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Charles Hatchett (1765?-1847), Chemist

Sitter in 4 portraits
The son of a wealthy coachbuilder, Hatchett was self-taught in chemistry and mineralogy. He initially joined the family business, but from 1791 he concentrated on scientific research. An analysis of lead molybdate in 1796 established his reputation as a mineral chemist and the following year he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. Between 1796 and 1806 he published many important scientific papers. In 1801 he wrote a paper describing his analysis of a mineral sample that had been in the British Museum since 1753. He showed that the mineral contained a new element, which he named columbium (Cb), after its place of origin in Massachusetts. The element was later rediscovered and renamed as niobium (Nb).