The German chemist Andreas Sigismund Marggraf discovered the element zinc. He isolated the metal in 1746 by heating carbon and calamine in a closed vessel made of copper. He was the first to meticulously describe the process and the theory behind it.
Marggraf was born in Berlin in 1709 to a father who owned a pharmacy and taught at the local medical and surgical college. Marggraf himself began studying at the school when he was about 16, and he eventually went to work in his father's pharmacy. Later, he helped found the Prussian Academy of Science. Marggraf worked there until he retired in 1781.