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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.

pre 1900 formulations 1900 to 1949 formulations 1950 to 1999 formulations 2000 to 2009 formulations Spiral formulations 3 dimensional formulations
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Periodic Table formulations from the years before 1900, by date:

9000 BCE     Discovery of Copper
7000 BCE     Discovery of Lead
6000 BCE     Discovery of Gold
5000 BCE     Discovery of Iron
5000 BCE     Discovery of Silver
3750 BCE     Discovery of Carbon
3500 BCE     Discovery of Tin
2000 BCE     Discovery of Sulfur (Sulphur)
2000 BCE     Discovery of Mercury
1000 BCE     Discovery of Zinc
800 BCE     Discovery of Antimony
450 BCE     Classical Elements: Earth, Water, Air & Fire
300 BCE     Discovery of Arsenic
1000     Elements Known in the Year 1000
1520     Tria Prima of Alchemy
1617     Elemental Spheres of Terra (earth), Aqua (water), Aer (air) & Ignis (fire)
1669     Discovery of Phosphorus
1671     Valentinus' Table of Chymicall & Philosophicall Charecters
1682     Kenelm Digby's A Choice Collection of Rare Secrets
1687     Alchemical Emblem Showing the Four Classical Elements
1700     Elements Known in the Year 1700
1718     Geoffroy’s Affinity Table
1735     Discovery of Cobalt
1748     Discovery of Platinum
1751     Discovery of Nickel
1753     Discovery of Bismuth
1766     Discovery of Hydrogen
1771     Discovery of Oxygen
1772     Discovery of Nitrogen
1774     Discovery of Chlorine
1774     Discovery of Manganese
1775     Bergman's Dissertation on Elective Affinities
1778     Diderot's Alchemical Chart of Affinities
1781     Discovery of Molybdenum
1782     de Morveau's Table of Chemically Simple Substances
1782     Discovery of Tellurium
1783     Discovery of Tungsten
1789     Lavoisier's Table of Simple Substances
1789     Discovery of Zirconium
1789     Discovery of Uranium
1791     Discovery of Titanium
1794     Discovery of Yttrium
1798     Discovery of Beryllium
1798     Discovery of Chromium
1800     Elements Known in The Year 1800
1801     Discovery of Niobium
1802     Discovery of Tantalum
1803     Dalton's Postulates About The Elements
1803     Discovery of Palladium
1803     Discovery of Cerium
1803     Discovery of Osmium
1803     Discovery of Iridium
1804     Discovery of Rhodium
1807     Discovery of Sodium
1807     Discovery of Potassium
1808     Dalton's Elements
1808     Discovery of Boron
1808     Discovery of Magnesium
1808     Discovery of Calcium
1808     Discovery of Strontium
1808     Discovery of Barium
1811     Discovery of Iodine
1817     Discovery of Lithium
1817     Discovery of Selenium
1817     Discovery of Cadmium
1824     Discovery of Silicon
1825     Discovery of Aluminium (Aluminum)
1825     Discovery of Bromine
1829     Discovery of Thorium
1830     Discovery of Vanadium
1831     Daubeny's Teaching Display Board of Atomic Weight
1836     Berzelius' Electronegativity Table
1838     Discovery of Lanthanum
1842     Discovery of Terbium
1842     Discovery of Erbium
1843     Gmelin's System
1844     Discovery of Ruthenium
1850     Dobereiner's Triads
1850     Elements Known in the Year 1850
1860     Discovery of Cesium
1861     Discovery of Rubidium
1861     Discovery of Thallium
1862     Telluric Helix or Screw
1862     Meyer's Periodic System of 1862
1863     Discovery of Indium
1864     Newlands' Octaves
1864     Odling's Table of Elements
1864     Naquet's Families of Elements
1866     Spectroscope Revelations
1867     Hinrichs’s Spiral Periodic System
1868     Mendeleev's Handwritten Draft Periodic Table
1868     Meyer's "Lost" Table
1869     Mendeleev's Tabelle I
1869     Mendeléeff's Vertical Table (Q&Q's Spelling)
1870     Meyer's Periodic Table
1870     Baumhauer's Spiral
1870     Baker's Electronegativity Table
1871     Mendeleev's Tabelle II
1871     Mendeleev's Predicted Elements
1871     Mendeleev's Periodic Table of 1871, redrawn by J.O. Moran, 2013
1872     Meyer's Spiral System
1875     Discovery of Gallium
1878     Discovery of Ytterbium
1879     Discovery of Scandium
1879     Discovery of Samarium
1879     Discovery of Holmium
1879     Discovery of Thulium
1880     Periodische Gesetzmässigkeit der Elemente nach Mendelejeff
1880     Discovery of Gadolinium
1881     Spring's Diagram
1882     Bayley's Periodic System
1882     Brauner's Periodic Table
1885     Discovery of Praseodymium
1885     Discovery of Neodymium
1886     Crookes' Periodic Table
1886     Discovery of Fluorine
1886     Discovery of Germanium
1886     Discovery of Dysprosium
1887     Flavitzky's Arrangement
1892     Bassett's Vertical Arrangement
1892     Bassett Dumb-Bell Form
1893     Rang's Periodic Table
1894     Discovery of Argon
1895     Retger's Periodic Table
1895     Thomsen's Periodic Table
1895     Discovery of Helium
1896     Richards' Classification of The Elements
1898     Crookes' vis generatrix
1898     Discovery of Neon
1898     Discovery of Krypton
1898     Discovery of Xenon
1898     Discovery of Polonium
1898     Discovery of Radium
1899     Discovery of Radon


9000 BCE

Discovery of Copper

Cu

Copper, atomic number 29, has a mass of 63.546 au.

