Nicolas-Théodore de Saussure
1767 – 1845
Who was Nicolas-Théodore de Saussure?
The eldest son of Horace-Bénédict de Saussure, he was born in Geneva. He lived quietly and avoided society; yet like his ancestors he was a member of the Genevan representative council, and gave much attention to public affairs. In the latter part of his life, he became increasingly reclusive, and died in the city of his birth.
While a young man, Nicolas-Théodore accompanied his father in his Alpine journeys and assisted him by the careful determination of many physical constants. He was attracted to chemistry by Lavoisier's discoveries, but he never became as great. He took a leading share in improving the processes of ultimate organic analysis; and he determined the composition of ethanol, ether and some other commonly occurring substances. He also studied fermentation, the conversion of starches into sugars, and many other processes of minor importance.
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