Skip to main content

Chardonnet, Louis-Marie-Hilaire Benrnigaud, Comte De

Chardonnet, Louis-Marie-Hilaire Benrnigaud, Comte De

(b. Besançon, France, 1 May 1839; d. Paris, France, 12 March 1924),

cellulose technology.

Although Chardonnet was not the first to think of the possibility of making “artificial silk”, he was the pioneer of the technology necessary to establish the industry. The influences that prepared him for this, his most important contribution to science and technology, were his training as an engineer at the Ecole Polytechnique and the work of his illustrious fellow townsman Louis Pasteur. In particular, Pasteur’s preoccupation at one time with a disease of the silkworm led Chardonnet, as he later said, to think of “imitating as closely as possible the work of the silkworm.” As a result he devised a process in which a solution of cellulose nitrate was extruded through very fine glass capillaries to form continuous filaments. He applied for his first patent and submitted his memoir entitled, “Une matière textile artificielle ressemblant à la soie” to the Academy of Sciences in 1884. After another five years, during which he was much concerned to reduce the flammability of his material, he felt his process and product were sufficiently developed for public display. In 1889 he was awarded the grand prize at the Paris Exposition.

In the same year he established with the support of capitalists of his hometown, the Scoiété de la Soie de Chardonnet at Besançon and another factory in Satvar, Hungary, in 1904. At the turn of the century the success of his company stimulated investigation of alternative materials and methods for the manufacture of “artifical silk” (later known as rayon), and these subsequently led to the replacement of Chardonnet silk. Chardonnet made some minor contributions in other scientific fields, including studies of the absorption of ultraviolet light, telephony, and the behavior of the eyes of birds. He published no major work but presented all his researches in the Comptes rendus of the Academy of Sciences.


Chardonnet’s address given when he received the Perkin Medal of the Society of Dyers and Colourists is in Journal of the Society of Dyers and Colourists, 30 (1914), 176–179.

Secondary literature includes the Dictionnaire de biographie française, VI, col. 120; and the obituary of Chardonnet by the president of the Academy of Sciences, in Comptes rendus hebdomadaires des séances de l’Académie des sciences, 178 (1924), 977–978.

M. Kaufman

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Chardonnet, Louis-Marie-Hilaire Benrnigaud, Comte De." Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography. . 23 Jan. 2019 <>.

"Chardonnet, Louis-Marie-Hilaire Benrnigaud, Comte De." Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography. . (January 23, 2019).

"Chardonnet, Louis-Marie-Hilaire Benrnigaud, Comte De." Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography. . Retrieved January 23, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.