Mendeleev’s Business Card – Periodic Table of Videos


I’m in the archive of the Royal Society in London where all the precious objects are kept and there’s a really interesting thing that I never looked at before in this envelope if you look here it’s a rather beautiful envelope and it says on the front London and then it says Monsieur Lee professor mr. the professor Thorpe F for fellow of Royal Society and it’s got a stamp on the back it’s got a postal mark saying 29th of December 1901 and it’s written in Russian and it has a mark here from the Russian Red Cross so let’s look what’s inside and inside there are two cards and the first card says to professor Thorpe to introduce dr. Duncan with best compliments d Mendeleev and so here is the handwriting mender life the discoverer of the periodic table or the inventor and he is writing to professor Thorpe saying this is my friend Duncan I’d like you to meet him and inside for some reason there is a second business card which says D Mendeleev and it’s got the old-fashioned right spelling with two FS at the end like my surname and then it says professor and Mary T that means emeritus professor it means he’s already retired at the University of st. Petersburg and he’s got his address there and it says 12th of the first 1902 this is Mendeleev business card so if you came up to professor Mendeleev and said hello I’m professor Polyakov he would say I am professor Mendeleev and give you the card I think it’s terrific I think it’s pretty much as close as we can get to Mendeleev of course we hope soon we will go to some Petersburg and sit at his desk but this if you like is receiving something that Mendeleev has actually given to somebody else so we really know that this has been held by Mendeleev might even be his fingerprints on it and yours now too that’s all that there is in here and it’s quite surprising that somebody would post a letter which does has three lines but presumably dr. Duncan who sounds as if he is Scottish or English wanted so much to speak to professor Thorpe who may have been a very important figure that he got Mendeleev to write him an introduction because he was too shy to go by himself and what is very interesting is that it shows that before emails before the in internet that scientists in different countries were already communicating collaborating together and this is one of the wonderful things about the Royal Society’s archives that they have 350 years of correspondence between scientists in different countries and so how much science has been an international activity for so many years you

89 thoughts on “Mendeleev’s Business Card – Periodic Table of Videos

  1. Great stuff!! and of course we should thank him for setting the standard for vodka!

  2. @Dieselspot it must have been mailed out Dec 29th 1901 and it got there January 12th 1902.

  3. If anyone’s interested, the back of the envelope reads: “For the benefit of the St. Petersburg Board of Guardians of the Sisters of the Red Cross.”

  4. I have to say though, if I would actually come up to Mendeleeff and say "Hello, I'm Professor Poliakoff" he would probably just scowl at me and accuse me of identity theft!
    And it wouldn't be hard to prove, I'm as bald as a mole rat.

  5. probably Mendeleeff sent one card in 1901 and some one "for some reason" added another card later to the envelope, which was signed in 1902

  6. Im guessing that this was recorded around November 11, cause of the Poppy 😛

  7. @zythepsarian me too. Even though i was a chem student at university for two years before changing to Computer Engineering 🙂
    The people i studied chemistry with felt like true peers, and for the first time in my life i was among mainly similar minded people. I had to quit to follow my passion, but i still love chemistry as a hobby.

  8. Mendeleev, Karl Marx and others had big beards. Were they godly men? This question irks me. Would someone throw some light?

  9. @tradecycles Marx was a bit of a fascists but yeah i think good/smart/godly men have a great beard

  10. @Sockheadableful
    Why is everyone so adamant about calling him "The Professor"?
    It just seems so unnecessarily over-the-top. His name is Martyn, and along with Brady makes interesting videos on youtube about science,

  11. Oh wow, this is probably my favourite of all of your royal society archive videos! Excellently done, both of you!

  12. How can I obtain one of Professor Poliakoff's business cards? You could have a contest & make that the top prize…

  13. Fascinating, from chemistry comes history. Holding Mendeleeff's business card is maybe the closest thing someone today can get to meeting him, somehow brings the legend to life.

    However, if he were alive today, I wonder how he would react to this video: "It's been 110 years and my docs have been dropped on YouTube?!" 😉

  14. good insight into how the old society worked. No CV, No covering letter, just a letter of introduction.

  15. 3:20
    "[…]Scientists in different countries were already communicating, collaborating together…"

    For me this shows the truth progress that education and will to discover our world can do to you, you don't care if someone is jew, black, white, speak your language or not you want to share and collaborate because that's what scientists do and they understand that we, the human being specie, should work together so that our future can be prosper.

