Lavoisier Publishes List of Known Chemicals


            Another of Lavoisier’s contributions to science was the publishing of one of the first known lists of elements.  As part of the papers that followed his first chemistry book published in 1789, Lavoisier included the thirty-three known “elements” of the day.  His work on the early periodic table was published in 1790.  Though many of the “elements” were not correct because they are compounds or other things (like light or heat), his table did help other scientists to begin to recognize the need for organization of the chemicals that were being discovered.  Since there were only about twenty true elements Lavoisier’s it was difficult to find any real periodic trends.

            The four main groups of elements Lavoisier classified are as follows:


French names (English Names)



Lumière (Light)

Calorique (Heat, Principle of heat, Igneous fluid, Fire, Matter of fire and of heat)

Oxygène (Dephlogisticated air, Empyreal air, Vital air, Base of vital air)

Azote (Phlogisticated gas, Mephitis, Base of mephitis)

Hydrogène (Inflammable air or gas, Base of inflammable air)


Antimoine (Antimony)

Argent (Silver)

Arsenic (Arsenic)

Bismuth (Bismuth)

Cobolt (Cobalt)

Cuivre (Copper)

Étain (Tin)

Fer (Iron)

Manganèse (Manganese)

Mercure (Mercury)

Molybdène (Molybdena)

Nickel (Nickel)

Or (Gold)

Platine (Platina)

Plomb (Lead)

Tungstène (Tungsten)

Zinc (Zinc)


Soufre (Sulphur)

Phosphore (Phosphorus)

Carbone (Pure charcoal)

Radical muriatique (Unknown)

Radical fluorique (Unknown)

Radical boracique (Unknown)


Chaux (Chalk, calcareous earth)

Magnésie (Magnesia, base of Epsom salt)

Baryte (Barote, or heavy earth)

Alumine (Clay, earth of alum, base of alum)

Silice (Siliceous earth, vitrifiable earth)


From his lab in Paris, France, Lavoisier developed the basis for many of the chemical genres, giving him the title of “The Father of Modern Chemistry”


This page is taken from Lavoisier’s original work.