Moses, Ottolengui Aaron

February 7, 1846–January 3, 1906

In his capacity as state inspector, Moses performed scientific analyses of shipments of guano and other commercial fertilizers. He also developed a uniform statement of the chemical contents that explained in simple words the composition of a fertilizer that farmers could understand.

Chemist, geologist, inventor. Moses was born in Charleston on February 7, 1846, the son of Aaron I. Moses and Judith Ottolengui. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Leipzig, Germany. Moses was married to Flora Moses of New York. They had one son, who died in infancy.

Moses and his brother, A. J. Moses, engaged in phosphate mining from 1868 to 1870 at the Massot Farm in Berkeley County. He then served as state inspector of phosphates (1872–1874) and geologist of South Carolina, and was the author of a report, The Phosphate Deposits of South Carolina, published by the U.S. Geological Survey in 1882. Moses also received two patents for his own inventions in the 1860s. His first was for washing, screening, and drying phosphate rock, and the second patent was for a blowpipe.

In his capacity as state inspector, Moses performed scientific analyses of shipments of guano and other commercial fertilizers. He also developed a uniform statement of the chemical contents that explained in simple words the composition of a fertilizer that farmers could understand. Moses then assigned market prices to the percentages of phosphate of lime, decomposed lime, and ammonia that represented the cash value at the factory of the contents of fertilizers purchased.

Moses was the founder of the Hebrew Technical Institute in New York City, an institution for free education of poor boys, and served as its director for several years. He was associated with the Montefiore Home, the Hebrew Orphan Asylum, and other charities. He died in New York City on January 3, 1906.

Obituary. New York Times, January 6, 1906, p. 9.

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Title Moses, Ottolengui Aaron
  • Coverage February 7, 1846–January 3, 1906
  • Author
  • Keywords Chemist, geologist, inventor, served as state inspector of phosphates (1872–1874) and geologist of South Carolina, and was the author of a report, The Phosphate Deposits of South Carolina, founder of the Hebrew Technical Institute in New York City,
  • Website Name South Carolina Encyclopedia
  • Publisher University of South Carolina, Institute for Southern Studies
  • URL
  • Access Date August 9, 2020
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update October 20, 2016
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