SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Jean Chaptal. Portrait of the French chemist Jean Antoine Claude Chaptal (1756-1832). Chaptal studied medicine but then became interested in chemistry. He gained a professorship in the subject at Montpellier University, France, in 1777. He applied chemistry to industry and established the first plant in France for the commercial production of sulphuric acid. Later he was put in charge of a plant manufacturing gunpowder. Under Napoleon, Chaptal was placed in charge of education and he supervised the introduction of the metric system. His most important book, "Chemistry Applied to the Arts" was devoted to industrial chemistry.
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