  16. I'd certainly love to hold Mendeleev's Business Card ! It'd be a "terrific" experience [as the Professor says] !! You're very lucky Professor and you too Mr.Brady !

  17. @tradecycles why would that confuse you? I think it's fascinating even though I'm an atheist myself.

  18. I LOVE this Channel , but it has become more of a history than chemistry channel :/
    I miss the days when i was so eager to see a new experiment , compound/element wise… now it's all about history, with less talking about compounds and what not 🙁

  19. Hey, I have one of those. From Mendeleev, right?
    Unfortunately, I left it on the beach and when I went back, it was gone…

  20. And all that archival material comes to a dead stop upon the advent of emails – unless someone collects email files; but no handwriting, no stationery, no postage, no character.

  21. @tradecycles You should see it in light of the times. Science hadn't explained enough about the natural world yet. Also, (nearly) everyone in those days was born in a religious family and indoctrinated.

  22. @tradecycles The question if they were godly men should be seen separate from the beard issue. Back in those days, a beard was "the mark of a man" and fashionable. Just like hats were fashionable in those days. Shaving wasn't as widespread a practice in those days.

  23. Cool historic business card. My great Grandma Blanch sent me letters with homemade cards when I was a kid. I kept them all in my archives.

  24. sounds the Prof is gonna have to order another couple of boxes of cards for the next flood of correspondence he is about to receive.

  25. who the hell are the people that keep "disliking" these videos?!?! …must be America's 99% :-p

  26. Thomas Edward Thorpe (1845-1925). Wikipedia has nice group photograph of Thorpe with van't Hoff, Mendeleev and others. Does anyone know them?

  27. Why does it seem everyone back in the day had beautiful handwriting and now everyone's sucks. I write all the time but mine is awful so I know it's not the whole "the more you do it the better it gets" thing…

  28. @hoboX10 Actually it is the more you do it the better it gets.

    BUT back then you were expected to write neatly when you wrote to others, if you looked at his general notes to himself and such they would be just as untidy as your writing.

  29. Scientists were always one of the first icebreakers between countries, but sincere ones.
    Such a nice video, thank you.

  30. Hmmm… I have a feeling Mendeleev's card may actually be a visiting/calling card, not a business card, there is a certain difference.

    I expect that Dr Duncan couldn't under the rules of social etiquette of the time go to Prof. Thorpe without a formal introduction like this, so it was probably more a matter of social propriety than shyness that required him to get this letter.

  31. if this envelope its so precious, why is this guy touching it with his handsss??

  32. @periodicvideos Are you sure it says "12.1.1902"? It looks more like "PF", or "Pour Féliciter", which was written to say "Happy New Year". The postmark says Dec 29, 1901, so it wouldn't make sense for the card to have a later date written on it.

  33. @periodicvideos "PF 1902" also explains why the second card was in there: it's a New Year's greeting card!

  34. After being introduced to aerogels I would like to request it as a future topic. Perhaps you guys can make some? =)

  35. 1:48
    voice: "..university of Saint-Petersburg."
    subtitles: "..university of some pizza spoke."
    %-)

  36. Let's see Mendeleev's card… Look at that subtle off-white coloring. The tasteful thickness
    of it. Oh my God, it even has a watermark…

  37. @culwin no way man, a blue eyes white dragon would never cut it for that thing… hey professor, i'll trade you my slifer the sky dragon for that

  38. Менделеева прославили на весь мир, а за ним и россию

  39. @tradecycles i think that believing in good is a good thing, but not like the mainstream way, but like you want to stop doing something you invent a god that prohibits for example smoking. I think Marx at a good explenation the "good phenomena" and that is that you need a drug to help you…. maybe to get smarter, stronger, fatter, healthier, unhealthier and the list continues, basically beacuse you dont have the balls to do something you "virtualy" create more "ball"

  40. @rietveen26 i agree, its a fascinating subject… you should see what i wrote to Tradecycles, thats my main theory about religion, its just a matter of having someone to look up to

  41. @rietveen26 i would also like to add, im not a complete atheist as i partly belive in Russia….. yes quite a strange thing to belive in…. and maybe a tiny tiny but putin

  42. I love the gloves on your hands! Very realistic. Almost makes it seem like you have no gloves on.

  43. At the end, with both cards side by side, I had a pinch at my heart. One day, the professor's card will be sadly resting in the archives also…

  44. Is it really safe for him to be touching paper with bare hands? After all the oils will cause it to decompose.

  45. I love how Russian academics and elite didnt even speak russian, but rather used French to keep

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