[FIRST RUSSIAN BOOK ON ORGANIC CHEMISTRY] Organicheskaia khimia [i.e. The Organic Chemistry]

St. Petersburg: Obshchestvennaia po’lza, 1861. Item #245

[543] pp. 23x14 cm. Contemporary half-leather binding. Spine is restored. Some foxing in the text. Otherwise very good.

First edition. Extremely rare.
27-year-old Dmitry Mendeleev (1834-1907) famously wrote this book in 61 days. The study on the organic chemistry was awarded with Demidov prize (the most prestigious scientific prize of the time). With this publication Mendeleev became widely-known in the world of science. The success helped him to secure the position at Saint Petersburg Technological University where 8 years later he produced another textbook ‘Principles of Chemistry’ that feautured the first periodic table of elements.

‘The Organic Chemistry’ became the most popular book on the subject in 19th century in Russia. In a way this work could be regarded as a preface to ‘The Principles of Chemistry’. By writing it Mendeleev brought together all of the scattered knowledge in the field. The aim was to help students to understand it better, but sometimes it was too sophisticated for the students, as one of them told Dmitry Ivanovich ‘he could not follow’. After that remark Mendeleev wrote: «The edifice of science requires not only material, but also a plan, and necessitates the work of preparing the materials, putting them together, working out the plans and symmetrical proportions of the various parts», and soon he started to work on ‘The Principles’.

No copies according to the Worldcat.

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