The INTERNET Database of Periodic Tables
There are hundreds of periodic tables in web space, but there is only one comprehensive database of periodic tables & periodic system formulations. If you know of an interesting periodic table that is missing, please contact the database curator: Dr Mark R Leach.
Periodic Table formulations from the years before 1900, by date:
Elements Known to The Ancients
Elements known to the Ancients, taken from this Wikipedia page:
The Greek Classical Elements — Earth, Water, Air, Fire and Aether — date from 450 BC or so, and persisted throughout the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance, deeply influencing European thought and culture.
Plato characterizes the elements from a list created by the Sicilian philosopher Empedocles called these the four "roots." Plato seems to have been the first to use the term element:
Elements Known in the Year 1000
Elements known in the year 1000, taken from this Wikipedia page:
Valentinus' Alchemy Table
A table of alchemical symbols from Basilius Valentinus' (Basil Valentine) The Last Will and Testament, 1670 ce. :
Kenelm Digby's A Choice Collection of Rare Secrets
Elements Known in the Year 1700
Elements known in the year 1700, taken from this Wikipedia page:
Geoffroy’s Affinity Table
From Wikipedia, Étienne François Geoffroy’s 1718 Affinity Table.
At the head of the column is a substance with which all the substances below can combine.
Bergman's Dissertation on Elective Affinities
de Morveau's Table of Chemically Simple Substances
de Morveau's table of chemically simple substances (updated with modern representations by Mazurs):
Antoine Lavoisier's produced the first modern list of chemical elements, containing among others, the 23 elements of those known then. He also redefined the term "element". Previously the metals, except mercury, were not considered elements. Wikipedia
A list of 33 simple substances compiled by Lavoisier, from Traite? Ele?mentaire de Chimie, Cuchet, Paris, 1789, p. 192:
From Peter van der Krogt's Elementymology & Elements Multidict web site:
Elements Known in the Year 1800
Elements known in the year 1800, taken from this Wikipedia page:
Dalton's Postulates About The Elements
Around the year 1803 in Manchester, John Dalton gave a series of lectures in which he presented his postulates:
From a very early notebook from around this time:
John Dalton's Elements
A fuller list of Dalton's elements and symbols:
Daubeny's Teaching Display Board of Atomic Weights
The Museum of the History of Science, Oxford, has a display of Charles Daubeny's teaching materials from 1831, including a black painted wooden board with "SYMBOLS OF SIMPLE BODIES": symbols, atomic weights and names of elements in two columns, and a small pile of cubes with element symbol.
Note that some of the numbers seem very strange to our eyes: carbon is given as 6 (rather than 12) and oxygen 8 (not 16), while others correspond with modern values remarkably well, chlorine is given as 36 rather than 35.5.
Daubeny's weights (along with the modern mass) are given:
Berzelius' Electronegativity Table
Berzelius' electronegativity table of 1836.
The most electronegative element (oxygen or Sauerstoff) is listed at the top left and the least electronegative (potassium or Kalium) lower right. The line between hydrogen (Wasserstoff) and gold seperates the predomently electronegative elements from the electropositive elements. Page 17 and ref. 32 from Bill Jensen's Electronegativity from Avogadro to Pauling Part I: Origins of the Electronegativity Concept, J. Chem. Educ., 73, 11-20 (1996):
L. Gmelin, Handbuch der anorganischen chemie 4th ed., Heidelberg, 1843, vol. 1, p. 52:
Triads are found with sequence of three similar elements, where the middle element has a mass equal to the average of the least and most massive. The diagram below, updated from here, uses mid-nineteenth century atomic mass information rather than modern data. If atomic numbers (Z) are used (a property unknown in 1850), the triads are exact:
Elements Known in the Year 1850
Elements known in the year 1850, taken from this Wikipedia page:
The French geologist , Alexandre-Émile Béguyer de Chancourtois was the first person to make use of atomic weights to produce a classification of periodicity. He drew the elements as a continuous spiral around a metal cylinder divided into 16 parts. The atomic weight of oxygen was taken as 16 and was used as the standard against which all the other elements were compared. Tellurium was situated at the centre, prompting vis tellurique, or telluric screw.
Chancourtois' original formulation includes elements in their correct places, selected compounds and some elements in more than one place. The helix was an important advance in that it introduced the concept of periodicity, but it was flawed. The formulation was rediscovered in the 1889 (P. J. Hartog, "A First Foreshadowing of the Periodic Law" Nature 46, 186-8 (1889)), and since then it has appeared most often in a simplified form that emphasizes the virtues and eliminates its flaws. [Thanks to CG for this info.]
