Carl Schmidt (chemist)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Carl Schmidt
Carl Ernst Heinrich Schmidt.jpg
Carl Schmidt
Born13 June [O.S. 1] 1822
Died11 March [O.S. 27] 1894 (aged 71)
NationalityBaltic German
Alma materLudwig University of Gießen
Georg August University of Göttingen
Scientific career
InstitutionsImperial University of Dorpat
Doctoral advisorJustus von Liebig (Chemistry)
Friedrich Wöhler (Medicine)
Doctoral studentsWilhelm Ostwald
Gustav Tammann

Carl Ernst Heinrich Schmidt (13 June [O.S. 1] 1822 – 11 March [O.S. 27] 1894), also known in Russia as Karl Genrikhovich Schmidt (Russian: Карл Ге́нрихович Шмидт, romanizedKarl Génrichovič Šmidt),[1] was a Baltic German chemist from the Governorate of Livonia, a part of the Russian Empire.


Schmidt received his PhD in 1844 from the University of Gießen under Justus von Liebig. In 1845, he first announced the presence in the test of some Ascidians of what he called "tunicine", a substance very similar to cellulose. Tunicine now is regarded as cellulose and correspondingly a remarkable substance to find in an animal.[2][3]

In 1850, Schmidt had been named Professor of Pharmacy at Dorpat (Tartu) and in 1851 he was appointed Professor of Chemistry in the mathematical and physical division on the University of Dorpat. He was a corresponding member (1873) of the Saint Petersburg Academy of Sciences (today Russian Academy of Sciences). He was the president of the Estonian Naturalists' Society in 1894. Schmidt is notable as the PhD advisor of the Nobel Prize winner Wilhelm Ostwald.

Scientific work[edit]

Schmidt determined the typical crystallization patterns of many important biochemicals such as uric acid, oxalic acid and its salts, lactic acid, cholesterin, stearin, etc. He analysed muscle fibre and chitin. He showed that animal and plant cell constituents are chemically similar and studied reactions of calcium albuminates. He studied alcoholic fermentation and the chemistry of metabolism and digestion. He discovered hydrochloric acid in gastric juice and its chemical interaction with pepsin. He studied bile and pancreatic juices. Some of this work was done with Friedrich Bidder. He studied chemical changes in blood associated with cholera, dysentery, diabetes, and arsenic poisoning.



  • Bing, Franklin C. (1 May 1973). "Friedrich Bidder (1810–1894) and Carl Schmidt (1822–1894)–A Biographical Sketch" (PDF). The Journal of Nutrition. 103 (5): 637–648. doi:10.1093/jn/103.5.637.
  • Gillispie, Charles Coulston, ed. (1970). Dictionary of Scientific Biography. Vol. 2. Charles Scribner's Sons. p. 124.
  • Hall, D.A.; Saxl, Hedwig (1961). "Studies of Human and Tunicate Cellulose and of their Relation to Reticulin". Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: 155, 202–217. doi:10.1098/rspb.1961.0066.
  • Harmer, Sidney Frederic; Shipley, Arthur Everett (1904). "Hemichordata, Ascidians and Amphioxus, Fishes". The Cambridge Natural History. Vol. 7. Macmillan Company.
  • Partington, J.R. (1964). A History of Chemistry. Vol. 4. Macmillan. pp. 306, 595.
  • Ross, R. Stefan (2005). "Carl Schmidt – a chemical tourist in Victorian Britain". Endeavour. 29 (1): 33–37. doi:10.1016/j.endeavour.2005.01.006. PMID 15749151.
  • Zaleski, St. Szcz (1894). "Carl Schmidt". Chem. Ber. 27 (4): 963–978. doi:10.1002/cber.18940270494.
  • "Information about Carl Schmidt". Russian Academy of Sciences. 2002.