Article ID: CBB050430251

Paper Tools and Periodic Tables: Newlands and Mendeleev Draw Grids (2018)


This essay elaborates on Ursula Klein’s methodological concept of “paper tools” by drawing on several examples from the history of the periodic table. Moving from John A. R. Newlands’s “Law of Octaves,” to Dmitrii Mendeleev’s first drafts of his periodic system in 1869, to Mendeleev’s chemical speculations on the place of the ether within his classification, one sees that the ways in which the scientists presented the balance between empirical data and theoretical manipulation proved crucial for the chemical community’s acceptance or rejection of their proposed innovations. This negotiated balance illustrates an underemphasised feature of Klein’s conceptualisation of the ways in which a paper tool generates new knowledge

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Article Mary Jo Nye; Stephen J. Weininger (2018) Paper Tools from the 1780s to the 1960s: Nomenclature, Classification, and Representations. Ambix: Journal of the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry (pp. 1-8). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Scerri, Eric R.
Orna, Mary Virginia
Maar, Juergen Heinrich
Maar, Alexander
Pushcharovsky, Dmitry
Oliveira, João A. B. P.
Substantia: An International Journal of the History of Chemistry
Ambix: Journal of the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
Foundations of Chemistry
European Physical Journal H
Acta Historica Leopoldina
Oxford University Press
Reaktion Books
Periodic system of the elements; periodic table
Chemical elements
Terminology and nomenclature
Visual representation; visual communication
Mendeleev, Dmitri Ivanovich
Meyer, Julius Lothar
Lavoisier, Antoine Laurent
Klein, Ursula
Woody, Andrea I.
Paneth, Friedrich Adolf
Time Periods
19th century
20th century
18th century
21st century
20th century, late
17th century
United States
Great Britain
International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry
American Chemical Society

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