Lavoisier and the conservation of mass

The month of September had been nice in 1782, and Paris was a very enjoyable town at this time of the year. One morning saw a couple walking from their breakfast table to a room which they used as a chemical laboratory. They were evidently wealthy, their clothing as well as their house ident ified them as being members of the French upper class of the late 18th century. Actually, the man was Antoine Laurent Lavoisier, a well-known chemist in his forties. He had been a member of the Paris Academy of Sciences since the late 1760s, and also one of the tax collectors for the French King – a position that was the basis of his wealth. His wife Marie was about 15 years younger than Antoine, a beautiful and very bright person who was not only interested in the Sciences, but also good in languages (she actually translated English publications for her husband). Moreover, she hosted a salon where a lot of intelligent and influential people regularly met to discuss recent literature, arts and sciences. ...

  • Storytelling Resources

  • Historical Resources

A Primary Sources, French and English
Lavoisier, Antoine Laurent: Essays Physical and Chemical: by M. Lavoisier [...] Translated from the French, with notes, and an appendix, by Thomas Henry [...], London 1776.
Lavoisier, Antoine Laurent et. al.: Traité élémentaire de chimie 1/2 1789a, abgerufen am 25.01.2014, avialable online:
Lavoisier, Antoine Laurent et. al.: Traité élémentaire de chimie 2/2 1789b, abgerufen am 25.01.2014, avialable online:

B Secondary Sources
Beretta, Marco: „Lavoisier in Perspective“: Proceedings of the International Symposium , Deutsches Museum, München, 2005.
Clagett, Marshall: Critical Problems in the History of Science 1962.


see also