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Karl G.C. Bischof
BISCHOF, Karl Gustav Christoph.

BISCHOF, Karl Gustav Christoph.
(1792 - 1870)

(Born: Wörd near Nürnberg, Bavaria, Germany, 18 January 1792; Died: Bonn, Germany, 30 November 1870) German geologist & geochemist.

Son of Karl August Lebrecht Bischof [see previous entry], he was educated at Erlangen. In 1819, he was appointed extraordinary professor and in 1822 ordinary professor of chemistry at the University of Bonn. He remained at that post until his death. He was elected a Fellow of the Geological Society of London. Bischof is regarded as the founder of geochemistry.

Biographical references: ADB: 2, 665-9. Barr, Index to Biographical Fragments, 1973: 24. Callisen, Medicinisches Schriftstellar-Lexicon, 1830-45: 2 (1830), 273-80. DBA: I 104, 232-235; II 127, 397-403. Diergart, P., "Zur Stellung von Karl Gustav Bischof (Bonn) in der Chemie des 19. Jahrhunderts" (pp. 195-203, in: Studien zur Geschichte der Chemie, Festgabe Edmund O. von Lippmann zum siebzigsten Geburtstage dargebracht. Berlin, Springer, 1927. DSB: 2, 158-9 [by G.C. Amstutz]. Ferchl. Fruton, Bio-Bibliography, 1982: 68. Isis: 21 (1934), 123-30 [by M. Nierenstein]. ISIS, 1913-65: 1, 155. Lambrecht & Quenstedt, Catalogus, 1938: 41. Mayerhöfer, Lexikon der Naturwissenschaften, 1958-75: 475. NDB: 2, 261-2 [by E. Krenkel]. Poggendorff: 1, cols. 201-2, 3, 134 & 7a, 90-1. Rath, G., "Die Bonner Pharmakologen Bischoff und Albers", Sudhoffs Archiv, 37, (1953), 122-30. Sarjeant, Geologists, 1980: 2, 559-60. Schaedler, Biographisch Handwörterbuch, 1891: 12-3. Sudhoff's Archiv: 37 (1953), 122-30 [by G. Rath]. Thomas, Dictionary of Biography, 1884: 362. WBI. World Who's Who in Science: 181. Zischka, Allgemeines Gelehrten-Lexikon, 1961: 81-2.

Lehrbuch, 1847

1. German, 1847-55.
Lehrbuch | der | chemischen und physikalischen | Geologie | von | Dr. Gustav Bischof, | [...4 lines of titles and memberships...] | [ornate rule] | Erster Band. | Mit 2 lithographirten Tafeln und 22 in den Text gedruckten | Abbildungen. | [ornate rule] | Bonn, | bei Adolph Marcus. | 1847.

[Title of vol. 2, pt. 1 reads:]

Lehrbuch | ... | Zweiten Bandes erste Abtheilung. | ... | 1851.

[Title of vol. 2, pt. 2 reads:]

Lehrbuch | ... | Zweiten Bandes zweite Abtheilung. | ... | 1855.

2 vols. bound in three. [Vol 1: 1847] 8°: π8 **8 ***1 1-618 627; ??l.; [i]-xxxiv, [1]-989, [1] p., 2 plates (volcanoes). [Vol 2, pt. 1: 1851] 8°: π2 *8 1-548 551; [i]-xx, [1]-844 p. [Vol 2, pt. 2: 1855] 8°: π8 **8 ***2 552-8 56-1488 1495; ??l.; [i]-xxxvi, [845]-2352 p., one folding plate (agates).

Some sources say: 2 vols. bound in 4. 8°: [Vol 1] xxxiv, 990 p., 20 figs., 2 plates; [Vol 2] xx, 844 p.; [Vol 3] xxxvi, 845-1666 p.; [Vol 4] [2], 1667-2512 p., double page engraved plate. SHOULD BE: 2 vols. bound in 4. 8°: [Vol 1] xxxiv, 990 p., 20 figs., 2 plates; [Vol 2] xx, 844 p.; [Vol 3] xxxvi, 845-1666 p.; [Vol 4] [2], 1667-2512 p., double page engraved plate. Page size: 224 x 140 mm.

Contents: [Vol 1] [i-ii], Title page, verso blank.; [iii]-vi, Dedication, signed Gustav Bischof, 24 June 1847.; [vii]-xviii, "Vorrede."-dated June 1847.; [xix]-xxxiv, "Inhalt."; [1]-989, Text.; [1 pg], "Berichtigungen und Zusätze."; [At end], 2 plates.

[Vol 2, pt. 1] [i-ii], Title page, verso blank.; [iii]-iv, "Vorwort."-dated November 1851.; [v]-xx, "Inhalt."; [1]-844, Text.

[Vol 2, pt. 2] [i-ii], Title page, verso blank.; [iii]-viii, "Vorwort."-signed Gustav Bischof, August 1854.; [ix]-xxxvi, "Inhalt."; [845]-2352, Text.

Scarce. In 1848 Bischof began to publish his enormous Lehrbuch der chemischen und physikalischen Geologie, which soon became the standard geochemical text, and helped to found the studies of geochemistry and petrology. It supported a new line of thought, the `neoneptunistic'. Bischof in his first volume is clearly a plutonist and opposed neptunist views; however, as the work progressed, and he made the intensive studies in connection with the Lehrbuch, he became more convinced of the large role water played in the geological process. His discussion of this role and the thoughts put down in the Lehrbuch acted as a catalyst on further research in geochemistry and petrology throughout the 19th century, especially in Europe.