Copper had its earliest use in about 9000 BCE, and the oldest sample dates from 6000 BCE. It was discovered by Middle East workers and the earliest sample is from Anatolia.

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7000 BCE

Discovery of Lead

Pb

Lead, atomic number 82, has a mass of 207.2 au.

Lead had its earliest use in about 7000 BCE, and the oldest sample dates from 3800 BCE. It was discovered by Africa and the earliest sample is from Abydos, Egypt.

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6000 BCE

Discovery of Gold

Au

Gold, atomic number 79, has a mass of 196.967 au.

Gold had its earliest use in about 6000 BCE, and the oldest sample dates from 4400 BCE. It was discovered by Bulgaria and the earliest sample is from Varna Necropolis.

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5000 BCE

Discovery of Iron

Fe

Iron, atomic number 26, has a mass of 55.845 au.

Iron had its earliest use in about 5000 BCE, and the oldest sample dates from 4000 BCE from Egypt.

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5000 BCE

Discovery of Silver

Ag

Silver, atomic number 47, has a mass of 107.868 au.

Silver had its earliest use in about 5000 BCE, and the oldest sample dates from 4000 BCE, and is from Asia Minor.

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3750 BCE

Discovery of Carbon

C

Carbon, atomic number 6, has a mass of 12.011 au.

Carbon has many allotropes, including: graphite, diamond, graphene, C60, single wall nanotubes, etc.

Carbon had its earliest use in about 3750 BCE. It was discovered by Egyptians and Sumerians.

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3500 BCE

Discovery of Tin

Sn

Tin, atomic number 50, has a mass of 118.71 au.

Tin + copper gives bronze, and so the Bronze Age.

Tin had its earliest use in about 3500 BCE, and the oldest sample dates from 2000 BCE. It is unknown who discovered the element.

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2000 BCE

Discovery of Sulfur (Sulphur)

S

Sulfur, atomic number 16, has a mass of 32.068 au.

Sulfur is a pale yellow, odourless, brittle solid.

Sulfur had its earliest use in about 2000 BCE. It was discovered by Chinese/Indians.

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2000 BCE

Discovery of Mercury

Hg

Mercury, atomic number 80, has a mass of 200.592 au.

Mercury had its earliest use in about 2000 BCE, and the oldest sample dates from 1500 BCE. It was discovered by Chinese/Indians and the earliest sample is from Egypt.

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1000 BCE

Discovery of Zinc

Zn

Zinc, atomic number 30, has a mass of 65.38 au.

Zinc had its earliest use in about 1000 BCE, and the oldest sample dates from 1000 BCE. It was discovered by Indian metallurgists and the earliest sample is from the Indian subcontinent.

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800 BCE

Discovery of Antimony

Sb

Antimony, atomic number 51, has a mass of 121.76 au.

Antimony had its earliest use in about 800 BCE.

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450 BCE

Classical Elements: Earth, Water, Air & Fire

The Greek Classical Elements — Earth, Water, Air, Fire [& Aether] — date from 450 BC or so, and persisted throughout the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance, deeply influencing European thought and culture.

A Greek text Kore Kosmou ("Virgin of the World") – associated with the Egyptian god Thoth – names the four elements fire, water, air, and earth:

And Isis answer made: Of living things, my son, some are made friends with fire, and some with water, some with air, and some with earth, and some with two or three of these, and some with all. And, on the contrary, again some are made enemies of fire, and some of water, some of earth, and some of air, and some of two of them, and some of three, and some of all. For instance, son, the locust and all flies flee fire; the eagle and the hawk and all high-flying birds flee water; fish, air and earth; the snake avoids the open air. Whereas snakes and all creeping things love earth; all swimming things love water; winged things, air, of which they are the citizens; while those that fly still higher love the fire and have the habitat near it. Not that some of the animals as well do not love fire; for instance salamanders, for they even have their homes in it. It is because one or another of the elements doth form their bodies' outer envelope. Each soul, accordingly, while it is in its body is weighted and constricted by these four.

The four elements were used by Hippocrates in describing the human body with an association with the four humours:

  • yellow bile (fire)
  • black bile (earth)
  • blood (air)
  • phlegm (water)

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:

The Neoplatonic philosopher Proclus disagreed, and maintained that each of the elements had three properties:

Fire is sharp, subtle, and mobile, while its opposite, earth, is blunt, dense, and immobile. They are joined by the intermediate elements, air and water, in the following fashion:

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300 BCE

Discovery of Arsenic

As

Arsenic, atomic number 33, has a mass of 74.922 au.

