Axel Fredrik Cronstedt

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Cronstedt, Axel Fredrik


Born Dec. 23, 1722, in Stroepsta, Södermanland Province; died Aug. 19, 1765, in Stock-holm. Swedish mineralogist and chemist.

In 1742, Cronstedt graduated from the University of Uppsala, where he later became a professor of chemistry and mineralogy. He proposed the classification of minerals based on chemical composition. As a result, he substantially improved mineralogical nomenclature and separated fossil organisms and other geological objects from the true minerals. In 1751 he discovered the element nickel. His principal work, An Essay Toward a System of Mineralogy (1758), was translated into Russian (1776) and other European languages. Cronstedt’s description of the mines of Sweden was translated into German and published in 1781 under the title The History of Minerals in the Vastmanland and Dalecarlia Ore Mountains.


Bartow, V. “Axel Fredrik Cronstedt.” Journal of Chemical Education, 1953, vol. 30, no. 5.
Zenzen, N. “A. F. Cronstedt.” In Svenskt biografiskt Lexikon, vol. 9. Stockholm, 1929. Pages 279–95.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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The term zeolite was originally coined in 1756 by Swedish mineralogist Axel Fredrik Cronstedt, who observed that upon rapidly heating the material stilbite, it produced large amounts of steam from water that had been adsorbed by the material.
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During the second half of the 18th century, mining, and above all the prospecting for new orebodies, were performed more rationally under the direction of leading Swedish experts such as the famous mineralogist, chemist and assayer Axel Fredrik Cronstedt (1722-1765).