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Pierre-Joseph Macquer (9 October 1718, Paris – 15 February 1784, Paris) was an influential French chemist.

Pierre-Joseph Macquer
Pierre Joseph Macquer.jpg
Pierre-Joseph Macquer
Born9 October 1718
Died15 February 1784 (1784-02-16) (aged 65)
Known forDictionary of Chemistry
Scientific career
InfluencesGeorges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon
Guillaume-François Rouelle
InfluencedAntoine-Laurent de Lavoisier
Geneviève Thiroux d'Arconville

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.[1] 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:[2]

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.[3] In 1768, Macquer was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.


  1. ^ Lehman, C. (2012), 'Pierre-Joseph Macquer an Eighteenth-Century Artisanal-Scientific Expert' Annals of Science
  2. ^ Macquer, P. J. (1775). Elements of the Theory and Practice of chymistry, trans. A. Reid, vol. 1. p. 12. 2 vols., London.
  3. ^ Liste des membres du passé de l'Académie [1]

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