JEAN BAPTISTE GUIMET (1795-1871), French industrial chemist, was born at Voiron on the 10th of July 1795. He studied at the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris, and in 1817 entered the Administration des Poudres et Salpetres. In 1828 he was awarded the prize offered by the Societe d'Encouragement pour l'Industrie Nationale for a process of making artificial ultramarine with all the properties of the substance prepared from lapis lazuli; and six years later he resigned his official position in order to devote himself to the commercial production of that material, a factory for which he established at Fleurieux sur Saone. He died on the 8th of April 1871.
His SOD. Smile Etienne Guimet, born at Lyons on the 26th of June 1836, succeeded him in the direction of the factory, and founded the Musee Guimet, which was first located at Lyons in 1879 and was handed over to the state and transferred to Paris in 1885. Devoted to travel, he was in 1876 commissioned by the minister of public instruction to study the religions of the Far East, and the museum contains many of the fruits of this expedition, including a fine collection of Japanese and Chinese porcelain and many objects relating not merely to the religions of the East but also to those of Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. He wrote Lettres sur l'Algerie (1877) and Promenades japonaises (1880), and also some musical compositions, including a grand opera, Tai-Tsoung (1894).
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