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SILLIMAN, Benjamin [1816-1885] -- American chemist and naturalist

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He was born in New Haven, Conn., Dec. 4, 1816; son of Benjamin and Harriett (Trumbull) Silliman. He was graduated at Yale, A.B., 1837, A. M., 1840, remaining there as assistant in chemistry, 1837-46, as professor of applied chemistry, 1846-53, and as professor of chemistry, 1853-85.

He built himself a private chemical laboratory in 1844. where he performed many valuable experiments, and it was at his request that the School of Applied Chemistry was founded in 1846. This was enlarged in 1847 into the Yale Scientific school. He delivered public lectures on agricultural chemistry, the first in the United States, in New Orleans, 1845-46. He was a member of the New Haven common council, 1845-49, and a trustee of the Peabody Museum of Natural History. In 1849-54, he held the chair of medical chemistry and toxicology in the University of Louisville, Ky. At first, his chief interest was in the chemistry of minerals, but later he devoted himself to applied science. He made many donations to the Yale mineralogical collections and in 1843 secured the Baron Lederer collection for the college.

He was secretary of the American Association of Geologists and Naturalists; congress named him as an original member of the National Academy of Sciences in 1863, and at the World's Fair in New York, 1853, he had charge of the mineralogical and geological departments. He received the degree of M.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1849, and that of LL.D. from Jefferson Medical college in Philadelphia in 1884.

He was editor of the "American Journal of Science (1845-1885) and with Charles R. Goodrich, he edited "World of Science, Art and Industry" (1853) and "Progress of Science and Mechanism" (1854). Besides about a hundred scientific papers published in periodicals, he wrote "First Principles of Chemistry" (1846); "Principles of Physics" (1858) and "American Contributions to Chemistry" (1775).

He died in New Haven. Jan. 14, 1885.  -30-
 

Chronology

1837-1846
Assistant professor of Chemistry, Yale
1846-1853
Professor of Applied Chemistry
1853-1885
Professor of Chemistry
1855/04/16
Sillimaan's report on analysis of the crude oil from Titusville, PA
1855/09/18
Pennsylvania Rock Oil Company of Connecticut formed, with Silliman as president

Selected Works

  • Report on the Rock Oil, or Petroleum, from Venango Co, PA (1855)
  • Bookmarks (off-site links)

    Bookmarks:2004-06-18 12:42:44

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