Dumas, Jean-Baptiste (1800)

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Dumas, Jean-Baptiste (1800) Gender: M
born on 16 July 1800 at 05:00 (= 05:00 AM )
Place Alès, France, 44n08, 4e05
Timezone LMT m4e05 (is local mean time)
Data source
Quoted BC/BR
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Choisnard
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_cancol.18.gif 23°19' s_mo.18.gif s_taucol.18.gif 20°07 Asc.s_cancol.18.gif 28°02'

Jean-Baptiste (1800) Dumas


French chemist who pioneered in organic chemistry, best known for his works on organic analysis and synthesis, as well as the determination of atomic weights (relative atomic masses) and molecular weights by measuring vapor densities. He also developed a method for the analysis of nitrogen in compounds.

In 1816 Dumas traveled to Geneva where he studied pharmacy, chemistry, and botany. His name appeared on journal articles in pharmacy and physiology before he was out of his teens.

In 1822 he became professor of chemistry at the Athenaeum, only the first of many academic appointments he would hold—at the Sorbonne, the École Polytechnique, and the École de Médecine. Dumas established a teaching laboratory, initially at his own expense. He was a masterful teacher, serving as mentor to many important French chemists, including Auguste Laurent, Charles-Adolphe Wurtz, and Louis Pasteur.

In 1832 Dumas became a member of the French Academy of Sciences and in 1875 he was a member of the French Academy. From 1868 until his death in 1884 he would serve the academy as the permanent secretary for its department of Physical Sciences. In 1838, Dumas was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Dumas greatly improved the method of determining the vapour density of substances (and thus their relative molecular masses), and he developed a combustion method for determining nitrogen in organic compounds. He produced revised atomic weights for about 30 elements, including carbon, studied the structure of dyes and pharmaceuticals, and wrote on inorganic chemistry, metallurgy, and physiology.

After the Revolutions of 1848, he was elected to the new National Assembly. Dumas served as both minister of agriculture and of commerce in 1850–51, and when Louis became Emperor Napoleon III, Dumas became a senator in the Second Empire. He was on the municipal council of Paris for many years and became its president (in effect, the mayor) in 1859. He worked with the great city planner Baron Haussmann on the restructuring of the city, including the improvement of drainage and lighting and the beginnings of the modern water-supply system. The emperor called him “the poet of hygiene.”

In 1868 Dumas was made permanent secretary of the Academy of Sciences and was also appointed master of the mint. The tumultuous birth of the Third Republic in 1870 led to his withdrawal from public life and his return to scientific work. He received many honours during his long and varied career; perhaps the highest tribute came from Wurtz, who called him “the founder of organic chemistry.”

One marriage, two children.

Dumas died 10 April 1884, Cannes.

His is one of the 72 names inscribed on the Eiffel tower.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • Work : Great Achievement 1875 (Member of the French Academy)

Source Notes

Cura 1 list quotes Choisnard for 5 AM on 16 July.

Wikipedia gives 14 July, Grazia Bordoni's Science database gives 15 July (source "not known"). Birth certificates are not available online from the Gard departmental archives in 2017.

Sy Scholfield quotes from Jean-Baptiste Dumas, 1800-1884: la vie d'un chimiste dans les allées de la science et du pouvoir by Jimmy Drulhon (Hermann, 2011), p. 20: "Pour en finir avec les fautes innombrables répétées d'un texte à l'autre, voici la transcription in extenso de son acte de naissance tel qu'il ressort du service des archives municipales de la ville d'Alès : \" arrondissement communal du Gard Du vingt-neuf messidor, An huit de la république |vendredi 18 juillet 1800, acte de naissance de Jean-Baptiste Dumas, né le vingt sept du courant |mercredi 16 juillet 1800] à cinq heures du matin, fils à Jean-Baptiste Dumas, commis de l'Admlinistrati]on Municipale et de Marie Magdeleine Bastide, manés en légitime mariage."

(Translation: In order to put an end to the countless faults repeated from one text to another, here is the transcription in extenso of his birth certificate as it emerges from the department of the municipal archives of the city of Alès: "arrondissement communal du Gard. Twenty-nine Messidor, in the eighth year of the republic, or 18 July 1800, birth certificate of Jean-Baptiste Dumas, born on the twenty-seventh day of the current month [Wednesday 16 July 1800], at 5 o'clock in the morning, son of Jean-Baptiste Dumas, Clerk of the Municipal Adminstration and of Marie Magdeleine Bastide, who were legitimately married").


  • Personal : Death : Long life more than 80 yrs (Age 83)
  • Vocation : Science : Chemistry
  • Notable : Famous : First in Field (organic chemistry)
  • Notable : Famous : Historic figure
  • Notable : Famous : Top 5% of Profession
  • Notable : Famous : Other Famous (memeber of the French Academy)