The guy who identified cafeine

Friedlieb (or Friedlob, occasionally misnamed as "Friedrich") Ferdinand Runge (8 February 1794 – 25 March 1867) was a German analytical chemist. Runge identified the mydriatic (pupil dilating) effects of belladonna (deadly nightshade) extract, identified caffeine, and discovered the first coal tar dye (aniline blue).

Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge was born near Hamburg on 8 February 1794. From a young age, Runge conducted chemical experiments, serendipitously identifying the mydriatic (pupil dilating) effects of belladonna (deadly nightshade) extract.

In 1819 he demonstrated his finding to Goethe, who encouraged him to analyse coffee.[1] A few months later, Runge identified caffeine.[2]

Runge studied chemistry in Jena and Berlin, where he obtained his doctorate. After touring Europe for three years, he taught chemistry at the University of Breslau until 1831. From then until 1852 he worked for a chemical company, but was dismissed by a resentful manager and died fifteen years later in poverty, in Oranienburg.

His chemical work included purine chemistry, the identification of caffeine, discovered the first coal tar dye (aniline blue),[3] coal tar products (and a large number of substances that derive from coal tar), paper chromatography,[4] pyrrole, chinoline, phenol, thymol and atropine.

He was the first to notice in 1855 the phenomenon of "Liesegang rings". He observed them in the course of experiments on the precipitation of reagents in blotting paper.[5][6]

Commemorative plaque in Oranienburg. It reads: Historical site of the Oranienburg chemical product factory, whose technical director from 1832–1852 was Prof. Dr. Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge, discoverer of coal tar dyes.

Grave in Oranienburg

Memorial in Oranienburg