Johann Bartholomäus Trommsdorff

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Johann Bartholomäus Trommsdorff
Medallion in honor of JB Trommsdorff at the main post office in Erfurt

Johann Bartholomäus Trommsdorff (* May 8, 1770 in Erfurt ; † March 8, 1837 there ) was one of the most famous pharmacists and pharmacists of his time.


Trommsdorff began in 1784 a pharmacist apprenticeship with WH Buchholz in Weimar , completed in 1788 Apprenticeship in Szczecin and Stargard and took over his father's 1790 swan ring Apotheke am Anger in Erfurt , at the corner of today's main post office. In 1794 he was promoted to Dr. phil. obtained his doctorate and in 1795 lectured as a professor at the Medical Faculty of Erfurt. In 1809 he was promoted to Dr. med. PhD. At the University of Erfurt he gave lectures on pharmaceutical chemistry, mineralogy, the history of chemistry, the art of formulation and general chemistry.

When Napoléon , whom he met in Erfurt in 1807, asked who he considered the greatest chemist of the time, he replied: "Chemistry has not had a big head since Lavoisier lost his own." (Execution during the French Revolution in 1794). After this sentence, which was perceived as a snub, Napoleon abruptly ended the conversation. The French era cost the patriot Trommsdorff his entire fortune, he lost his seat in the Collegium Medicum and had to serve a fortress imprisonment.


Trommsdorff's modern training concept for pharmacists, the aim of which was to raise the scientific level of practical pharmacy, is of particular merit. In 1795 he therefore founded the Chemisch-Physisch-Pharmaceutische Pensionanstalt für Jünglinge , the first in a series of pharmaceutical institutes in Germany, at which prospective pharmacists were trained in physics, chemistry and pharmacy. He can thus be described as a pioneer of academic pharmaceutical studies. When he closed the institute for health reasons in 1828, over 300 students had successfully completed it.

Trommsdorff was also involved in many different ways for the pharmacist profession and pharmacy. In 1809 he was one of the founders of the “Erfurter Apotheker-Kränzchen”; From 1811 he and his colleague Christian Friedrich Bucholz (1770–1818) collected donations for a support institute for “sick, disused pharmacists”. In 1813 he founded a chemical-pharmaceutical factory in Teuditz (today Tollwitz / Bad Dürrenberg ). Today's drug factory Trommsdorff actually goes back to his son and pharmacy successor Hermann Trommsdorff (1811-1884). Trommsdorff became director of the Erfurt Academy of Nonprofit Sciences in 1822 and co-founder of the Erfurt Trade Association and Gothaer Life Insurance in 1827.

He left behind an extensive scientific work that includes 34 books of his own and 512 journal articles.


Trommsdorff was the son of the Erfurt pharmacist, doctor and professor of medicine Wilhelm Bernhard Trommsdorff (1738–1782). His descendants include his son Hermann Trommsdorff , founder of a then famous chemical factory in Erfurt, his grandson Johann Friedrich Theodor Müller (biologist, 1822–1897), and the economist Volker Trommsdorff (* 1943). His daughter Marie Dorothea (Doris) (born April 13, 1798; † July 8, 1871) was married to the general superintendent Johann Friedrich Möller . His daughter Sophie Louise (1813-1850) was married to the Saxon chemist, entrepreneur and member of the state parliament Friedrich Christian Fikentscher .


In 1795 he was elected a member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina .

Writings and works

Trommsdorff was the editor of several magazines, including the

  • New Journal of Pharmacy for Doctors, Pharmacists and Chemists (1793), which was included as a supplement in Annals of Chemistry and Pharmacy from 1834 to 1850 .
  • Journal of Pharmacy for Doctors and Pharmacists. Crusius, Leipzig 1794–1817 ( digitized version )

He also wrote a number of chemical and pharmaceutical specialist and textbooks:

