University of Heidelberg, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
In 1839 Genth entered the University of Heidelberg where he studied chemistry, geology, and mineralogy under Leopold Gmelin, J. R. Blum, and K. C. Leonhard.
Ludwigstraße 23, 35390 Gießen, Germany
From 1841 to 1843 Genth attended the University of Giessen (today Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen).
Biegenstraße 10, 35037 Marburg, Germany
In 1844 Genth continued his chemical studies under Bunsen at the University of Marburg, receiving his doctorate there in 1845.
Genth exhibited a keen interest in natural history at an early age. After three years at the Hanau Gymnasium, in 1839 he entered the University of Heidelberg where he studied chemistry, geology, and mineralogy under Leopold Gmelin, J. R. Blum, and K. C. Leonhard. From 1841 to 1843 he attended the University of Giessen (today Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen). In 1844 he continued his chemical studies under Bunsen at the University of Marburg, receiving his doctorate there in 1845.
After graduating Genth remained at Marburg as Privatdozent and Bunsen’s assistant for three years. In 1848 he immigrated to the United States, making his home first in Baltimore and then in Philadelphia. After occupying several positions, establishing one of the first commercial analytical laboratories in America, and engaging in the instruction of special students, in 1872 he became a professor of chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania, a post he held until 1888 when he returned to consulting work and research.
Genth’s European background and education supplied him with technical skills possessed by few scientists in the United States during his lifetime, and he holds a place in the foremost rank of pioneer mineralogists in America. He was a chemist almost without peer, especially in the field of analysis. His best-known research involved the ammonia-cobalt bases (cobalt ammines), developed jointly with Oliver Wolcott Gibbs. His original memoir on this topic contained the first distinct recognition of the existence of perfectly defined and crystallized salts of the cobalt ammines. His joint monograph with Gibbs described thirty-five salts of four bases - rosecobalt Purpureocobalt, luteocobalt, and xanthocobalt - and for the first time distinguished rose salts From purpureo salts.
Genth served as a chemist for the Second Geological Survey of Pennsylvania and chemist to the Board of Agriculture of Pennsylvania. His analyses of fertilizers did much to develop the state’s agricultural industry. His chief chemical contributions to mineralogy are contained in fifty-four papers describing 215 mineral species.
Genth was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, one of the founders of the American Chemical Society, and a fellow of the Boston Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Genth married twice, the first time to Karolina Jäger in 1847, with whom he had three children, the second time to Paulina Fischer in 1852, with whom he had nine children.