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Edgar Fahs Smith

Edgar Fahs Smith (May 23, 1854 – May 3, 1928) was an American scientist who is best known today for his interests in the history of chemistry. He accumulated a large collection of pictures, books, and papers related to the history of chemistry, and which today forms the nucleus of the Edgar Fahs Smith Memorial Collection.

Life and work

Edgar Fahs Smith was born in York, Pennsylvania and earned his college degree at Pennsylvania College at Gettysburg (now Gettysburg College) in 1874. He received his Ph.D. under Friedrich Wöhler in Göttingen in 1876. Smith then returned to the United States and, in time, became associated with the University of Pennsylvania, first as a professor of chemistry and then as Provost. Smith's scientific research covered the fields of electrochemistry, the determination of atomic weights, and the rare-earth elements.

Smith was a co-founder of the American Chemical Society's History of Chemistry division. He served three times as president of the American Chemical Society and was president of the American Philosophical Society (1902-1908) and the History of Science Society (1928). In 1898 Smith was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.[1]

Smith died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1928.[2]


  • Chemistry in America (1914)
  • The Life of Robert Hare (1917)
  • James Woodhouse (1918)
  • Priestley in America (1920)


  1. ^ Browne, C. A. (1928). "Dr. Edgar Fahs Smith". Journal of Chemical Education 38: 656 – 663.
  2. ^ Taggart, Walter T. (1932). "Edgar Fahs Smith". Journal of Chemical Education 9: 613 – 619.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Edgar_Fahs_Smith". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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