Prize 1965 for his brilliant syntheses of such compounds as cholesterol, quinine, chlorophyll and cobalamin.

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