Johann Heinrich Lambert was born 26 August 1728 in Mulhouse, present day Alsace, France.
His father was a tailor named Lukas Lambert, whose father was also a tailor. The family was not
well off and at the age of twelve young Johann Lambert he had to begin working for his father
which forced him to leave school. As he continued to work for his father he did not forgo his
studies. He filled his time in which he was not helping his father with reading and learning
scientific subjects on his own. He had a desire to learn and expand his knowledge that drove him
to study. Even without a formal education or teachers to lead him he learned on his own
beginning at a young age. At the age of fifteen he began work as a clerk to support his family and
two years later became a secretary. In his position as a secretary he was able to again resume
his studies of the humanities, philosophy, sciences, as well as mathematics and astronomy. In
1948 he began working as a tutor for the sons of Count Peter von Salis in Chur.
During his time in Chur he continued to study and learn. His drive to learn that had begun when
he was young was still present and pushed him to succeed. Lambert had access to the massive
Salis family library in which he could continue to study.His interests ranged from mathematics to
philosophy and astronomy to the humanities. During his time in Chur he was elected to a Swiss
Scientific Society as well as the Literary Society of Chur. He made meteorological observations
and wrote scientific articles as he became known in the scientific world. He developed Through
his travels Lambert had the opportunity to attend lectures and study works of prominent
mathematicians and scientists of that time. He continued to be largely self motivated as he
worked towards a permanent scientific position. When he could not gain a position at the
University of Gottingen he moved to Zurich. Here he worked in astronomy making astronomical
observations and also joined Zurich’s Physical Society. He made connections with other great
minds including George Friedrich Brander, Fredrick the Great, Hans Bernard Merian, Euler, and
Sulzer. He was one of a handful of specially chosen original members of a new Bavarian
Academy of Sciences, a position he quickly withdrew from because of personal conflicts with
other members. In January 1765 he joined the St. Petersburg Academy where he impressed
Fredrick the Great who made him a member of a new economic commision in the Academy.
Throughout Lamberts long and broad career he achieved and accomplished many things in the
areas of mathematics, astronomy, humanities, and philosophy. In his lifetime he produced 150
written publications including his studies in math, astronomy, philosopy and physics.He
published books including Die Frey Perspektive, Cosmologische Briefe Uber Die Einrichtung
Des Weltbaues, and Deutscher Gelehrter Briefwechsel all about his different studies in his many
areas of interest. He created his own scientific...