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Johann Friedrich Gmelin
GMELIN, Johann Friedrich.

GMELIN, Johann Friedrich.
(1748 - 1804)

(Born: Tübingen, Germany, 8 August 1748; Died: Göttingen, Germany, 1 November 1804) German mineralogist & naturalist.

Gmelin was father of the physician and chemist, Leopold Gmelin [1788-1853]. He was professor of medicine at Tübingen and professor of philosophy and medicine at Göttingen. In the spirit of his time, Gmelin worked in the fields of natural history, mineralogy, chemistry, entomology and botany.

Biographical references: ADB: 9, 270. Catalogue of Portraits of Naturalists: 485 [1 portrait listed]. DBA: I 398, 336-366; II 455, 232-235. Drugulin, Sechstausend Portraits, 1863: nos. 1951-2. Hamberger & Meusel, Gelehrte Teutschland, 1796-1834. Hirsch, Biographisches Lexikon, 1884-8: 2, 580. Lambrecht & Quenstedt, Catalogus, 1938: 165. Poggendorff: 1, cols. 914-5. Schaedler, Biographisch Handwörterbuch, 1891: 42-3. Wagenitz, Göttinger Biologen, 1988: 65. WBI. World Who's Who in Science: 665.

Vollständinges Natursystem, 1777

1. German, 1777-9.
Des | Ritters Carl von Linne' | Königlich Schwedischen Leibarztes &c. &c. | Vollständiges | Natursystem | des | Mineralreichs | nach | der zwölften lateinischen Ausgabe | in einer | freyen und vermehrten Uebersetzung | von | Johann Friederich Gmelin, | [...4 lines of titles and memberships...] | [rule] | Erster Theil. | Nebst fünf Kupfertafeln. | [rule] | Mit Churfürstl. Sächsischer Freyheit. | [ornate rule] | Nürnberg, | bey Gabriel Nicolaus Raspe, 1777.

4 vols. [Vol 1: 1777] 8°: π2 A-R8 S6; 328l.; [4], [1]-652 p., 5 plates (folding, xl diagrams).; [Vol 2: 1778] 8°: )(8 A-Hh8 Ii4; 260l.; [16], [1]-496, [8] p., 9 plates (xl diagrms, specimens); [Vol 3: 1778] 8°: )(8 A-Gg8 Hh3; 251l.; [16], [1]-486 p., 12 plates (specimens); [Vol 4: 1779] 8°: a-d8 A-L8 M7; 311l.; [i]-lxiv, [1]-548, [10] p., 30 plates (specimens). Page size: 198 x 116 mm.

Contents: [Vol 1] [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [2 pgs], "Vorrede."-dated 1 September 1777.; [1]-652, Text.; [At end], Plates.

[Vol 2] [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [12 pgs], "Vorrede."; [2 pgs], Publisher's list.; [1]-496, Text.; [8], Errata to first volume.; [At end], Plates.

[Vol 3] [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [14 pgs], "Vorrede."; [1]-486, Text.; [At end], Plates.

[Vol 4] [i-ii], Title page, verso blank.; [iii]-lxiv, "Vorrede."; [1]-460, Text.; 461-528, "Allgemeines und Vollständiges | Namen Register | über alle vier Theile. | ..."; [10 pgs], "Verbesserungen."

Scarce. A very much expanded "translation" by Johann Friedrich Gmelin from the mineralogical section of the 1766-8 Latin edition of Linné's Systema Naturæ. According to Soulsby, another edition of volume 4 was published in 1785. It has the pagination, 8°: lxiv, 521, [6] p., 30 plates.

Volume one contains introductory material including a general description of the science, an extensive and important bibliography of mineralogical science and the first portion of the descriptive mineralogy. The remaining volumes contain the bulk of the descriptive mineralogy. At the end of volume four is a comprehensive index.

Bibliographical references: Freilich Sale Catalog: no. 360. Hoover Collection: no. 542. LKG: XII 75 & XVII 57. Petzholdt, Bibliotheca Bibliographica, 1866: p. 566. Soulsby, Catalogue of the Works of Linneaus, 1933-6: no. 100a. Wallerius, Brevis Introductio, 1779: 72.

Einleitung in die Mineralogie, 1780

2. German, 1780.
Joh. Friedr. Gmelins | [...6 lines of titles and memberships...] | Einleitung | in die | Mineralogie | zum Gebrauch | akademischer Vorlesungen. | [ornament] | [ornate rule] | Nürnberg, | bey Gabriel Nikolaus Raspe, 1780.

12°: π2 A-Aa6 Bb6 χ1; 196l.; [4], [1]-380, [14] p. Page size: 168 x 98 mm.

Contents: [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [2 pgs], "Vorbericht."; [1]-380, Text.; [12 pgs], "Register."; [2 pgs], "Druckfehler."

Scarce. In this introduction to the mineralogical science, Gmelin concentrates on the systematic component. The text begins with a brief review of definitions, and then proceeds to a systematic representation of the known minerals. This classification is based largely on external characteristics with some chemical information included.

Bibliographical references: Dana's 7th (Bibliography): 72. LKG: XII 81.

3. German, 1790.
Grundriss | der | Mineralogie, | entworfen | von | Joh. Friedr. Gmelin, | [...3 lines of titles and memberships...] | [tapered rule] | Mit Churfürstl. Sächs. gnädigster freyheit. | [ornate rule] | Göttingen, | bey JohannChristian Dieterich | 1790.

8°: )(8 A-Z8 Aa-Pp8 Qq6; 318l.; [i]-xvi, [1]-589, [31] p. Page size: 168 x 95 mm.

