The First Swede to Win the Nobel Prize
Arrhenius, Svante August. (1859-1927). Swedish Nobel Prize-winning chemist and one of the founders of physical chemistry. SP (“Svante Arrhenius”). 1p. Cabinet card. N.p., 1903 and 1914. Signed and dated the year he won the Nobel Prize (1903) on the recto and inscribed to English chemist and inventor (in 1891) of synthetic rubber William Tilden (1842-1926) and his wife on the verso. A magnificent image of a mustachioed middle-aged Arrhenius, seated and holding a walking stick in his right hand.
To Sir William and Lady Tilden in kind remembrance of the agreeable days in “The Oaks” May 1914
In 1884 Arrhenius submitted his doctoral dissertation on electrolytic conductivity but his professors at Stockholm’s Swedish Academy of Sciences withheld their approval. Ironically, this same work earned him the 1903 Nobel Prize in chemistry, thus making Arrhenius the first Swede to win the prize in any category. “During the last twenty-five years of his life, Arrhenius’ interests were diverted to other fields of science, especially to the physics and chemistry of cosmic and meteorological phenomena. His contribution to these subjects consists mostly in the application of the laws of theoretical chemistry to existing astronomical, geophysical, and geological observations,” (DSB). Arrhenius’ theories, although initially controversial like his dissertation, were eventually accepted by the scientific community. A. Jonason’s gold embossed photographer’s crest is emblazoned on the lower mount and the photograph is near mint condition. Very rare in this format.