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Once there lived and existed a great learned man with a beard almost as long as Gods And one day the people came to this man and said Go to the Lord and tell him of our misery I will go said the man So he caught a great bubble and sat down on top of it and flew up and up until he pierced the heaven above us And there he saw God and told him of our misery and God pardoned our sins and lightened our burdens Then the great bearded man came down from the heavens and the people were happy And for this the authorities and the tsar made this man a very great scientist 16 Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev was born in Tobolsk Siberia on February 7 1834 ns The blonde-haired blue-eyed boy was the youngest of 14 children or 11 or 17 depending on the authority born to Maria Dmitrievna Korniliev and Ivan Pavlovitch Mendeleev His father called Mendeleev because early in life he dealt in horses mjenu djelatj to make an exchange4 was director of the local gymnasium Maria Kornilievs family settled in Tobolsk in the early 1700s and introduced paper- and glass-making to Siberia4 Unfortunately Ivan died when Dmitri was quite young leaving his wife to support the large family The pension for educators at that time 1000 rubles was drastically insufficient especially for a large family which meant that Maria had no other choice but to find work Marias family owned a glass factory in Aremziansk and they allowed her to take over managing the company for a modest wage from which she could support the family Dmitri being the youngest appears to have been his mothers favorite child and was provided as many opportunities as she could afford From his early years she began to save money for Dmitri to attend the university However it was not only his mother who offered him
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