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BLOMBERG, Albert (1844–1922)

Om hybridbildning hos de fanerogama växterna. Akademisk afhandling.
Stockholm, P. A. Nyman, 1872.

In this rare dissertation Mendel is referred to in five places as detailed as by Focke, whose Pflanzen-Mischlinge, Berlin 1881, is said to be the only published reference to Mendel’s work before 1900. The fact that Mendel already in 1872 is cited in a Swedish botanical dissertation (Uppsala, May 23, 1872) was for the first time pointed out by Robert Larsson in Botaniska notiser (Lund 1915), pp 35-8. The respondent, Albert Blomberg, did not carry out any experiments of his own but gives a historical account of the views held in the question of hybridisation simply by quoting different scientific works. His survey is on the whole rather complete. During his studies Blomberg had run into Mendel’s first work, Versuche über Pflanzen-Hybriden (1866), however, he does not mention Mendel’s Hieracium experiments. Blomberg’s paper was unknown to Bateson, who in his Mendel’s Principles of Heredity (1913) p. 332 says: “So far as I have discovered there was up to 1900 only one reference to Mendel’s observations in scientific literature, namely that of Focke, Die Pflanzen-Mischlinge (Berlin, 1881) . . . for these references we may now be grateful since it was through them that the papers [by Mendel] were rediscovered.” Ernst Nilsson asks himself how it has been possible that even Robert Larsson’s paper (1915) on Blomberg’s early Mendel quotations, published in an internationally distributed journal, could have escaped the notice of Mendel research. If Blomberg had been aware of the epoch-making importance of Mendel’s work, which he had come across, he would have been a world-famous biologist.

Collation: Pp (2), 41, (1).

Binding: Fine marbled boards.

References: Ernst Nilsson, Ärftlighetslärans urkunder (Lund, 1967), pp 70-74, with reproduction of the title page; Conway Zirkle ‘Some Oddities in the Delayed Discovery of Mendelism’ in Journal of Heredity, 55:2 (1964).

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