Charles HatchettJanuary 2nd is Charles Hatchett's birthday. Hatchett was an English chemist who was the first to discover the element niobium. He was working for the British Museum and analyzed a sample of the mineral columbite when he identified a previously unknown element he called columbium. His claim was refuted when another English chemist named William Hyde Wollaston claimed Hatchett's columbium was just another form of the element tantalum. The element was later rediscovered by Heinrich Rose and named niobium.
Hatchett stopped working as a scientist and took over his father's business as Royal coach builder. Find out what else occurred on this day in science history.