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Peter Waage

Peter Waage (1833-1900) was a Norwegian chemist, known especially for having developed Guldberg and Waage's law with his brother-in-law Cato M. Guldberg. Guldberg the mathematician did the calculations, while Waage experimented with the speed of chemical reactions. Their law of mass action is really twofold: one part describes the speed of the chemical reaction, the second describes the chemical equilibrium. The equilibrium aspect is what is commonly referred to as Guldberg and Waage's law today.

© Stinius Fredriksen: Peter Waage, 1950.
© Stinius Fredriksen: Peter Waage, 1950.
Photo:
Alf E. Andresen

Waage received the Crown Prince's gold medal for a work on acid radicals as early as 1858, while he was still a student. He was permanently employed as a lecturer at the University of Christiania already at 28 years old. In 1866 he was appointed Professor of chemistry. Waage was a teetotaler, and in the fight for higher taxes on alcohol, he developed a simple method to determine the alcohol content of beer, which he thought would be a factor in taxation. He also developed methods for the industrial manufacture of gunpowder and fishmeal.

The bust is larger than life-like size. The head has an almost monumental effect, gazing out from a high pedestal. The neck rests on a circular base - it extends his neck, and looks almost like the collar of a polo sweater. Waage has a full beard and a neatly combed mane of hair. His eyes look past us, he is solemn, dignified.

Stinius Fredriksen (1902-1977) was a sculptor. His early works in the 1920s were classical, but from the middle of the 1930s he changed to a partly abstract style. In 1934 he made two of the sculptures outside the courthouse in Bergen, Wisdom and Justice, in a simplified, hard style. He worked most of his career at restoring the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim, and he developed a personal "Gothic" style in his cathedral sculpture. His colleagues jokingly called him St. Inius. Stinius Fredriksen was chairman of the Visual Artists’ Board in the years 1951-1955. He was appointed Officer of the Order of St. Olav in 1969.

NORA SØRENSEN VAAGE