1869-1930

Fritz Pregl

Location: Third Floor, East Wing, South Wall, Sequence 1

Source: Professor P. E. Fanta and the Wilkens-Anderson Company

Sponsor: Ramon F. Rolf


Pregl's microanalytical methods were a great contribution to chemistry, biochemistry and medical science; for his work in this field he received the 1923 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. As a result of an interest in biological substances that could only be obtained in extremely small quantities, he had to decide whether to process tons of raw materials or search for new analytical methods that would be reliable on minute quantities. He chose the latter approach, and over the years developed new microanalytical methods for elemental analysis (C, H, N, halogens, etc.) that we now take for granted. He also developed microanalytical methods for functional groups and for molecular weights. His monograph "Quantitative Organic Microanalysis", first published in 1917, went through at least 7 editions and was translated from the original German into various languages, including English, French and Russian.

Pregl was born in Ljubljana (Slovenia) but at age 18, after the death of his father, he moved with his mother to Graz, Austria, where he received the M.D. degree in 1894. After periods in Tübingen, Leipzig and Berlin he returned to Austria and from 1913 until his death he held various posts at the University of Graz. He devoted himself to science and education; his students found him an inspiring teacher.