  • Brief Handbook of Pharmacist's Art: For Learner Use . Kaffke, Stettin 1790 Digitized edition of the University and State Library Düsseldorf
  • Systematic handbook of pharmacy for budding doctors and pharmacists , Erfurt 1792
  • Chemical Receptirkunst or pocket book for practical doctors who want to avoid errors in chemical and pharmaceutical terms when prescribing drugs . Beyer and Maring, Erfurt 1797 Digitized edition of the University and State Library Düsseldorf
  • Chemical Receptirkunst or pocket book for practical doctors who want to avoid errors in chemical and pharmaceutical terms when prescribing drugs . Second verm. And verb. Edition, Beyer and Maring, Erfurt 1799 Digitized edition of the University and State Library Düsseldorf
  • Handbook of pharmaceutical goods: for use by doctors, pharmacists and druggists . Henning, Erfurt 1799 Digitized edition of the University and State Library Düsseldorf
  • Chemistry in the field of experience of D. Johann Bartholomä Trommsdorff, professor of chemistry and pharmacist in Erfurt, member of several learned societies . First volume: Pure chemistry. Erfurt in the Henningschen Buchhandlung, 1800
  • Systematic handbook of all chemistry to facilitate self-study of this science. Volume 1–5, Erfurt 1800–1803 Digitized edition of the University and State Library Düsseldorf
  • JB Trommsdorff's new practical medicine book for doctors, surgeons and pharmacists . Henning, Erfurt 1801 Digitized edition
  • Textbook of pharmaceutical experimental chemistry according to the modern theory. For use by doctors and practical pharmacists, and as a guide to lectures . 2nd Edition. Vollmer, Hamburg 1803, urn : nbn: de: hbz: 061: 2-26768
  • Garden book for doctors and pharmacists for use and pleasure with 1 copper plate . 2nd edition, Hennings, Erfurt 1809 Digitized edition of the University and State Library Düsseldorf
  • New pharmacopoeia, appropriate to the present state of pharmacology and pharmacology. In addition to an appendix containing the French military pharmacopoeia . 2nd, improved edition. Henning, Erfurt 1811 Digitized edition
  • Chemical investigation of the ferrous sour spring in Liebenstein. Employed at the source in August 1812 by D. Joh. Bartholomä Trommsdorff . As a supplement (from p. 99) in: Friedrich Mosengeil : The Bad Liebenstein and its surroundings , 1815 ( Textarchiv - Internet Archive )
  • Chemical Probircabinet or Notice of Preparation, Properties, and Use of Reagents . Henning, Erfurt 1818 ( digitized version )
  • The principles of chemistry, with their technical application in mind, developed in a series of generally comprehensible lectures and explained through experiments. For manufacturers, artists and traders. With 6 lithographic plates Keyser, Erfurt 1829 ( digitized edition )
  • Austrian Pharmacopoeia . 3rd, verb. Issue Henning [u. a.], Erfurt [u. a.] 1821, urn : nbn: de: hbz: 061: 2-170052


  • Steffen Raßloff : Monuments in Erfurt: The founder of pharmacy . In: Thüringer Allgemeine , October 1, 2011 ( online )
  • Jürgen Ellenberg: Famous Erfurt. Commemorative medal for Napoleon's conversation with JB Trommsdorf in Erfurt in 1807 , in: Thüringer Allgemeine, October 14, 2008
  • Christoph Friedrich : Trommsdorf and Napoleon . In: City and History , magazine for Erfurt, No. 30, 02/2006, p. 12
  • Wolfgang Götz: On the life and work of Johann Bartholomäus Trommsdorff (1770–1837) . (= Sources and studies on the history of pharmacy; Volume 16). Jal-Verlag, Würzburg 1977, ISBN 3-7778-0148-8
  • Wolfgang Götz: Bibliography of the writings of Johann Bartholomäus Trommsdorff . (= Publications of the International Society for the History of Pharmacy ; NF, Volume 54). Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft, Stuttgart 1985, ISBN 3-8047-0829-3
  • Bernhard LepsiusTrommsdorf, Johann Bartholomäus . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 38, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1894, pp. 641-644.
  • Hermann Trommsdorff: Johann Bartholomäus Trommsdorff . In: Historical Commission for the Province of Saxony and for Anhalt (Hrsg.): Mitteldeutsche Lebensbilder. Volume 3: Pictures of Life in the 18th and 19th Century. Self-published, Magdeburg 1928, pp. 270–285.
  • Trommsdorff's Jubilee , 1835. In: Archiv der Pharmazie , 51, pp. 113–116. doi: 10.1002 / ardp.18350510202
  • Jost Weyer : New conceptions of chemical historiography in the 19th century: Trommsdorff, Hoefer and Kopp. In: Rete , Volume 1, Issue 1, 1971, pp. 33-50 and 44-50.

Web links

Commons : Johann Bartholomäus Trommsdorff  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Member entry by Johann Bartholomäus Trommsdorff at the German Academy of Natural Scientists Leopoldina , accessed on June 18, 2016.