Laksman, Erik Gustavovich
Laksman, Erik (Kirill) Gustavovich
Born July 27 (Aug. 7), 1737, in Nyslott, Sweden (present-day Savonlinna, Finland); died Jan. 5 (16), 1796, at Drevianskaia Station, To-bol’sk Province. Russian naturalist and traveler; academician of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences (1770).
Laksman studied at the university in Abo. In 1762 he moved to Russia, and he worked in Siberia for many years. Laksman proposed the use of natural sodium sulfate (Glauber’s salt) instead of soda and potash for glassmaking purposes (1764–84). He derived a method for producing table salt by freezing out the natural brine of salt lakes (1769). He published studies of saltpeter, soda, and alum processing. He investigated the flora and fauna of the Altai and Eastern Siberia. He discovered the new minerals baikalite and viluite and found deposits of lazurite and zircon. Laksman had extensive mineral and insect collections and herbaria.