Record

Authorised form of nameReaumur; Rene-Antoine Ferchault de (1683 - 1757)
Other forms of nameRenatus Antonius de
Renatus Antonius
Other forms of surnamede Reaumur
Dates1683 - 1757
NationalityFrench
Place of birthLa Rochelle, France
Date of birth28 February 1683
Place of deathNear St-Julien-du-Terroux, France
Date of death17 or 18 October 1757
Research fieldMathematics
Technology
Natural history
Biology
Experimental physics
ActivityAsked in 1709 by the French government to find uses for spider silk, and demonstrated that it was useable for fabrics in the same manner as the silk of silkworms. Diligently collected the material from egg sacs of spiders, then had a large number of them washed, boiled and cleansed, then allowed to dry. Sacs were carded with fine combs and worked into slender thread of a pleasing grey colour. Two pairs of stockings and gloves made from this natural silk were presented to the 'Academie Royale des Sciences'. This accomplishment proved to be so sensational that in the following year the Academie commissioned Reamur to investigate the possibility of extensive uses of spider silk. After a thorough study however, he concluded that there was little likelihood that such spider silk as was available in Europe could become a profitable industry.
Membership categoryFellow
Date of election09/11/1738
SourcesSources:
Bulloch's Roll; DSB
Notes:
BR and DSB give death date as 18 October 1757; the latter is also source of precise birth date
Virtual International Authority Filehttp://viaf.org/viaf/59144347
Royal Society codeNA6798
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
EC/1739/07Reaumur, Rene-Antoine Ferchault de: certificate of election to the Royal Society9 November 1738
LBO/24/3Copy letter from Rene Antoine de Reaumur, Paris, to the President1 August 1737
L&P/1/183Letter, 'Gift of a copy of the 6th part of his History of Insects' from Rene-Antoine Ferchault de Reaumur to Martin Folkes26 January 1743
L&P/1/236Letter, 'Concerning the return of de la Condamine and the explorers of Peru' from Rene-Antoine Ferchault de Reaumur to Martin Folkes17 December 1743
L&P/1/403Letter, 'Of preserving birds; of magnets' from Rene-Antoine Ferchault de Reaumur to Martin Folkes4 May 1745
L&P/2/132Letter, 'Of an earthquake on 11 Oct 1749' from Rene-Antoine Ferchault de Reaumur to the Royal Society23 April 1750
AP/5/14Unpublished observations, 'Osservazzioni del maggior freddo, e caldo degl'anni seguendi secondo il termometro di Mr Raymur' ['Observations of the great cold and heat of the following years according to Reaumur's thermometer'] by the Duke of CotrofianoJanuary 1779 - December 1783
L&P/1/150Paper, 'Sixth volume of the history of insects' by [René Antoine Ferchault de] Réaumur1742
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