Arsenic had its earliest use in about 300 BCE.

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1000

Elements Known in the Year 1000

Elements known in the year 1000, taken from this Wikipedia page:

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1520

Tria Prima of Alchemy

Paracelsus identified three primes, the tria prima, of alchemy which are related to the Law of the Triangle, in which two components come together to produce the third. Philosophically speaking, Mercury is the Mind; Salt is the Will & Wisdom; and Sulphur is Love.

The three are components or principles of the Philosopher's Stone, and they work potently to transmute any base metal or character into golden perfection. Without these principles, the coveted Stone is ineffectual in its capacity to change vibratory rates. ?

  • Sulfur - The fluid connecting the High and the Low. Sulfur was used to denote the expansive force, evaporation, and dissolution.
  • Mercury - The omnipresent spirit of life. Mercury was believed to transcend the liquid and solid states. The belief carried over into other areas, as mercury was thought to transcend life/death and heaven/earth.
  • Salt - Base matter. Salt represented the contractive force, condensation, and crystallization.

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1617

Elemental Spheres of Terra (earth), Aqua (water), Aer (air) & Ignis (fire)

From the German Photo Library Theosophie & Alchemie, a segment of the macrocosm showing the elemental spheres of terra (earth), aqua (water), aer (air), and ignis (fire), by Robert Fludd:

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1669

Discovery of Phosphorus

P

Phosphorus, atomic number 15, has a mass of 30.974 au.

Phosphorus exists in several allotropic forms including: white, red and black.

Phosphorus was first isolated in 1669 by H. Brand.

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1671

Valentinus' Table of Chymicall & Philosophicall Charecters

A table of alchemical symbols from Basilius Valentinus' (Basil Valentine) The Last Will and Testament:

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1682

Kenelm Digby's A Choice Collection of Rare Secrets

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1687

Alchemical Emblem Showing the Four Classical Elements

From the German Photo Library Theosophie & Alchemie, a seventeenth century alchemical emblem showing the four classical elements (air, fire, earth & water) in the corners of the image, alongside the tria prima on the central triangle:

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1700

Elements Known in the Year 1700

Elements known in the year 1700, taken from this Wikipedia page:

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1718

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.

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1735

Discovery of Cobalt

Co

Cobalt, atomic number 27, has a mass of 58.933 au.

Cobalt was first isolated in 1735 by G. Brandt.

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1748

Discovery of Platinum

Pt

Platinum, atomic number 78, has a mass of 195.084 au.

Platinum was first isolated in 1748 by A. de Ulloa, although it had been used by pre-Colombian Americans.

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1751

Discovery of Nickel

Ni

Nickel, atomic number 28, has a mass of 58.693 au.

Nickel was first isolated in 1751 by F. Cronstedt.

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1753

Discovery of Bismuth

Bi

Bismuth, atomic number 83, has a mass of 208.98 au.

Bismuth was first isolated in 1753 by C.F. Geoffroy.

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1766

Discovery of Hydrogen

H

Hydrogen, atomic number 1, has a mass of 1.008 au.

Hydrogen is the lightest element and by far the most abundant element in the universe: it makes up about about 90% of the universe by weight. Under standard conditions, hydrogen exists as a diatomic molecular gas, H2.

Hydrogen was first isolated and identified as an element in 1766 by H. Cavendish, although it was first made in 1500 by Paracelsus.

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1771

Discovery of Oxygen

O

Oxygen, atomic number 8, has a mass of 15.999 au.

Oxygen exists as a diatomic molecular gas, O2; in this form it makes up about 20% of the atmosphere.

Oxygen was first isolated in 1771 by W. Scheele.

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1772

Discovery of Nitrogen

N

Nitrogen, atomic number 7, has a mass of 14.007 au.

Nitrogen exists as a diatomic molecular gas, N2, and in this form it makes up about 78% of the atmosphere by volume. The element seemed so inert that Lavoisier named it azote, meaning "without life".

Nitrogen was first isolated in 1772 by D. Rutherford.

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1774

Discovery of Chlorine

Cl

Chlorine, atomic number 17, has a mass of 35.452 au.

Chlorine exists as a green diatomic molecular gas, Cl2.

Chlorine was first isolated in 1774 by W. Scheele.

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1774

Discovery of Manganese

Mn

Manganese, atomic number 25, has a mass of 54.938 au.

Manganese was first observed or predicted in 1774 by W. Scheele and first isolated in 1774 by G. Gahn.

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1775

Bergman's Dissertation on Elective Affinities

Alchemical symbols in Torbern Bergman's 1775 Dissertation on Elective Affinities, which was translated from Latin to English in 1783 from Google Books:

 

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1778

Diderot's Alchemical Chart of Affinities

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1781

Discovery of Molybdenum

Mo

Molybdenum, atomic number 42, has a mass of 95.95 au.

Molybdenum was first observed or predicted in 1778 by W. Scheele and first isolated in 1781 by J. Hjelm.