Meyer's Periodic System of 1862
In his book, The Periodic Table: A Very Short Introduction, Eric Scerri writes how Lothar Meyer devised a partial periodic tables consisting of 28 elements arranged in order of increasing atomic weight in which the elements were grouped into vertical columns according to their chemical valences:
One of the first attempts at a periodic table, known as "Newlands octaves", arranged the known elements by atomic weight. Newland noticed that if he broke up his list of elements into groups of seven starting a new row with the eighth element the first element in each of those groups had similar chemistry. More here.
William Odling's Table of Elements
Naquet's Families of Elements
According to Naquet’s 1864 textbook, Principes de Chimie, F. Savy, Paris, (updated by Eric Scerri):
From The Scientific American in 1866, an article by John Draper concerning "The Spectroscope and Its Revelations".
At the time there was no understanding how the spectra were generated but it was recognised that every element produced a unique spectrum:
Hinrichs’s Spiral Periodic System
G.D. Hinrichs’s spiral periodic system of 1867. Programm der Atomechanik oder die Chemie eine Mechanik de Pantome, Augustus Hageboek, Iowa City, IA, 1867.
Handwritten draft of the first version of Mendeleev's Periodic Table
From of Bill Jensen, Curator of the Oesper Collection at the University of Cincinnati:
Meyer's "Lost" Table of 1868
In his book, The Periodic Table: A Very Short Introduction, Eric Scerri writes how Lothar Meyer produced an expanded periodic system for his1868 textbook which contained 53 elements. Unfortunately, the table was misplaced by the publisher and was not appear until after his death in 1895:
Mendeleev's Tabelle I
Mendeléeff's Vertical Table (Q&Q's Spelling)
Baker's Electronegativity Table
Baker's electronegativity table of 1870 differs from Berzelius' listing of 1836 only by the addition of the newly discovered elements. Page 280 and ref. 5 from Bill Jensen's: Electronegativity from Avogadro to Pauling Part II: Late Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century Developments, J. Chem. Educ., 80, 279-287 (2003):
Mendeleev's Tabelle II
Mendeleev's Tabelle II can be shown in semi-modern form with the 'missing' group 18 rare gases and the f-block elements:
An alternitive version of Mendeleev's Tabelle II:
Mendeleev's Predicted Elements
In large part, the success of the Mendeleev's analysis can be attributed to the gaps which he predicted would contain undiscovered elements with predictable properties. Mendeleev named these unknown elements using the terms eka, dvi & tri (1, 2 & 3 from the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit).
Mendeleev predictions include:
Image from van Spronsen
Mendeleev's Periodic Table of 1871, redrawn by J.O. Moran, 2013
Mendeleev's Periodic Table of 1871, redrawn by J.O. Moran, 2013, click here to see full size:
Meyer's Spiral System
Meyer's Spiral System of 1872 (from van Spronsen):
Bayley's Periodic System
Brauner's Periodic Table
Brauner's periodic table of 1882 with a homologous accommodation of the rare-earth elements, from Chemische Berichte, 15, 1882, p. 15-121:
Crookes' Periodic Table
Bassett's Vertical Arrangement
Bassett Dumb-Bell Form
The Basset 'dumb-bell' formulation, ref. H. Basset, Chem. News, 65 (3-4), 19 (1892).
The image is from Concept of Chemical Periodicity: from Mendeleev Table to Molecular Hyper-Periodicity Patterns E. V. Babaev and Ray Hefferlin, here.
Rang's Periodic Table
Retger's Periodic Table
Periodic Table of Retgers with an intraperiodic accommodation of the rare earths. Retgers, J.W., 1895. Z. Phys. Chem. 16, 644:
Thomsen's Periodic Table
In 1895 the Danish thermochemist Hans Peter Jørgen Julius Thomsen proposed (Thomsen, J., 1895. Z. Anorg. Chem. 9, 190 ) a pyramidal/ladder representation:
Theodore Richards Classification of The Elements
This is how the periodic table looked in 1896 in an article by Theodore Richards the pioneer of atomic weight measurement.
Notice all those elements at the bottom that could not be classified, explicitly listed including He and Ar :
Crookes' vis generatrix
Model of Crookes’ vis generatrix of 1898, built by his assistant, Gardiner. From: Proc. R. Soc. Lond. 63, 408.
The vertical scale represents the atomic weight of the elements from H = 1 to Ur = 239. Missing elements are represented by a white circle. Similar elements appear underneath each other:
© Mark R. Leach 1999-
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