Open main menu

Anna Sundström, born as Anna Christina Persdotter, (26 February 1785 in Kymlinge, Spånga – 1871), was a Swedish chemist. She was the assistant of the chemist Jöns Jacob Berzelius from 1808 to 1836. Anna Sundström has been referred to as the first female chemist in Sweden.[1]



Anna Persdotter was the daughter of the farmer Per Jansson, and later took the name Sundström. Early on, she moved to the capital to serve as a maid, and was in 1808 employed as the housekeeper of Jöns Jacob Berzelius. She acted effectively as his assistant and co worker during his laborations. During her work she was educated in chemistry and acquired a vast knowledge within it. Berzelius stated : "She is used to all my equipment and their names to such a degree that I could without hesitation make her distill Hydrochloric acid." [2] Sundström also administrated his laboratory as well as supervised his students, who affectionally called her "strict Anna".

She was forced to end her employment when Berzelius married Elisabeth Poppius in 1836.


Every year the Swedish Chemical Society's division of inorganic chemistry selects the best Swedish PhD-thesis in inorganic chemistry and presents the author with the Anna Sundström Award.[3]

See alsoEdit