Etienne Francois Geoffroy



  He constructed a “Table des Affinities”. Geoffroy took his concept of “affinity” from Georg Ernst Stahl (1660-1734), the proponent of phlogiston, who believed a relative ordering of “affinities” (the order in which substances displaced each other from compounds) would allow the prediction of other chemical reaction outcomes. Geoffroy’s family included a long line of pharmacists; Etienne’s other strong contribution was his pioneering research on Prussian blue. This concept was an extension of the Newtonian idea of mutual gravitational attraction of physical bodies, and was taken seriously as late as the 19th century by Claude Louis Bertholett (1748-1822), the inventor of l’eau de Javel (the French equivalent of Clorox®) and who, with Lavoisier, Fourcroy and Guyton de Morveau, instituted the new French (i.e., modern) nomenclature of chemical compounds.



  1. "The Road to Karlsruhe" article in the Hexagon of Alpha Chi Sigma

  2. Photograph in Basel, Switzerland

  3. Photographs in Paris, France 2F


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