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The Periodic Table is so much part of our Chemical education that we forget that for many decades after the birth of 'modern' chemistry no such thing existed. Various attempte were made to classify the elements, culminating in Mendeleev's brilliant achievement of not only categorising what there was known about the elements, but also predicting what was not. The four extracts here give some of the flavour of the thoughts of the times.

  • An attempt to group elementary substances according to their analogies: Johann Wolfgang Dobereiner (1780-1849)
  • The relation between the properties and the atomic weights of the elements: Dimitri Ivanovitch Mendeleev (1834 - 1907)
  • A natural system of the elements and its use in predicting the properties of undiscovered elements: Dimitri Ivanovitch Mendeleev.

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