Famous 18th Century Chemists

Find out more about the greatest 18th Century Chemists, including Michael Faraday, Antoine Lavoisier, Hans Christian Ørsted, Humphry Davy and Joseph Priestley.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Michael Faraday

Michael Faraday.
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Famous As: Physicist & Chemist
Birthdate: September 22, 1791
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Newington Butts
Died: August 25, 1867

Michael Faraday was an English scientist known for his contribution to the study of electrochemistry and electromagnetism. Considered one of the most influential scientists ever, Faraday's inventions of electromagnetic rotary devices established the basis for electric motor technology. His research also helped understand the concept of the electromagnetic field. Ernest Rutherford called him one of the greatest scientific discoverers ever.

 2 John Dalton

John Dalton.
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Famous As: Chemist, Physicist, Meteorologist
Birthdate: September 6, 1766
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Eaglesfield, Cumberland, England
Died: July 27, 1844

John Dalton was an English chemist, physicist, and meteorologist most famous for introducing the atomic theory into chemistry. He also contributed a lot to the study of color blindness, sometimes referred to as Daltonism in his honor. He was the first scientist to refer to the smallest particle of matter as an “atom.” He was a Quaker and lived modestly. 

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 3 Antoine Lavoisier

Antoine Lavoisier.
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Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: August 26, 1743
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: May 8, 1794

Antoine Lavoisier was a French chemist and nobleman. He played a crucial role during the chemical revolution of the 18th-century. Widely regarded as the father of modern chemistry, Lavoisier had a major influence on the history of biology as well as the history of chemistry. He also helped build the metric system. 

 4 Joseph Priestley

Joseph Priestley.
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Famous As: Discoverer of Oxygen
Birthdate: March 24, 1733
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Birstall
Died: February 6, 1804

Best remembered for his contribution to the chemistry of gases, Joseph Priestley was an English scientist, clergyman, political theorist and educator, who has been credited with discovering oxygen independently, publishing his findings before Carl Wilhelm could. A prolific writer, he has authored 150 works on various subjects including electricity. He also contributed immensely to the advancement of political and religious thoughts.

 5 Humphry Davy

Humphry Davy.
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Famous As: Inventor of Davy Lamp
Birthdate: December 17, 1778
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Penzance, England
Died: May 29, 1829

Best remembered for his invention of the Davy lamp, a safety lamp for miners, Humphry Davy initially aspired to be a doctor but later deviated to chemistry. The Copley Medal winner had co-founded the Zoological Society of London. He also excelled in writing poetry and loved fishing.

 6 Amedeo Avogadro

Amedeo Avogadro.
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Famous As: Chemist and Physicist
Birthdate: August 9, 1776
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Turin, Italy
Died: July 9, 1856

Son of a reputed senator and lawyer in Italy, Amedeo Avogadro was himself a qualified lawyer. However, he later delved into research as a mathematical physicist and is best remembered for laying down the Avogadro’s law, contributing to the molecular theory of gases. The Avogadro constant is named after him.

 7 Henry Cavendish

Henry Cavendish.
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Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: October 10, 1731
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Nice
Died: February 24, 1810

English natural philosopher, scientist, and a prominent experimental and theoretical physicist and chemist Henry Cavendish is best-remembered for his discovery of hydrogen and his Cavendish experiment. He first recognized that hydrogen, which he termed inflammable air, is a discrete substance which produces water on combustion. He conducted the Cavendish experiment to measure and produce a value for Earth’s density.

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 8 Hans Christian Ørsted

Hans Christian Ørsted.
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Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: August 14, 1777
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Rudkøbing
Died: March 9, 1851

Hans Christian Ørsted was a Danish chemist and physicist. He was the first person to discover that electric currents can be used to create magnetic fields. His discovery was the first relationship found between magnetism and electricity. Oersted, the unit of the auxiliary magnetic field H, is named in his honor.

 9 Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac

Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac.
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Famous As: Chemist and Physicist
Birthdate: December 6, 1778
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat
Died: May 9, 1850

Known for his pathbreaking Gay-Lussac's Law, French chemist-physicist Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac was also the first, along with his colleague Alexander von Humboldt, to discover that water is composed of one part of oxygen and two parts of hydrogen. His name is one of the 72 that adorn the Eiffel Tower.

 10 Jöns Jacob Berzelius

Jöns Jacob Berzelius
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Famous As: Chemist, Non-fiction writer, University teacher
Birthdate: August 20, 1779
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Östergötland
Died: August 7, 1848

 11 Charles Macintosh

Charles Macintosh
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Famous As: Chemist, Inventor
Birthdate: December 29, 1766
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Glasgow
Died: July 25, 1843

 12 Hennig Brand

Hennig Brand
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Famous As: Merchant
Birthdate: 1630 AD
Birthplace: Hamburg, Germany
Died: 1710 AD

 13 Carl Wilhelm Scheele

Carl Wilhelm Scheele
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Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: December 9, 1742
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Stralsund, Germany
Died: May 21, 1786

 14 Martin Heinrich Klaproth

Martin Heinrich Klaproth
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Famous As: Chemist, Pharmacist, University teacher
Birthdate: December 1, 1743
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Wernigerode
Died: January 1, 1817

 15 Jacques Charles

Jacques Charles
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Famous As: Physicist, Chemist, Inventor, Balloonist, Mathematician
Birthdate: November 12, 1746
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Beaugency
Died: April 7, 1823

Best known for developing the Charles’s law, which explains the expansion of gases when heated, Jacques Charles was a prominent French physicist. He was the first to ascend in a hydrogen-filled gas balloon, thus pioneering hot-air balloon flight. The Académie des Sciences member later became a professor of physics.

