Discovery And Naming
Titanium was discovered in 1791 by the English clergyman William Gregor (1761-1817). Gregor was not a professional scientist, but studied minerals as a hobby. On one occasion, he attempted a chemical analysis of the mineral ilmenite and found a portion that he was unable to classify as one of the existing elements. He wrote a report on his work, suggesting that the unidentified material was a new element. But he went no further with his own research. It was not until four years later that German chemist Martin Heinrich Klaproth returned to an investigation of ilmenite and isolated the new element. He suggested the name of titanium for the element in honor of the Titans, mythical giants who ruled the Earth until they were overthrown by the Greek gods.