Having a chemical background made Bischof's experimental work eminently sound, although some of his generalizations as applied to petrology and the geological process failed. The first volume of the Lehrbuch is concerned with various aspects of hydrology and the effect of water on rock surfaces, in pore and joint spaces, and in subterranean passages. His scientific account of springs is well illustrated with observations of such phenomena in the Rhine Valley. He was among the first to repudiate the plutonic theory for the origin of large salt beds, attributing them instead to the desiccation of large lakes as evidenced by the Dead and Caspian seas. He also investigated water as a chemical reagent under the regime of weathering, and also as a hydrothermal and hydration agent.

With respect to coal, Bischof concluded that the characteristic chemical and physical constitution of the different varieties of coal had been determined by the amount of air admitted and the accompanying heat and pressure. Thus he estimated that because of the substance lost in the process of coalification, it took 80 feet of plant material to yield three feet of coal.

The second volume of his work dealt with chemical mineralogy and petrology. Even today, the work retains its high value because of the numerous and careful rock analyses. However, his generalizations were formulated around the Neptunian Theory. Therefore he concluded that all rock minerals except augite and leucite could have originated from aqueous solutions under atmospheric temperature and pressure and that their origin from fused rook was exceptional. These conclusions were based on the similarity of the chemical composition of many volcanics with that of graywacke and slate. In one of his many experiments, Bischof melted large balls of basalt and by observations of their cooling period, he calculated that the complete solidification of the earth took 350 million years. Bischof, together with his contemporaries, Roemer, Goldfuss, and Vom Rath, made the University of Bonn one of the leading schools in geological research during the middle 19th century.

Bibliographical references: DSB: 2, 158. Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 1, 121. Zittel, Geschichte der Geologie, 1899. Zittel, History of Geology, 1901.

2. German, 1863-6 [2nd edition].
Lehrbuch | der | chemischen und physikalischen | Geologie | von | Gustav Bischof. | [rule] | Erster [-Dritter] Band. | Zweite gänzlich umgearbeitete Auflage, | in gedrängter Kürze, mit Zusätzen und Verbesserungen. | Mit einer colorirten Karte. | [tapered rule] | Bonn, | Bei Adolph Marcus. | 1863 [-1866].

3 vols. [Vol 1: 1863] 8°: [i]-xv, [1], [1]-865, [1] p. [Vol 2: 1864] 8°: [i]-xv, [1], [1]-952 p. [Vol 3: 1866] 8°: [i]-xvi, [1]-974 p. Page size: 218 x 130 mm.

Contents: [Vol 1] [i-ii], Title page, verso "Das Recht der Uebersetzung..."; [iii], Dedication to the Geological Society of London.; [iv], Blank.; [v]-x, "Vorrede."-dated 1 October 1863.; xi-xv, "Inhalt."; [1 pg], Blank.; [1]-865, Text.; [1 pg], Blank.

[Vol 2] [i-ii], Title page, verso "Das Recht der Uebersetzung..."; [iii], Dedication to Académie des Sciences in Paris.; [iv], Blank.; [v], "Vorwort."-dated 4 May 1864.; [vi], Blank.; [vii]-xv, "Inhalt."; [1 pg], Blank.; [1]-952, Text.

[Vol 3] [i-ii], Title page, verso "Das Recht der Uebersetzung..."; [iii], Dedication to the Decan at Doctoren-Collegium.; [iv], Blank.; [v]-vii, "Vorrede."; [x]-xvi, "Inhalt."; [1]-912, Text.; [913]-974, Name and subject indexes.

Scarce. Although called a second edition, this is in essence a continuation of the original volumes.

English edition

3. English, 1854-9 [English transl.].
Elements | of | Chemical And Phyiscal | Geology. | By | Gustav Bischof, Ph.D. | Professor Of Chemistry And Technology In The University Of Bonn. | Translated From The Manuscript Of The Author, By | Benjamin H. Paul, F.C.S., | and | J. Drummond, M.D. | Vol. I. [-III.] | London: | Printed For The Cavendish Society, | By Harrison & Sons, St. Martin's Lane. | 1854 [-1859].

3 vols. [Vol 1: 1854] 8°: π4 b8 B-Ff8 Gg4; 240l.; [i]-xxiii, [1], [1]-455, [1] p. [Vol 2: 1855] 8°: π8 b4 B-Kk8 Ll4 Mm2; 574l.; [i]-xxiv, [1]-523, [1] p. [Vol 3: 1859] 8°: π9 B-Nn8 Oo3; 292l.; [i]-xvii, [1], [1]-566 p. Page size: 216 x 138 mm.

Contents: [Vol 1] [i-ii], "Works | Of The | Cavendish Society. | [ornament] | [rule] | Founded 1846. | [rule]," verso blank.; [iii-iv], Title page, verso blank.; [v]-viii, "Introductory Remarks."-signed Gustav Bischof, June 1854.; [ix]-xxiii, "Table Of Contents."; [1 pg], Blank.; [1]-455, Text.; [1 pg], Blank.

[Vol 2] "Works | Of The | Cavendish Society. | [ornament] | [rule] | Founded 1846. | [rule]," verso blank.; [iii-iv], Title page, verso blank.; [v]-xxiv, "Table Of Contents."; [1]-523, Text.; [1 pg], Blank.

[Vol 3] "Works | Of The | Cavendish Society. | [ornament] | [rule] | Founded 1846. | [rule]," verso blank.; [iii-iv], Title page, verso blank.; [v], "Preface."-signed Benj. H. Paul, January 1859.; [vi], Blank.; [vii]-xvii, "Table Of Contents."; [1], "Erratum."; [1]-556, Text.; [557]-566, "Index."

Scarce. English translation by Benjamin H. Paul and J. Drummond of the original manuscript that became Lehrbuch der chemischen und physikalischen Geologie (1st ed., 1847). The appendix that was published with the original was not translated.

Bibliographical references: Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 1, 121.

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