 16 Joseph von Fraunhofer

Joseph von Fraunhofer
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Famous As: Physicist, Astronomer, Chemist
Birthdate: March 6, 1787
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Straubing
Died: June 7, 1826

Joseph von Fraunhofer was a Bavarian optical lens manufacturer and physicist. He is credited with developing diffraction grating and inventing the spectroscope. He is also credited with discovering the Fraunhofer lines, the dark absorption lines produced in the spectrum of the sun. The Fraunhofer Society, Europe's biggest Society for the Advancement of Applied Research, is named in his honor.

 17 Joseph Black

Joseph Black
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Famous As: Chemist, Physicist, Scientist, University teacher
Birthdate: April 16, 1728
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bordeaux
Died: December 6, 1799

Joseph Black was an 18th-century Scottish physicist and chemist. He is remembered for his discoveries of magnesium, specific heat, latent heat, and carbon dioxide. He spent several years of his career as a professor of medicine and chemistry at the University of Edinburgh. In 1783, he became one of the founders of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. 

 18 John Herschel

John Herschel
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Famous As: Polymath
Birthdate: March 7, 1792
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Slough, Buckinghamshire, England
Died: May 11, 1871

The son of renowned astronomer William Herschel, John Herschel was educated at Eton and Cambridge and grew up to be a polymath. Apart from contributing to the field of photography, he was known for cataloguing and naming stars and satellites. He briefly also served as the Master of the Royal Mint.

 19 Daniel Rutherford

Daniel Rutherford
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Famous As: botanist, chemist
Birthdate: November 3, 1749
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Edinburgh
Died: November 15, 1819

 20 William Cullen

William Cullen
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Famous As: Physician, Chemist, Farmer, Academic, University teacher, Writer, Psychiatrist
Birthdate: April 15, 1710
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Hamilton
Died: February 5, 1790

 21 Georg Brandt

Georg Brandt
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Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: June 26, 1694
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Riddarhyttan, Sweden
Died: April 29, 1768

 22 William Hyde Wollaston

William Hyde Wollaston
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Famous As: Chemist, Physicist, Engineer, Metallurgist
Birthdate: August 6, 1766
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Norfolk
Died: December 22, 1828

William Hyde Wollaston was a pioneer of powder metallurgy and the first to develop malleable platinum from its ore. He is also credited with the discoveries of palladium and rhodium. A Fellow of the Royal Society, he dictated his last Bakerian lecture, as he was too ill to deliver it.

 23 Rudolf Erich Raspe

Rudolf Erich Raspe
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Famous As: Librarian
Birthdate: February 29, 1736
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hannover, Germany
Died: November 1, 1794

 24 William Withering

William Withering
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Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: March 17, 1741
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Wellington, Telford, England
Died: October 6, 1799

 25 Georg Ernst Stahl

Georg Ernst Stahl
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Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: October 22, 1659
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Ansbach, Germany
Died: May 14, 1734

 26 Andreas Sigismund Marggraf

Andreas Sigismund Marggraf
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Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: March 3, 1709
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: August 7, 1782

 27 Alexandre-Théophile Vandermonde

Alexandre-Théophile Vandermonde
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Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: February 28, 1735
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: January 1, 1796

Alexandre-Théophile Vandermonde initially made a name for himself as a violinist. He drifted to mathematics much later, at age 35, and  became famous for his determinant theory in mathematics and for solving a complex math problem called The Knight's Tour. His memoirs are invaluable to understanding math.

 28 Axel Fredrik Cronstedt

Axel Fredrik Cronstedt
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Famous As: Mineralogist and chemist
Birthdate: December 23, 1722
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Turinge socken, Sweden
Died: August 19, 1765

 29 Torbern Olof Bergman

Torbern Olof Bergman
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Famous As: Chemist and naturalist
Birthdate: March 20, 1735
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Katrineberg, Sweden
Died: July 8, 1784

 30 John Roebuck

John Roebuck
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Famous As: Inventor
Birthdate: 1718 AD
Birthplace: Sheffield, England
Died: July 17, 1794

 31 William Cookworthy

William Cookworthy
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Famous As: Pharmacist
Birthdate: April 12, 1705
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kingsbridge, England
Died: October 17, 1780

 32 William Christopher Zeise

William Christopher Zeise.
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Famous As: Organic Chemist
Birthdate: October 15, 1789
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Slagelse, Denmark
Died: November 12, 1847

 33 Johann von Löwenstern-Kunckel

Johann von Löwenstern-Kunckel
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Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: 1630 AD
Birthplace: Hütten, Germany
Died: March 20, 1703

 34 Étienne François Geoffroy

Étienne François Geoffroy
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Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: February 13, 1672
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: January 6, 1731

Étienne François Geoffroy, also known as Geoffroy the Elder, initially wished to be an apothecary but later deviated to medicine. He is best remembered for his tables of "affinities" that showcased fixed attraction between various chemical bodies. He also dismissed the idea of the philosopher’s stone as a myth.

 35 Domenico Guglielmini

Domenico Guglielmini
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Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: September 27, 1655
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bologna, Italy
Died: July 27, 1710

Domenico Guglielmini is regarded as the pioneer of the Italian school of hydraulics, though he initially worked on astronomy. Apart from being a professor of hydrometry and mathematics, he was also a part-time physician, but eventually quit his research on hydraulics to focus on medicine full-time.