Glauber, Johann Rudolph (1607–1670)

Johann Glauber was a German chemist and physician, born at Karlstadt, who prepared a wide variety or organic and inorganic compounds to make use of their (often non-existent) medicinal powers. In preparing hydrochloric acid from sulfuric acid and common salt (see sodium chloride), he found a residue which he claimed to be a cure-all. In fact it was hydrated sodium sulfate, Na2SO4.10H2O, a mild laxative which is still often called Glauber's salt. His treatises were published in Amsterdam in seven volumes in 1661; an English translation was published by Packe in London in 1689.