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1782

de Morveau's Table of Chemically Simple Substances

de Morveau's table of chemically simple substances (updated with modern representations by Mazurs):

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1782

Discovery of Tellurium

Te

Tellurium, atomic number 52, has a mass of 127.6 au.

Tellurium caused great difficulty to the chemists who first tried to develop a periodic table, because it has an atomic weight greater than iodine (126.9). Mendeleev prioritised chemical properties over the anomalous atomic weight data, and correctly classified Te along with O, S, & Se. It was only when nuclear structure and the importance of atomic number was recognised, around 1918, that the issue was explained.

Tellurium was first isolated in 1782 by F.-J.M. von Reichenstein.

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1783

Discovery of Tungsten

W

Tungsten, atomic number 74, has a mass of 183.84 au.

Tungsten was first observed or predicted in 1781 by W. Scheele and first isolated in 1783 by J. and F. Elhuyar.

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1789

Antoine Lavoisier

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:

Lavoisier's Table of Simple Substances (1789)
Gases
New names (French) Old names (English translation)
Lumière Light
Calorique Heat
Principle of heat
Igneous fluid
Fire
Matter of fire and of heat
Oxygène Dephlogisticated air
Empyreal air
Vital air
Base of vital air
Azote Phlogisticated gas
Mephitis
Base of mephitis
Hydrogène Inflammable air or gas
Base of inflammable air
Metals
New names (French) Old names (English translation)
Antimoine Antimony
Argent Silver
Arsenic Arsenic
Bismuth Bismuth
Cobolt Cobalt
Cuivre Copper
Étain Tin
Fer Iron
Manganèse Manganese
Mercure Mercury
Molybdène Molybdena
Nickel Nickel
Or Gold
Platine Platina
Plomb Lead
Tungstène Tungsten
Zinc Zinc
Nonmetals
New names (French) Old names (English translation)
Soufre Sulphur
Phosphore Phosphorus
Carbone Pure charcoal
Radical muriatique Unknown
Radical fluorique Unknown
Radical boracique Unknown
Earths
New names (French) Old names (English translation)
Chaux Chalk, calcareous earth
Magnésie Magnesia, base of Epsom salt
Baryte Barote, or heavy earth
Alumine Clay, earth of alum, base of alum
Silice Siliceous earth, vitrifiable earth

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1789

Discovery of Zirconium

Zr

Zirconium, atomic number 40, has a mass of 91.224 au.

Zirconium was first observed or predicted in 1789 by H. Klaproth and first isolated in 1824 by J. Berzelius.

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1789

Discovery of Uranium

U

Uranium, atomic number 92, has a mass of 238.029 au.

Radioactive element with a very long half-life.

Uranium was first observed or predicted in 1789 by H. Klaproth and first isolated in 1841 by E.-M. Péligot.

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1791

Discovery of Titanium

Ti

Titanium, atomic number 22, has a mass of 47.867 au.

Titanium was first observed or predicted in 1791 by W. Gregor and first isolated in 1825 by J. Berzelius.

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1794

Discovery of Yttrium

Y

Yttrium, atomic number 39, has a mass of 88.906 au.

Yttrium was first observed or predicted in 1794 by J. Gadolin and first isolated in 1842 by G. Mosander. It took about 80 years to split the rare earths metal ores, the ceria & yttria, into the pure metals. See the timeline here.

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1798

Discovery of Beryllium

Be

Beryllium, atomic number 4, has a mass of 9.012 au.

Beryllium is a metal with a high melting point. At ordinary temperatures it resists oxidation in air. Beryllium compounds are very toxic.

Beryllium was first observed or predicted in 1798 by N. Vauquelin and first isolated in 1828 by F. Wöhlerand A. Bussy.

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1798

Discovery of Chromium

Cr

Chromium, atomic number 24, has a mass of 51.996 au.

Chromium was first observed or predicted in 1797 by N. Vauquelin and first isolated in 1798 by N. Vauquelin.

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1800

Elements Known in the Year 1800

Elements known in the year 1800, taken from this Wikipedia page:

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1801

Discovery of Niobium

Nb

Niobium, atomic number 41, has a mass of 92.906 au.

Niobium was first observed or predicted in 1801 by C. Hatchett and first isolated in 1864 by W. Blomstrand.

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1802

Discovery of Tantalum

Ta

Tantalum, atomic number 73, has a mass of 180.948 au.

Tantalum was first isolated in 1802 by G. Ekeberg.

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1803

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:

  • Elements are made of tiny particles called atoms.
  • The atoms of a given element are different from those of any other element, and the atoms of different elements can be distinguished from one another by their respective relative atomic weigh/mass.
  • All atoms of a given element are identical.
  • Atoms of one element can combine with atoms of other elements to form chemical compounds, and a given compound always has the same relative numbers of types of atoms.
  • Atoms cannot be created, divided into smaller particles, nor destroyed in the chemical process, and a chemical reaction simply changes the way atoms are grouped together.

From a very early notebook from around this time:

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1803

Discovery of Palladium

Pd

Palladium, atomic number 46, has a mass of 106.42 au.

