Many interests, internationally esteemed
In the 18th century, famous members of the Merck family include not only successful pharmacists. Born in 1741, Johann Heinrich, brother of the pharmacist Johann Justus Merck, is a writer, natural scientist as well as an art and literature critic. For Johann Wolfgang (von) Goethe, he remains a lifelong mentor, as a critic and publisher of his early texts, first and foremost “Götz von Berlichingen,” then as a scientific advisor in the 1780s. “To recognize what holds the world together from within”, Johann Heinrich Merck competently familiarizes himself with areas that are still in their infancy as academic disciplines: chemistry, mineralogy, paleontology, comparative anatomy.
Internationally, Johann Heinrich Merck is highly respected for his paleontology studies. He is appointed to scientific societies in Homburg, Kassel, Lausanne, and Prague. His research work is both inexhaustible and diverse. For instance, the first balloon voyages in Darmstadt motivate him to find a way to manufacture inflammable air – together with his nephew Johann Anton Merck.
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