City Readers Digital Historic Collections at the New York Society Library
Pierre-Joseph Macquer (1718-1784)
Pierre-Joseph Macquer (9 October 1718, Paris – 15 February 1784, Paris) was an influential French chemist.
He is known for his Dictionnaire de chymie (1766). He was also involved in practical applications, to medicine and industry, such as the French development of porcelain. He worked as a chemist in industries, such as the Manufacture de Sèvres or the Gobelins Manufactory. He was an opponent of Lavoisier's theories. The scholar Phillipe Macquer was his brother.
In 1752 Macquer showed that the dye Prussian blue could be decomposed into an iron salt and a new acid (which eventually was named by others, after the dye, as Prussic acid, and eventually shown to be hydrogen cyanide).
In his 1749 Elemens de Chymie Theorique, Macquer builds on Geoffroy’s 1718 affinity table, by devoting a whole chapter to the topic of chemical affinity:
He became adjunct Chemist at the French Academy of Sciences the 5th of April 1745. He later became Associate Chemist in 1766 before being granted the permanent Chair of Chemistry in 1772. In 1768, Macquer was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.