Palladium was first isolated in 1803 by H. Wollaston.

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1803

Discovery of Cerium

Ce

Cerium, atomic number 58, has a mass of 140.116 au.

Cerium was first observed or predicted in 1803 by H. Klaproth, J. Berzelius, and W. Hisinger and first isolated in 1838 by G. Mosander. It took about 80 years to split the rare earths metal ores, the ceria & yttria, into the pure metals. See the timeline here.

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1803

Discovery of Osmium

Os

Osmium, atomic number 76, has a mass of 190.23 au.

Osmium was first isolated in 1803 by S. Tennant.

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1803

Discovery of Iridium

Ir

Iridium, atomic number 77, has a mass of 192.217 au.

Iridium was first isolated in 1803 by S. Tennant.

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1804

Discovery of Rhodium

Rh

Rhodium, atomic number 45, has a mass of 102.906 au.

Rhodium was first isolated in 1804 by H. Wollaston.

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1807

Discovery of Sodium

Na

Sodium, atomic number 11, has a mass of 22.99 au.

Sodium is a Group 1 element, and these are often referred to as the "alkali metals".

Sodium was first isolated in 1807 by H. Davy.

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1807

Discovery of Potassium

K

Potassium, atomic number 19, has a mass of 39.098 au.

Potassium is a Group 1 element, and these are often referred to as the "alkali metals".

Potassium was first isolated in 1807 by H. Davy.

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1808

Dalton's Elements

Two pages from John Dalton's 1808 book A New System of Chemical Philosophy in which he proposed his version of atomic theory based on scientific experimentation (see the scanned book, page 219):

Dalton's Elements (1808)
Hydrog. 1 Hydrogen 1.0 Strontites 46 Strontium 87.6
Azote 5 Nitrogen 14.0 Barytes 68 Barium 137.3
Carbone 5 Carbon 12.0 Iron 50 Iron 55.8
Oxygen 7 Oxygen 16.0 Zinc 56 Zinc 65.4
Phosphorus 9 Phosphorus 31.0 Copper 56 Copper 63.5
Sulphur 13 Sulfur 32.1 Lead 90 Lead 200.6
Magnesia 20 Magnesium 24.3 Silver 190 Silver 107.9
Lime 24 Calcium 40.1 Gold 190 Gold 197.0
Soda 28 Sodium 23.0 Platina 190 Platinum 195.1
Potash 42 Potassium 39.1 Mercury 167 Mercury 200.6

Note the seemingly huge errors in the atomic weights, compared with modern values. These errors occured because while Dalton had deduced that atoms combine in fixed (stoichiometric) ratios in compounds, he not always know what the ratios were. Thus there were two unknowns: the atomic weights (masses) and the stoichiometric ratios.

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1808

Discovery of Boron

B

Boron, atomic number 5, has a mass of 10.814 au.

Boron has properties that are borderline between metal and non-metal (semimetallic).

Boron was first observed or predicted in 1808 by L. Gay-Lussac and L.J. Thénard and first isolated in 1808 by H. Davy.

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1808

Discovery of Magnesium

Mg

Magnesium, atomic number 12, has a mass of 24.306 au.

Magnesium is a Group 2 element, and these are called: "alkaline earth metals".

Magnesium was first observed or predicted in 1755 by J. Black and first isolated in 1808 by H. Davy.

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1808

Discovery of Calcium

Ca

Calcium, atomic number 20, has a mass of 40.078 au.

Calcium is a Group 2 element, and these are called: "alkaline earth metals".

Calcium was first isolated in 1808 by H. Davy.

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1808

Discovery of Strontium

Sr

Strontium, atomic number 38, has a mass of 87.62 au.

Strontium is a Group 2 element, and these are called: "alkaline earth metals".

Strontium was first observed or predicted in 1787 by W. Cruikshank and first isolated in 1808 by H. Davy.

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1808

Discovery of Barium

Ba

Barium, atomic number 56, has a mass of 137.327 au.

Barium is a Group 2 element, and these are called: "alkaline earth metals".

Barium was first observed or predicted in 1772 by W. Scheele and first isolated in 1808 by H. Davy.

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1811

Discovery of Iodine

I

Iodine, atomic number 53, has a mass of 126.904 au.

Iodine exists as a black diatomic molecular solid, I2.

Iodine was first isolated in 1811 by B. Courtois.

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1817

Discovery of Lithium

Li

Lithium, atomic number 3, has a mass of 6.968 au.

Lithium is a reactive metal, of low density: it is the least dense metal.

Lithium was first observed or predicted in 1817 by A. Arfwedson and first isolated in 1821 by W. T. Brande.

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1817

Discovery of Selenium

Se

Selenium, atomic number 34, has a mass of 78.971 au.

Selenium was first isolated in 1817 by J. Berzelius and G. Gahn.

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1817

Discovery of Cadmium

Cd

Cadmium, atomic number 48, has a mass of 112.414 au.

Cadmium was first isolated in 1817 by S. L Hermann, F. Stromeyer and J.C.H. Roloff.