Contents: [i-ii], Title page, verso blank.; [iii]-x, Introductory remarks, signed J.Fr. Gmelin, 12 March 1790.; [xi]-xvi, "Inhalt."; [1]-12, "I. Abschnitt. Allgemeine Grundsatze der Mineralogie."; 13, "II. Abschnitt. Von dem Urstoff der Mineralogie."; 14-19, "III. Abschnitt. Von den bildenden und zerstörenen Kräften im Mineralreiche."; 19-589, "IV. Abschnitt. Allgemeine Eintheilung der Mineralien."; [31 pgs], "Alphabetischer Register."

Scarce. A systematic mineralogy that is divided into four sections. 1) Opening remarks with a bibliography of works on mineralogy [56 entries]. 2) Discussion of the elements which make up minerals. 3) Methods of breaking down minerals (i.e., fire, water, etc.). 4) The classification scheme (the bulk of the work). The systematic classification is divided into 4 classes. I. Erd- und Steinarten. II. Salts. III. Brennbare Mineralien. IV. Metallische Körper.

Bibliographical references: Dana's 7th (Bibliography): 72. LKG: XII 82a. NUC: 202, 626-9.

4. German, 1783.
Beyträge | zur | Geschichte | des | teutschen Bergbaus, | vornehmlich | aus den mittlern und spätern Jahrhunderten | unserer Zeitrechnung | von | Johann Friedrich Gmelin. | [ornament] | [ornate rule] | Halle, | bey Johann Jacob Gebauer, 1783.

8°: [1]-452, [2] p.

Very rare. Early work on the history of mining in Germany from the earliest times.

Bibliographical references: BL [726.i.37.].

5. German, 1776-7 [First edition].
Allgemeine | Geschichte der Gifte | entworfen | von | Johann Friedrich Gmelin | [...2 lines of titles and memberships...] | [rule] | Erster Theil. | [ornament] | [rule] | Leipzig | in der Weysandschen Buchhandlung. | 1776.

[Title to Theil 3 reads:]

Allgemeine | Geschichte | der | mineralischen Gifte | entworfen | von | Joh. Friedr. Gmelin | [...3 lines of titles and memberships...] | [ornament] | [rule] | Nürnberg, | bey Gabriel Nicolaus Raspe, 1777.

3 vols. and atlas. [Vol 1: 1776] 8°: 350 (i.e., 348), [2] p. [Vol 2: 1777] 8°: [16], 525 (i.e., 523), [1] p. [Vol 3: 1777] 8°: [8], 316, [16] p. Engraved title vignettes and head pieces. [Atlas] 60 engraved hand-colored plates.

Rare, especially in three volumes. This is the author's General History of Poisons published in three parts. Within these volumes are described poisions from the animal, plant and mineral kingdoms. Gmelin provides information on the history of the use of these poisons, their sources, and preparation. There is also a large amount of information pertaining to the pharmaceutical use of the substances.

An extremely rare and widely unknown atlas of 60 hand-colored engraved plates is not mentioned in most bibliographies, but was in fact prepared to accompany this work. No copy of this atlas has been located.

Vol 1 provides a general introduction to the subject and treats poisons derived from animals.

Vol. 2 has title: Allgemeine Geschichte der Pflanzengifte ... Nürnberg, Bey Gabriel Nicolaus Rasper, 1777.

Vol. 3 has title: Allgemeine Geschichte der mineralischen Gifte ... Nürnberg, Bey Gabriel Nicolaus Raspe, 1777.

Bibliographical references: Allgemeine Deutsche Bibliothek: 35, 460 [review]. Berlinische Sammlungen: 10, 304 [review]. BL [955.b.34.]. Cobres, Deliciæ Cobresianæ, 1782: 2, 709. Ferchl: p. 189. Ferguson, Bibliotheca Chemica, 1906: 1, 331. Gatterer, Mineralogischen Literatur, 1798-9: 1, 241. Kopp, Geschichte der Chemie, 1843-7: 2, 100. L'Espirit des Journal: October 1777, 385 & July 1778, 399 [review]. Leipziger allgemeines Verzeichniss: 1777, 507 [review vol. 1]. NLM 18th Century Books (Blake): p. 178. Pritzel, Thesaurus Literaturæ Botanicæ, 1871-3: no. 3701. Wellcome Catalog (Books): 3, 127.

6. German, 1803-6 [2nd ed].
Allgemeine Geschichte der thierischen und mineralischen Gifte von Johann Friedrich Gmelin. Mit Vorrede von Johann Friedrich Blumenbach ... Erfurt, Knick, 1806.

2 vols. [Vol 1: 1803] 8°: xii, 852 p. (Erster Theil. Allgemeine Geschichte der Pflanzengifte.) [Vol 2: 1806] 8°: viii, 391 p. (Zweite Theil. Der thierischen und mineralischen Gifte.)

Rare. Gmelin, J. F. (1803). Allgemeine Geschichte der Pflanzengifte. Nürnberg,, In der Raspeschen Buchhandlung. Gmelin, J. F. and J. F. Blumenbach (1806). Allgemeine Geschichte der thierischen und mineralischen Gifte. Erfurt, F.A. Knick.

Facsimile reprint, volume 1, 1973: Allgemeine Geschichte der Pflanzengifte. Walluf bei Wiesbaden, Sändig, 1973. xii, 852 p. [ISBN 3-500-26320-8].

7. German, 1811 [2nd ed.].
Allgemeine Geschichte der thierischen und mineralischen Gifte. Zweite Auflage. Erfurt, Müller, 1811.

8°: viii, 391 p.

Very scarce. Reissue of the 1806 edition.

8. German, 1786.
Chemische Grundsätze der Probir- und Schmeltzkunst von J. Fr. Gmelin. Halle, Bei Johann Jacob Gebauer, 1786.

8°: viii, [1], 4-402 p. Includes index. Includes index. Very scarce.

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