30 September 1834|
Darmstadt, German Confederation
|Died||27 June 1892
|Institutions||Owens College now University of Manchester|
|Alma mater||University of Heidelberg,
Victoria University of Manchester,
|Doctoral advisor||Robert Wilhelm Bunsen,
Henry Enfield Roscoe
Carl Schorlemmer FRS (30 September 1834 – 27 June 1892) was a German chemist who did research on hydrocarbons and contributed to the study of the history of chemistry.
Early life and education
Schorlemmer was born in 1834, the son of a joiner in Darmstadt. He was able to visit Realschule and later - against the will of his poor father- trade school. Schorlemmer started his training to become a pharmacist in 1853 in Groß-Umstadt. During his training he made own chemical experiments in the laboratory and was interested in astronomy and botany. After two and a half years he made his exam, became an assistant pharmacist and worked in Schwan-pharmacy in Heidelberg. Having Attended some lectures of Robert Wilhelm Bunsen, he began studying chemistry in Heidelberg (where he got in contact with Hermann Kopp, a historian of chemistry) and in Gießen. He later became demonstrator at Owens College in Manchester with Henry Enfield Roscoe.
Schorlemmer wrote several books about organic chemistry, the most important one being A Treatise on Chemistry (1874), which he co-authored with Henry Roscoe. Schorlemmer is considered to have made an essential contribution to the history of chemistry as an academic field in his later works, culminating in his book The Rise and Development of Organic Chemistry.
Connections with Marx and Engels
Schorlemmer was a friend of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, who asked him for advice on scientific questions. Engels published an obituary of Schorlemmer in the Vorwärts, the central organ of the Social Democratic Party of Germany. Engels said that Schorlemmer spent his holidays regularly in London with Marx and Engels when he did not visit Germany. Engels also claimed in his obituary that Schorlemmer was open about his allegiance to the Communist cause, and that Schorlemmer was unusual in that he held the German philosopher Hegel in high regard at a time when the latter was "much despised". Engels added that, "What we know today about paraffins, we owe mainly to Schorlemmer... Thus he became one the joint founders of today's scientific organic chemistry." For this connection with Marx and Engels, Schorlemmer is sometimes referred to as the "red" chemist.
He died at his house in Manchester. He was unmarried.
- A Manual of Chemistry of the Carbon Compounds; or, Organic Chemistry (1874)
- A Treatise on Chemistry (1877) - with Henry Roscoe
- Rise and Development of Organic Chemistry (1879)
- * Dixon, Harold B. (1893). "Memoir of the Late Carl Schorlemmer. L.L.D., F.R.S., F.C.S.". Memoirs and Proceedings of the Manchester Literary & Philosophical Society 7: 191–198.- contains a list of Schorlemmer's publications
- Friedrich Engels - Carl Schorlemmer obituary (in German)
- * Benfey, Theodor O.; Travis, Anthony S. (1992, 15 June). "Carl Schorlemmer: The Red Chemist". Chemistry and Industry: 441–44.
- Dr.O.Krätz: Chemie in unserer Zeit/ 14/ Year:1980 Nr.3 A27