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1824

Discovery of Silicon

Si

Silicon, atomic number 14, has a mass of 28.085 au.

Silicon makes up 25.7% of the earth's crust, and after oxygen is the second most abundant element.

Silicon was first isolated in 1823 by J. Berzelius.

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1825

Discovery of Aluminium (Aluminum)

Al

Aluminium (aluminum), atomic number 13, has a mass of 26.982 au.

Aluminum is a silvery-white metal.

Aluminium was first isolated in 1825 by H.C.Ørsted.

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1825

Discovery of Bromine

Br

Bromine, atomic number 35, has a mass of 79.904 au.

Bromine exists as an orange diatomic molecular liquid, Br2.

Bromine was first isolated in 1825 by J. Balard and C. Löwig.

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1829

Discovery of Thorium

Th

Thorium, atomic number 90, has a mass of 232.038 au.

Radioactive element with a very long half-life.

Thorium was first observed or predicted in 1829 by J. Berzelius and first isolated in 1914 by D. Lely, Jr. and L. Hamburger.

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1830

Discovery of Vanadium

V

Vanadium, atomic number 23, has a mass of 50.942 au.

Vanadium was first observed or predicted in 1801 by M. del Río and first isolated in 1830 by N.G.Sefström.

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1831

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:

Daubeny's SYMBOLS OF SIMPLE BODIES (1831)
O 8 (16.0) Oxygen K 40 (39.1) Potassium
Cl 36 (35.5) Chlorine Na 24 (23.0) Sodium
Fl 19 (19.0) Fluorine Ca 20 (40.1) Calcium
B 80 (79.9) Bromine Mg 12 (24.3) Magnesium
I 124 (127) Iodine Si 8 (28.1) Silicon
H 1 (1.01) Hydrogen Al 10 (27.0) Aluminium
N 14 (14.0) Nitrogen Fe 28 (55.8) Iron
C 6 (12.0) Carbon Cu 64 (63.5) Copper
S 16 (32.1) Sulphur Pb 104 (207) Lead
P 16 (31.0) Phosphorus Hg 200 (200.6) Mercury

Check out the virtual tour of the museum, here. The display of Daubeny's teaching materials can be found in the basement, here.

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1836

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):

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1838

Discovery of Lanthanum

La

Lanthanum, atomic number 57, has a mass of 138.905 au.

Lanthanum was first observed or predicted in 1838 by G. Mosander and first isolated in 1841 by G. Mosander. It took about 80 years to split the rare earths metal ores, the ceria & yttria, into the pure metals. See the timeline here.

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1842

Discovery of Terbium

Tb

Terbium, atomic number 65, has a mass of 158.925 au.

Terbium was first observed or predicted in 1842 by G. Mosander and first isolated in 1886 by J.C.G. de Marignac. It took about 80 years to split the rare earths metal ores, the ceria & yttria, into the pure metals. See the timeline here.

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1842

Discovery of Erbium

Er

Erbium, atomic number 68, has a mass of 167.259 au.

Erbium was first observed or predicted in 1842 by G. Mosander and first isolated in 1879 by T. Cleve. It took about 80 years to split the rare earths metal ores, the ceria & yttria, into the pure metals. See the timeline here.

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1843

Gmelin's System

L. Gmelin, Handbuch der anorganischen chemie 4th ed., Heidelberg, 1843, vol. 1, p. 52:

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1844

Discovery of Ruthenium

Ru

Ruthenium, atomic number 44, has a mass of 101.07 au.

Ruthenium was first isolated in 1844 by K. Claus.

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1850

Dobereiner's Triads

Johann Dobereiner (1780 - 1849) found 'triads', a sequence of three similar elements, where the middle element has a mass equal to the average of the least and most massive. A brief biography can be found on the Nature website.

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:

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1850

Elements Known in the Year 1850

Elements known in the year 1850, taken from this Wikipedia page:

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1860

Discovery of Cesium

Cs

Cesium (or caesium), atomic number 55, has a mass of 132.905 au.

Cesium is a Group 1 element, and these are often referred to as the "alkali metals".

Cesium was first observed or predicted in 1860 by R. Bunsen and R. Kirchhoff and first isolated in 1882 by C. Setterberg.

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1861

Discovery of Rubidium

Rb

Rubidium, atomic number 37, has a mass of 85.468 au.

Rubidium is a Group 1 element, and these are often referred to as the "alkali metals".

Rubidium was first observed, but not isolated in pure form, in 1861 by R. Bunsen and G. R. Kirchhoff.

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1861

Discovery of Thallium

Tl

Thallium, atomic number 81, has a mass of 204.384 au.

Thallium was first observed or predicted in 1861 by W. Crookes and first isolated in 1862 by C.-A. Lamy.

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1862

Telluric Helix or Screw

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 41, 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.]

Dutch Wikipedia, ScienceWorld & the Science and Society picture library.

Read more in Roy Alexander's All Periodic Tables site.

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1862

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:

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1863

Discovery of Indium

In

Indium, atomic number 49, has a mass of 114.818 au.

