Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ageing and poses in chemistry

Nicéphore Niépce made the first permanent photo in 1826. Thanks to the work of people like him there are pictures of a lot of chemists from the old days.

A lot of pictures from the 19th and early 20th are potraits. It seems that some poses were quite popular and I wonder whether people stole each other's pose.

Some examples:
- ‘The old wise chemist in chair’-pose
- ‘The chemist in action with Bunsen-burner’-pose
- ‘The leaning head on hand thinking’-pose (still popular) Another great thing you can do nowadays is see how chemists aged. You can see how unhealthy chemistry was back then. Chemists of nearly 70 looked like 170. The chemists of a generation later had a better life. Linus Pauling for example did have the looks that corresponded to his age.

7 comments:

sufuric said...

I love how you included the graves for a couple of the chemists.

Naffer said...

Had a conversation with a grad student yesterday who said that synthetic chemists tend to die younger than chemists who don't work in labs. Not sure if that holds true today, but I can imagine that for early chemists working without fume hoods and tasting their compounds, a shorter life would almost be expected.

Chemgeek said...

Another obvious criteria for becoming a famous chemist is the long beard. I'm going to start working on mine now.

een of andere vent said...

chemgeek: The beard is very important indeed. You may have missed the top 5 bearded chemists

http://syntheticenvironment.blogspot.com/2007/01/top-5-of-bearded-chemists.html

milkshake said...

It was not just chemistry - you have to count in ravages of vodka. It was actualy Mendeleev who after extensive experimentation determined with a scientific certanity that the 40% alcohol vodka has the right balance between the strenght and melowness and is therefore most suitable for straight-up refreshments (that help you to get through those cheerless cold morning)

ZAL said...

Thank you for showing the picture of my chemical grand-grandfather (I'm not telling who he is, but he had a long whit beard)!

een of andere vent said...

You're welcome. No idea who he is, but he is here as well.