It is an important document from the time when the chemical is still in its infancy: In the Scottish University of St. Andrews researchers have found an ancient Poster with a representation of the periodic system. According to the Institution, the pressure to be the oldest surviving Poster of this kind.

The German title of “the Periodic Law of elements according to Mendel Jeff” was the title of the document dates from the year 1885, it is said in a message. It would therefore have been 16 years after the first publication of the periodic system by Russian chemist Dmitry Mendeleev printed. The origin of the poster were able to identify the researchers. It comes from Vienna and was produced by the “Verlag v. Lenoir & Forster”.

Already some four years ago discovered the St. Andrews staff the paper randomly. It was rolled up between old laboratory equipment in the storage rooms of the faculty of chemistry.


Mendeleev published his famous periodic table in 1869 – today it hangs in almost every school chemistry room. Only three years later he published a second version. In Scotland, the recorded Version is clearly similar to the first.

the poor condition of the paper roll, the evidence indicated that it had to be a very old print. The paper had been applied to a base made of linen, it was fragile and brittle. Therefore, the chemists were there first, consuming restore. Now it is stored in the air-conditioned rooms for special documents in St. Andrews, the oldest University in Scotland.

As the year must not have been on the print necessarily the year of its manufacture, were also experts in mind, to fathom the origin. According to Eric Scerri, a specialist in the history of the periodic table, has been made the poster in any case, between 1879 and 1886. The elements shown on talk: Gallium than Scandium are shown, they were discovered in 1875 and 1879. The first, in 1886 discovered Germanium, however, is missing. A total of 71 items are listed for the current period, system is at 118.

the researchers were able to be then after looking in the archives of the faculty. There they found a receipt for the purchase. In 1888, the Scottish chemistry Professor Thomas Purdie had bought the printed graph for three German Goldmark. Also the year of the production of 1885 was noted: – the number agreed to on the pressure.

students of chemistry, who want to see the work, you don’t need by the way, in the air-conditioned archive requests. A facsimile edition is now issued in the faculty.


Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.