Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev

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Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev

Dmitri Mendeleev was one of the most famous modern-day scientists of all time who contributed greatly to the world’s fields of science, technology, and politics. He helped modernize the world and set it farther ahead into the future. Mendeleev also made studying chemistry easier, by creating a table with the elements and the atomic weights of them put in order by their properties.

Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev was born in Tobolsk, Siberia, on February 7, 1834. The blonde-haired, blue-eyed boy was the son of Maria Dmitrievna Korniliev and Ivan Pavlovitch Mendeleev and the youngest of 14 children. Dmitri’s father, Ivan died when Dmitri was still very young and Dmitri’s mother, Maria was left to support her large family. Maria needed money to support all her children, so she took over managing her family’s glass factory in Aremziansk. The family had to pack up and move there.

Maria favored Dmitri because he was the youngest child and started saving money to put him through college when he had still been quite young. As a child, Dmitri spent many hours in his mother’s factory talking to the workers. The chemist there taught him about the concepts behind glass making and the glass blower taught him about the art of glass making. Another large influence in Dmitri’s life had been his sister, Olga’s, husband, Bessargin. Bessargin had been banished to Siberia because of his political beliefs as a Russian Decembrist, (Decembrists, or Dekabrists as they were known in Russia, were a group of literary men who led a revolution in Russia in 1825.), so he spent most of his time teaching Dmitri the science of the day. From these people, Dmitri grew up with three key thoughts:

“Everything in the world is science,” from Bessargin.

“Everything in the world is art,” from Timofei the glass blower.

“Everything in the world is love,” from Maria his mother. (Dictionary of Scientific Biography. p. 291.)

As Dmitri grew older, it became apparent to everyone that Dmitri understood complex topics better than others did. When Dmitri turned 14 and entered school in Tobolsk, a second major family tragedy occurred-his mother’s glass factory burned down to the ground. The family had no money to rebuild the factory, except for the money that Dmitri’s mother had saved for him to attend a university.
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