Allamand, Jean Nicolas Sebastian
ALLAMAND, JEAN NICOLAS SEBASTIAN, natural philosopher, born at Lausanne in 1713, was educated for the church, and held for a short time a clerical appointment at Leyden. Here he enjoyed the patronage and friendship of the celebrated S'Gravesende, who made him his literary executor. In 1747 he was appointed professor of philosophy and natural history at Franeker, and two years later he was transferred to a similar chair at Leyden, which he occupied until his death in 1787. Allamand's chief service to science consisted in translating and editing the scientific works of others, but he also made some original discoveries of importance, especially in connection with electricity. He was the first to explain fully the phenomena of the Leyden jar, and he made a near approach to the discovery of negative electricity. He greatly enriched the botanical garden and natural history museum at Leyden by specimens from all quarters of the globe. His translation of Buffon's works was published at Amsterdam, in thirty-eight quarto volumes, between 1766 and 1779. Allamand was a member of the Royal Society of London and of the Academy of Sciences at Haarlem.