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Smithson Tennant

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Title: Smithson Tennant  
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Subject: Osmium, William Hyde Wollaston, Copley Medal, Timeline of chemical element discoveries, Infobox iridium/testcases
Collection: 1761 Births, 1815 Deaths, 18Th-Century Chemists, 18Th-Century English People, 19Th-Century Chemists, 19Th-Century English People, Academics of the University of Cambridge, Accidental Deaths in France, Alumni of Christ's College, Cambridge, Alumni of the University of Cambridge, Alumni of the University of Edinburgh, Discoverers of Chemical Elements, English Chemists, Fellows of the Royal Society, Iridium, Osmium, People Educated at Beverley Grammar School, People from Selby, Recipients of the Copley Medal
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Smithson Tennant

Smithson Tennant FRS (30 November 1761[1] - 22 February 1815[2]) was an English chemist.

The 'Blue Plaque' for Smithson Tennant in Finkle Street, Selby

Tennant is best known for his discovery of the elements iridium and osmium, which he found in the residues from the solution of platinum ores in 1803. He also contributed to the proof of the identity of diamond and charcoal. The mineral tennantite is named after him.

Tennant was born in professor of chemistry at Cambridge in 1813, but lived to deliver only one course of lectures,[4] being killed near Boulogne-sur-Mer by the fall of a bridge over which he was riding.[2]


  1. ^ Mary D. Archer; Christopher D. Haley (2005). The 1702 Chair of Chemistry at Cambridge: Transformation and Change. Cambridge University Press. p. 115.  
  2. ^ a b J.W.C. (December 1961). "Supply and training of food technologists". Royal Institute of Chemistry 85: 434.  
  3. ^ "Smithson Tennant (TNNT782S)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  4. ^ Iridium and Osmium Discovery - Periodic Table of Videos on YouTube

Further reading

Mary D. Archer, Christopher D. Haley. The 1702 Chair of Chemistry at Cambridge. Cambridge, 2005, ISBN 0-521-82873-2, ISBN 978-0-521-82873-4.

External links

  • Wikisource logo Works written by or about Smithson Tennant at Wikisource
  • Osmium and Iridium Events Surrounding Their Discoveries
  • Passages from the life of a philosopher by Charles Babbage
  • The Early Life of Smithson Tennant FRS (1761–1815)
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