7 March 2019 – Dmitri Mendeleev discovered the Periodic Law on March 1, 1869. Therefore, we are currently celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Periodic Table. But where is the oldest known Periodic Table located?
In January 2019 the University of St Andrews Communications Office declared that presumably the oldest periodic table chart is located in Scotland. The chart of elements was discovered in the University’s School of Chemistry in 2014 during a clear out. This table is supplied with German annotation and was supposedly produced in Vienna in 1885.
However, it seems the oldest table chart is located in a lecture hall of St. Petersburg State University. The symbols of chemical elements along with their atomic weights were written with oil on a specially treated canvas. Such a responsible approach to the manufacture of the table and subsequently reverent attitude towards generations of Petersburg chemists allowed her to live to this day in perfect condition. Although it is impossible to ignore the work of the staff of the Russian Museum, who carried out a comprehensive restoration of valuable paintings in the early 2000s.
It is noteworthy that the table is in the current classroom of the Mendeleev Center, located in the historic building of the Chemical Laboratory of the Imperial St. Petersburg University. This building, like the table itself, also owes its appearance to Dmitry Ivanovich, on whose initiative it was built in 1894. True, Mendeleev himself did not read any lectures in this building, but he presided at meetings of the Russian Chemical Society.
Dmitri Mendeleev discovered the Periodic Law in 1869. It states that if chemical elements are arranged in the order of increasing atomic numbers, their chemical properties go through cyclical changes with elements of similar properties recurring at intervals. Only 63 elements were known in 1869 and the first table charts included gap cells predicting future discoveries of new elements. For example, the table from St. Petersburg University has a gap between calcium (Ca, 40) and titanium (Ti, 48). It was filled with scandium (Sc, 44) in 1879, three years after the table chart was produced.
More information on the Periodic Table form Saint Petersburg can be found here: https://spbu.ru/news-events/novosti/gde-iskat-samuyu-staruyu-tablicu-mendeleeva