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I know chemistry has been around for a long time, but I was curious who the first chemist in recorded history. I am aware that Antoine Lavoisier was one of the first modern chemistry and is considered to be the "Father of Modern Chemistry", but was he is the first chemist?

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closed as too broad by tschoppi, LDC3, Freddy, Geoff Hutchison, Philipp Oct 12 '14 at 16:04

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  • $\begingroup$ I'll write it up later, but Robert Boyle is often considered the first modern chemist. $\endgroup$ – Canageek Oct 12 '14 at 2:52
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That depends how you define "chemist."

Today we think of chemists as working at the molecular level. However Lavoisier didn't have any concrete evidence of an atom's existence. He worked with Sulfates (SO4-2), metal oxides, and other molecular groups in an empirical an algebraic fashion.

Throughout much of the 1800s there was enormous debate about the very existence of atoms. Much of the problem arose from confusion over molecular weights and stoichiometry. Physicists were the most stubborn opponents of atoms, which we still can't fully explain even today. Eventually Advodagro's number and accepted stoichiometry combined to form irrefutable evidence of molecules. Many scientists were completely convinced that atoms existed long before they were proven though. Dalton was the first to introduce stoichiometry so he would be a good candidate as well.

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The first chemist? The first person who learned that if you mix crushed plant root with the runoff from fermented vegetation (alcohol) you got something you could use to make your robe a bit more colourful? If he experimented with various plants and liquid ratios he would meet the modern definition of "chemist". I recall doing similar things in grade 9 Chemistry class.

That individual is long lost in the mists of time. The main problem with history is we only know what people bothered to write down, or left behind in a durable form. In the days before patents or research for it's own sake all this would have been closely guarded secrets recorded (if at all) in shorthand on small pieces of whatever passed as paper in those days.

The first chemistry research paper was possibly found in the Great Library of Alexandria, which unfortunately burned down on more than one occasion.

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