Indium was first observed or predicted in 1863 by F. Reich and T. Richter and first isolated in 1867 by T. Richter.

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1864

Newlands' Octaves

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.

Kabbalistic

H
F
Cl
Co & Ni
Br
Pd
I
Pt & Ir
Li
Na
K
Cu
Rb
Ag
Cs
Os
G
Mg
Ca
Zn
Sr
Cd
Ba & V
Hg
Bo
Al
Cr
Y
Ce & La
U
Ta
Tl
C
Si
Ti
In
Zr
Sn
W
Pb
N
P
Mn
As
Di & Mo
Sb
Nb
Bi
O
S
Fe
Se
Ro & Ru
Te
Au
Th

Seeing the word octave applied to this table may lead one to think that Newlands recognised periods of eight elements with repeating properties, as we do with the modern periodic table, for example: Li Be B C N O F Ne.

However, each sequence of Newlands' octaves contain only seven elements. Count the columns! In Newlands' day the group 8 (18) rare gas elements, He, Ne, Ar, Kr & Xe, had not yet been discovered.

To Newlands, Li to Na is an octave of eight elements, the eighth element repeating the properties of the first:

A   B   C   D   E   F   G   A

  • To Newlands, Li to Na is an octave of eight elements.
  • We say Li to Ne is a period of eight elements, and that that Li and Na are in different periods. Indeed, the Li to Na series consists of nine elements.
  • In Newlands' day the group 8 (18) rare gas elements, He, Ne, Ar, Kr & Xe, had not been discovered.

    Read more about Newland's Octaves, including a commentry on the origional papers in Carmen Giunta's Elements and Atoms: Case Studies in the Development of Chemistry.

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1864

William Odling's Table of Elements

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1864

Naquet's Families of Elements

According to Naquet’s 1864 textbook, Principes de Chimie, F. Savy, Paris, (updated by Eric Scerri):

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1866

Spectroscope Revelations

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:

Thanks to Eric Scerri for the tip!
See the website EricScerri.com and Eric's Twitter Feed.

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1867

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.

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1868

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:

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1868

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:

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1869

Mendeleev's Tabelle I

Mendeleev [also spelled Mendeleyev in English] recounted in his diary:

"I saw in a dream a table where all the elements fell into place as required. Awakening, I immediately wrote it down on a piece of paper."

Mendeleev's Tabelle I

Mendeleev as an old man

Thanks to Marcus Lynch for the tip!

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1869

Mendeléeff's Vertical Table (Q&Q's Spelling)

From Quam & Quam's 1934 review paper.pdf

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1870

Meyer's Periodic Table. This is rather similar to the Mendeleev attempt at the same time.

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1870

Baumhauer's Spiral

From Quam & Quam's 1934 review paper.pdf

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1870

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):

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1871

Mendeleev's Tabelle II

Click here for the large version of the above.

Mendeleev's Tabelle II can be shown in semi-modern form with the 'missing' group 18 rare gases and the f-block elements:

 

An alternative version of Mendeleev's Tabelle II:

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1871

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:

  • Eka-boron (scandium)
  • Eka-aluminium (gallium)
  • Eka-manganese (technetium)
  • Eka-silicon (germanium)

 

Image from van Spronsen

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1871

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:

Wooden Periodic Table

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1872

Meyer's Spiral System

Meyer's Spiral System of 1872 (from van Spronsen):

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1875

Discovery of Gallium

Ga

Gallium, atomic number 31, has a mass of 69.723 au.

Gallium was first isolated in 1875 by P. E. L. de Boisbaudran.

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1878

Discovery of Ytterbium

Yb

Ytterbium, atomic number 70, has a mass of 173.054 au.

Ytterbium was first observed or predicted in 1878 by J.C.G. de Marignac and first isolated in 1906 by C. A. von Welsbach. It took about 80 years to split the rare earths metal ores, the ceria & yttria, into the pure metals. See the timeline here.

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1879

Discovery of Scandium

Sc

Scandium, atomic number 21, has a mass of 44.956 au.

Scandium was first isolated in 1879 by F. Nilson. It took about 80 years to split the rare earths metal ores, the ceria & yttria, into the pure metals. See the timeline here.

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1879

Discovery of Samarium

Sm

Samarium, atomic number 62, has a mass of 150.36 au.

Samarium was first isolated in 1879 by P.E.L. de Boisbaudran. It took about 80 years to split the rare earths metal ores, the ceria & yttria, into the pure metals. See the timeline here.

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1879

Discovery of Holmium

Ho

Holmium, atomic number 67, has a mass of 164.93 au.

Holmium was first observed or predicted in 1878 by J.-L. Soret and first isolated in 1879 by T. Cleve. It took about 80 years to split the rare earths metal ores, the ceria & yttria, into the pure metals. See the timeline here.

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1879

Discovery of Thulium

Tm

Thulium, atomic number 69, has a mass of 168.934 au.

Thulium was first isolated in 1879 by T. Cleve. It took about 80 years to split the rare earths metal ores, the ceria & yttria, into the pure metals. See the timeline here.

