Traugott Sandmeyer (1854-1922)
Born in Wettingen near Zurich, and lived in the Zurich area for nearly all of his life. He trained as a precision instrument-maker, but became interested in chemistry. Self-educated in chemistry, he carried out chemical experiments in his kitchen. In 1881, he became a lecture assistant to Victor Meyer (1848-1897). He followed Meyer to Göttingen in 1886, but soon returned to Zurich and worked for Arthur Hantzsch (1857-1935). Sandmeyer joined Geigy as a research scientist in 1888, and eventually became a director of the firm. He discovered the decomposition of aryl diazonium chlorides to chloroarenes in the presence of copper (I) chloride in 1884. He also worked on the triphenylmethane dyes and the synthesis of isatin. Many years before, he had suggested to Victor Meyer an impurity in commerical benzene was responsible for the isatin reaction with sulphuric acid, thereby paving the way for Meyer's discovery of thiophen.