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Gibbs, Oliver Wolcott

GIBBS, OLIVER WOLCOTT (1822-1908), American chemist, was born at New York on the 21st of February 1822. His father, Colonel George Gibbs, was an ardent mineralogist; the mineral gibbsite was named after him, and his collection was finally bought by Yale College. Entering Columbia College in 1837, Wolcott (the Oliver he dropped at an early date) graduated in 1841, and, having assisted Robert Hare at Pennsylvania University for several months, he next entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York, qualifying as a doctor of medicine in 1845. Leaving America he studied in Germany with K. F. Rammelsberg, H. Rose and J. von Liebig, and in Paris with A. Laurent, J. B. Dumas, and H. V. Regnault, returning in 1848. In that year he became professor of chemistry at the Free Academy, now the College of the City of New York, and in 1863 he obtained the Rumford professorship in Harvard University, a post retained until his retirement in 1887 as professor emeritus. He died on the 9th of December 1908. Gibbs' researches were mainly in analytical and inorganic chemistry, the cobaltammines, platinum metals and complex acids being especially investigated. He was an excellent teacher, and contributed many articles to scientific journals.

See the Memorial Lecture by F. W. Clarke in the J.C.S. (1909), p. 1299.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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