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1880

Periodische Gesetzmässigkeit der Elemente nach Mendelejeff

A lecture theatre sized periodic table, titled Periodische Gesetzmässigkeit der Elemente nach Mendelejeff, found at St Andrew's University, published and printed in Austria and dating from about from about 1880.

Two YouTube videos about this PT:



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1880

Discovery of Gadolinium

Gd

Gadolinium, atomic number 64, has a mass of 157.25 au.

Gadolinium was first observed or predicted in 1880 by J. C. G. de Marignac and first isolated in 1886 by P.E.L. de Boisbaudran. It took about 80 years to split the rare earths metal ores, the ceria & yttria, into the pure metals. See the timeline here.

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1881

Spring's Diagram

From Quam & Quam's 1934 review paper.pdf

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1882

Bayley's Periodic System

From Quam & Quam's 1934 review paper.pdf

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1882

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:

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1885

Discovery of Praseodymium

Pr

Praseodymium, atomic number 59, has a mass of 140.908 au.

Praseodymium was first isolated in 1885 by Carl Auer von Welsbach. It took about 80 years to split the rare earths metal ores, the ceria & yttria, into the pure metals. See the timeline here.

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1885

Discovery of Neodymium

Nd

Neodymium, atomic number 60, has a mass of 144.242 au.

Neodymium was first isolated in 1885 by Carl Auer von Welsbach. It took about 80 years to split the rare earths metal ores, the ceria & yttria, into the pure metals. See the timeline here.

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1886

Crookes' Periodic Table

From Quam & Quam's 1934 review paper.pdf

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1886

Discovery of Fluorine

F

Fluorine, atomic number 9, has a mass of 18.998 au.

Fluorine exists as a pale yellow diatomic molecular gas, F2. It is the most electronegative and reactive of all elements: it which reacts with practically all organic and inorganic substances.

Fluorine was first observed or predicted in 1810 by A.-M. Ampére and first isolated in 1886 by H. Moissan.

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1886

Discovery of Germanium

Ge

Germanium, atomic number 32, has a mass of 72.63 au.

Germanium was first isolated in 1886 by C. A. Winkler.

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1886

Discovery of Dysprosium

Dy

Dysprosium, atomic number 66, has a mass of 162.5 au.

Dysprosium was first isolated in 1886 by P.E.L. de Boisbaudran. It took about 80 years to split the rare earths metal ores, the ceria & yttria, into the pure metals. See the timeline here.

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1887

Flavitzky's Arrangement

From Quam & Quam's 1934 review paper.pdf

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1892

Bassett's Vertical Arrangement

From Quam & Quam's 1934 review paper.pdf

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1892

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.

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1893

Rang's Periodic Table

From Quam & Quam's 1934 review paper.pdf

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1894

Discovery of Argon

Ar

Argon, atomic number 18, has a mass of 39.948 au.

Argon is a noble gas.

Argon was first isolated in 1894 by Lord Rayleigh and W. Ramsay.

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1895

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:

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1895

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:

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1895

Discovery of Helium

He

Helium, atomic number 2, has a mass of 4.003 au.

Helium is a noble gas, and is the second most abundant element in the universe after hydrogen.

Helium was first observed or predicted in 1868 by P. Janssen and N. Lockyer from solar spectra, and first isolated  in 1895 by W. Ramsay, T. Cleve, and N. Langlet.

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1896

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 :

Thanks to Eric Scerri for the tip!
See the website EricScerri.com and Eric's Twitter Feed.

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1898

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:

Cutting Board

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1898

Discovery of Neon

Ne

Neon, atomic number 10, has a mass of 20.18 au.

Neon is a noble gas. It is present in the atmosphere, 1 part in 65000.

Neon was first isolated in 1898 by W. Ramsay and W. Travers.

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1898

Discovery of Krypton

Kr

Krypton, atomic number 36, has a mass of 83.798 au.

Krypton is a noble gas.

Krypton was first isolated in 1898 by W. Ramsay and W. Travers.

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1898

Discovery of Xenon

Xe

Xenon, atomic number 54, has a mass of 131.293 au.

Xenon is a noble gas.

Xenon was first isolated in 1898 by W. Ramsay and W. Travers.

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1898

Discovery of Polonium

Po

Polonium, atomic number 84, has a mass of 209 au.

Radioactive element.

Polonium was first observed or predicted in 1898 by P. and M. Curie and first isolated in 1902 by W. Marckwald.

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1898

Discovery of Radium

Ra

Radium, atomic number 88, has a mass of 226 au.

Radioactive element.

Radium was first observed or predicted in 1898 by P. and M. Curie and first isolated in 1902 by M. Curie.

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1899

Discovery of Radon

Rn

Radon, atomic number 86, has a mass of 222 au.

Radon is a noble gas and it is a radioactive element.

Radon was first observed or predicted in 1899 by E. Rutherford and R. B. Owens and first isolated in 1910 by W. Ramsay and R. Whytlaw-Gray.

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© Mark R. Leach 1999-


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