Georg Kaspar Chelius

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Georg Kaspar Chelius (born March 22, 1761 in Oberstedten near Homburg , † March 8, 1828 in Frankfurt am Main ) was a German author , metrologist and mathematician .


Chelius was the eldest son of three children of hosiery master Johannes Chelius and his wife Wilhelmine Marie, née Eich. Brother Johannes died as a French teacher in Frankfurt am Main in 1802 and his youngest brother Johann Lorenz died as a scientist in Homburg in 1789.

Chelius took the first lessons in his place of birth. His hard work and perseverance, especially in mathematics, distinguished him and made it possible to give private lessons in his home country. In 1787 he came to Frankfurt am Main as vicar on the recommendation of friends . In February 1788 he took a job as a teacher. The basis for this position was his previously successful exam.

Here he met his wife Marie Elisabeth Schlochow, daughter of a teacher, whom he married in 1788. He had five children with her, four of whom died during his lifetime.

He worked as a teacher until mid-1797 and then became an arithmetic clerk for the imperial city of Frankfurt. In addition, he continued to give private lessons for young people to become commercial traders.

In 1805 the first edition of his Reliable Comparison of All Weights and Measures in the trading city of Frankfurt am Main was published . Until then, there had been no exact metrological determination of the usual measurements and weights in Frankfurt, and the conversion into the measurement systems of other countries was based on inaccurate or incorrect tables. After the imperial city of Frankfurt lost its sovereignty in 1806, the new ruler, Prince Primate Karl Theodor von Dalberg , sought a uniform system of measurement for his principality.

In 1811 the city became part of the Grand Duchy of Frankfurt as the Department of Frankfurt . In November 1812, Dalberg appointed Chelius as inspector for weights and measures for the Frankfurt department. Chelius opposed the introduction of the metric system , planned for 1813 . With the end of the Grand Duchy after the Battle of the Nations near Leipzig , the plans for a uniform system of measurements also became obsolete.

In 1818 Chelius received the post of first arithmetic clerk for the Free City of Frankfurt . In 1825 he retired for health reasons. He suffered from a progressive respiratory disease known as windpipe congestion . A cure in the summer of 1827 brought no improvement. He died on March 8, 1828. Until recently he had been working on the third edition of his measure and weight book , which appeared posthumously in 1830 . His wife died a year later on June 30, 1829.

Works (selection)

  • Tables to facilitate and abbreviate the calculation of interests; or just whole ratios. Jäger book, paper and map store, Frankfurt am Main, 1816.
  • Measure and weight book. Third edition. Verlag der Jägerschen Buch-, Papier- und Landkartenhandlung, Frankfurt am Main 1830, with additions by Johann Friedrich Hauschild and a preface by Heinrich Christian Schumacher ; online in the google book search.
  • Comparison tables of the weights of different countries and cities. Jägersche Buch-, Papier- und Landkartenhandlung, Frankfurt am Main 1836, together with Johann F. Hauschild.
  • Reliable comparison of all dimensions and weights in the trading city of Frankfurt am Main. Second edition. Johann Christ Hermann, Frankfurt am Main 1808; online in the google book search.

Web links