Alexander Smith (chemist)

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Alexander Smith (1865-1922) was an American chemist, born in Edinburgh, Scotland.


He graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1886 and received the degree of Ph.D. at Munich in 1889. After coming to the United States, Smith was professor of chemistry and mineralogy at Wabash College (1890-94) and later a faculty member at the University of Chicago (1895-1911). His former student James Bert Garner at Wabash College went on to invent the gas mask. In 1911 he was called to Columbia University to be professor and head of the department of chemistry, and in the same year he held the presidency of the American Chemical Society. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1915.


  • Laboratory Outline of General Chemistry (1899)
  • The Teaching of Chemistry and Physics (1902), with Prof. E. H. Hall
  • Introduction to General Inorganic Chemistry (1906; second edition, 1912)
  • General Chemistry for Colleges (1908; revised edition, 1916)
  • A Text-Book of Elementary Chemistry (1914)