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BUTLEROV, Aleksandr Mikhailovich.

Vvedenie k polnomu izucheniyu organicheskoy khimii (Introduction to the Complete Study of Organic Chemistry).

Availability: In stock

Published: Kazan Fan-der-Flit, 1864

Stock Code: 125476

OR On display in 43 Dover Street


First edition, extremely uncommon with two copies only on OCLC, Deutsches Museum, Munich, and North Carolina; the first edition of the first textbook of organic chemistry to be based on the theory of chemical structure. It is impossible to credit Alexander Mikhailovich Butlerov (1828-1886) as the sole discoverer of chemical structure: the Scot Archibald Scott Couper and the German Friedrich August Kekulé were moving to similar conclusions. But his accomplishment was "actually much more important - his version of the theory was much clearer and more easily used. Butlerov may not have developed the theory first, but he made it useful - he did do it best" (Lewis, "High Creativity, Historical Invisibility: The Growth of Chemistry in Russia" in Rasmussen, Igniting the Chemical Ring of Fire: Historical Evolution of the Chemical Communities of the Pacific Rim, p. 322). Often mentioned alongside his compatriot Dmitri Mendeleev, the creator of the periodic table, Butlerov is perhaps internationally less famous, but his work was equally influential.
In his Brief Sketch of the Development of Organic Chemistry in Russia (1948), one of Butlerov's successors as professor at Kazan, and head of the Soviet Institute of Organic chemistry, Aleksandr Arbuzov considered their work to be of a piece; "Mendeleev and Butlerov! These are two giants that hold on their shoulders the eastern portal of the international edifice of chemistry".
Provenance: with the inscription and stamp of Innokentiy Nikitich Soldatov on the title page. Soldatov was a professor of mathematics at Kazan University, Butlerov's alma mater and now home of the Alexander Butlerov Chemistry Institute, in the later nineteenth century; small private library stamp to the front free endpaper and title page.

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Octavo (224 x 152 mm). Contemporary quarter sheep, marbled boards, cloth tips, spine lettered in blind.


Somewhat rubbed, headcap pulled, corners through, typically lightly browned and spotted throughout, some marginal hygroscopic tide-lines front and back, but overall a very good copy.


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