February 8, 1834 in Tobolsk, a town in Siberia, Russia. He was the youngest of a large family. The exact size of the family is a matter of dispute with sources putting the number of siblings between eleven and seventeen.
February 2, 1907 (age 72) of influenza in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Claim to Fame:
Periodic Table of the Elements:
While writing his textbook, Principles of Chemistry
, Mendeleev found that if you arrange the elements in order of increasing atomic mass, their chemical properties demonstrated definite trends. This lead to his periodic table
, which is the basis for the current periodic table of the elements. His table had blank spaces where he predicted three unknown elements which turned out to be germanium
Other Interesting Facts:
- Mendeleev is credited for bringing the metric system to Russia and was director of Russia's Bureau of Weights and Measures.
- Due to a legal technicality, he was considered a bigamist for not waiting the required seven years after a divorce before marrying his second wife.
- In his later years, he became known for his large beard and long hair. It was said he would only cut his hair and beard once a year.