Daniel Gralath

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Daniel Gralath

Daniel Gralath (30 May 1708 – 23 July 1767) was a physicist and a mayor of Danzig.[1]

Gralath was born in Danzig (Gdańsk) in Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth into a well-to-do trade family. He had studied law and philosophy in Halle, then in Leyden and Marburg from 1728 to 1734. Later he became councilman and, in 1763, mayor of Danzig.[1] His father-in-law was Jacob Theodor Klein (1685–1759), a city secretary and also a very distinguished scientist, nicknamed Gedanensium Plinius. He died in Danzig.

As a physicist, Gralath worked on electricity, founded the Danzig Research Society, and repeated the experiments of Ewald Georg von Kleist with the Leyden jar.[1] Gralath improved the design and demonstrated its effects on a chain of 20 persons.[2] He was also the first to combine several jars to make a battery,[3] but that claim is disputed.[4] From 1747 to 1756, he published his "History of Electricity" in three parts in issues of Versuche und Abhandlungen der Naturforschende Gesellschaft in Danzig,[5] which may have contributed to the historical judgement that he was the first to combine several Leyden jars.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Wißner, Adolf (1964). "Gralath, Daniel der Ältere". Neue Deutsche Biographie. 6. p. 736.
  2. ^ Mottelay, P. F. (1891). "Chronological History of Electricity, Galvanism, Magnetism and the Telegraph from B. B.. 2637 to A. D. 1888 -- Part I". The Electrical World. 18 (5): 77–79.
  3. ^ Benjamin, Park (1895). A History of Electricity: (The Intellectual Rise in Electricity) from Antiquity to the Days of Benjamin Franklin. J. Wiley & Sons. pp. 522–524.
  4. ^ Allerhand, A. (2018). "Who invented the earliest capacitor bank ("battery" of Leyden jars)? It's complicated". Proceedings of the IEEE. 106 (3): 501. doi:10.1109/JPROC.2018.2795846.
  5. ^ Heilbron, J. L. (1982). Elements of Early Modern Physics. University of California Press. p. 256. ISBN 978-0-520-04555-2.
  6. ^ Allerhand, A. (2018). "Who invented the earliest capacitor bank ("battery" of Leyden jars)? It's complicated". Proceedings of the IEEE. 106 (3): 502. doi:10.1109/JPROC.2018.2795846.

Further reading[edit]