Nature 135, 638-639 (27 April 1935) | doi:10.1038/135638b0

Gmelins Handbuch der anorganischen Chemie


IT seems to be uncertain to whom should be ascribed the first successful isolation of the metal aluminium. Davy, Faraday and Berzelius all seem to have met with a certain amount of success, but in 1856 Berzelius stated that after many unsuccessful or only partially successful attempts by Davy, Oersted, Wohler and himself to isolate the metal, it was Wohler who ultimately succeeded in 1827. Accordingly, Wohler is generally given credit for the discovery, but in recent years Fogh has put forward a strong claim of priority on behalf of Oersted (1824-25), and has shown that Oersted’s method of reducing anhydrous aluminium chloride with potassium amalgam and distilling off the mercury from the product can be made to give satisfactory results.