Hugo Schiff

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Hugo Schiff
Hugo Schiff ca 1860.jpg
Hugo Schiff
Born (1834-04-26)26 April 1834
Frankfurt, Germany
Died 8 September 1915(1915-09-08) (aged 81)
Florence, Italy
Alma mater University of Göttingen
Known for Schiff base,
Schiff test
Scientific career
Institutions University of Pisa
Museo di Storia Naturale di Firenze
University of Turin
Doctoral advisor Friedrich Wöhler

Hugo (Ugo) Schiff (26 April 1834 – 8 September 1915) was an Italian naturalized chemist,[1][2] German by nationality.[3][4][5][6][7] He discovered Schiff bases and other imines,[8] and was responsible for research into aldehydes; leading to his development of the Schiff test. He also worked in the field of amino acids and the Biuret reagent.

Born in Frankfurt am Main, Schiff was a student of Friedrich Wöhler in Göttingen. He completed his dissertation (Über einige Naphthyl- und Phenylderivate) also supervised by Wöhler in 1857. In the same year, due to political turmoil, Schiff left Germany in 1857 for Switzerland and the University of Bern.[9] He was a supporter of socialism and reportedly corresponded with Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. He also was a cofounder of the socialist Italian newspaper L'Avanti in 1894.

Schiff moved to Italy in 1863 holding positions in Pisa and then Museo di Storia Naturale di Firenze. In 1870 he cofounded the Gazzetta Chimica Italiana together with Stanislao Cannizzaro. In 1877 he became Professor of General Chemistry in Turin and returned to Florence in 1879 as Professor of General Chemistry at what later would become the University of Florence where he founded the Chemical Institute of the University of Florence. Schiff died in Florence.

In the University of Florence, the Hugo Schiff International Store House still exists today.


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ This article is largely a translation from the German Wikipedia article. These references are taken from there.
  4. ^ Introduzione allo studio della chimica [Introduction to the study of chemistry], series of Schiff's lessons at the Museo di Scienze Naturali, Edizioni Loescher, Torino, 1876.
  5. ^ Einführung in das Studium der Chemie [Introduction to the study of chemistry], Prof. Hugo Schiff, Ed. Verlag von Theobald Grieben, Berlin, 1876.
  6. ^ Untersuchungen über Metallhaltige Anilinderivate und über die Bildung des Anilinroths [Investigations into aniline derivaties containing metals and into the formation of aniline red], Hugo Schiff, Ed. Verlag von J. Springer, Berlin, 1864
  7. ^ Notes from Schiff's lessons compiled by his pupil Andrea Torricelli, Voll. I - II, 1897.
  8. ^ See:
  9. ^ Hugo (Ugo) Schiff, Schiff Bases, and a Century of b-Lactam Synthesis Thomas T. Tidwell Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2007, 46, 2–7 doi:10.1002/anie.200702965 PMID 18022986