Eduard Frankland (1825-1899)


English chemist, was born near Lancaster in January 18th, 1825, and died in Golaa, Norway, in August 9th, 1899. He worked in the theory of chemical equivalents, discovered the organometallic compounds and, together with Sir Joseph Lockyer, discovered helium in the Sun.

In 1845 Frankland entered to Lyon Playfair's Laboratory as pharmaceutical assistant. Later worked with Robert Bunsen in Marburg. In 1847, received the Master's degree at the Queenwood School. In 1851, became Professor of Chemistry in Owens College, Manchester, in 1857 lecturer in Chemistry in Saint Bartholomew's Hospital in London, in 1863 professor of Chemistry in the Royal Institution, and successor of A. W. Hofmann in the Royal School of Mines, where it stayed from 1865 up to 1885.

In 1850 Frankland announced the preparation of organometallic compounds, such as dimethyl-zinc and diethyl-zinc. Posterior studies led this English scientist to the important concept of atomic bonding - the valence theory. He was also a specialist of food chemistry, water analysis, sewer treatment and purification and prevention of water pollution.

Interested in spectroscopy, an emerging science at the time, Frankland collaborated with Lockyer in the discovery, in 1868, of a new element in the Sun which we now call helium. This element was identified on Earth for the first time in 1895, by Sir William Ramsay. Frankland received the Copley medal, in 1894, and was armed Knight in 1897.