Rinman, Diderot, and Lavoisier: New Evidence Regarding Guillaume Franois Rouelle's Private Laboratory and Chemistry Course

in Nuncius
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Abstract

This paper will present two recently discovered documents that shed light on the activities of the French chemist Guillaume Franois Rouelle.In 1746 the Swedish chemist and mineralogist Sven Rinman visited the private chemistry laboratory recently set up by Rouelle in Paris, and he has left us a record of this visit, including some rare sketches. Given the crucial contribution made by Rouelle's laboratory to the development of the science of chemistry in 18th-century Europe, Rinman's description is reproduced here in full.Rouelle also taught an extremely popular chemistry course at the Jardin des Plantes in Paris, and conserved in the archives of Antoine Laurent Lavoisier are some notes taken by Denis Diderot in 1757 which demonstrate that for a period the prominent Enlightenment figure attended these lectures regularly.

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