By the dawn of the nineteenth century, “elements” had been defined as basic building blocks of nature resistant to decomposition by chemical means. In 1869, the Russian chemist Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev organized the discord of the elements into the periodic table, assigning each element to a row, with each row corresponding to an elemental category. The underlying order of matter, hitherto only dimly perceived, was suddenly clearly revealed.This is the first English-language collection of Mendeleev's most important writings on the periodic law. Thirteen papers and essays, divided into three groups, reflect the period corresponding to the initial establishment of the periodic law (three papers: 1869–71), a period of priority disputes and experimental confirmations (five papers: 1871–86), and a final period of general acceptance for the law and increasing international recognition for Mendeleev (five papers: 1887–1905). A single, easily accessible source for Mendeleev's principle papers, this volume offers a history of the development of the periodic law, written by the law's own founder.