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Johann Oser

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Johann Oser (1833-1912)

1913 Obituary [1]

JOHANN OSER, late Professor of Chemical Technology at the Technical High School at Vienna, died on November 1, 1912, in his eightieth year. He was born on April 8, 1833, at Grafenegg, in Lower Austria, and as soon as he had completed his general education at school at Mariabrunn he devoted himself to the study of chemistry at the Polytechnic Institute and University of Vienna.

Subsequently he worked two years at Paris in the laboratory of A. Wurtz. In 1863 he became lecturer in organic chemistry at the University at Vienna, where he won considerable attention on the part of scientific men of his day by his exposition of the then modern theory of the structure of material. In 1867 he was appointed Professor of General Chemistry at the Forstakademie at Marienbrunn, and in his spare time he devoted himself to the study of the chemistry of tanning substances. Several important papers on acids for tanning were published by him about this time in the Reports of the Imperial Academy of Science at Vienna. Later the Forstakademie was closed, and Professor Oser then took up research work in the chemical laboratory of the Technical High School at Vienna, which at that time was under the management of Professor Weselsky.

In 1876 the Chair of Chemical Technology at the Technical High School became vacant through the promotion of the holder, and Oser was elected to the vacant Professorship. For some years he continued assiduously to devote himself to the study of the chemistry of tanning, but about the beginning of the nineties he directed his attention to the uses of nickel carbon oxide, which had recently been discovered by Mond. With this compound he experimented in the nickel plating of smooth metallic surfaces and in the decoration of porcelain and glass. He was one of the first to employ the electric current as a source of beat in making elementary analyses, of which he gave a demonstration at a meeting of analysts at Vienna in 1898. In 1901 he resigned his Professorship, and lived in retirement with his family from that time until his death.

He joined the Iron and Steel Institute in 1890, and took part in the visit to the United States in that year, remaining a member until the time of his death.

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