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Thomas Thomson (1773-1852), Chemist

Sitter in 3 portraits
Educated at the University of St Andrews in classics, mathematics and natural philosophy, he decided to take up chemistry as a career. From 1796 to 1800, he acted as Assistant Editor of the Supplement to the Third Edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, to which he contributed the articles 'Chemistry', 'Mineralogy', and 'Vegetable, animal and dyeing substances'; these formed the basis of his System of Chemistry (1802). This work was highly successful, running through six editions, and securing Thomson's reputation as a chemist. In 1813, he founded a scientific journal, Annals of Philosophy, which he edited for a number of years. He was appointed Regius Professor of Chemistry at the University of Glasgow in 1817.