World Stamps

Born Aug. 14: Hans Christian Oersted

Aug 13, 2016, 11 PM
The discoverer of electromagnetism and aluminum, Hans Christian Oersted, has been honored on stamps by his native Denmark.

By Michael Baadke

Denmark is rightfully proud of physicist and chemist Hans Christian Oersted, and has issued two separate stamps to honor him as a scientific pioneer.

Oersted was born Aug. 14, 1777, in Rudkoebing, Denmark, on the island of Langeland. He studied at the University of Copenhagen, and became a professor there in 1806, researching electrical currents.

He observed that electrical current affected the needle of a compass and discovered electromagnetism through his research.

In 1825 Oersted also became the first scientist to isolate the element aluminum.

Denmark honored Oersted in 1951 with a 50-ore blue stamp showing his portrait (Scott 329). In 1970, to commemorate the 150th anniversary of his discovery of electromagnetism, an 80o green stamp showing an electromagnet was issued (471).