Xu Shou (Chinese: 徐寿) was born in Wuxi, in the east China province of Jiangsu. He was the main designer of China's first steamship the Huanghe (Yellow Crane), one of the founders of Shanghai Polytechnic, China's first technical school engaged in the training of scientific and technological personnel. He also established China's first science and technology periodical Chinese Scientific Magazine (Ge Zhi Hui Bian in Chinese).
One of Xu's major contributions was to translate 13 major scientific works into Chinese, of which Hua Xue Jian Yuan, the Chinese translation of Principles and Applications of Chemistry by David Ames Wells, was perhaps the most important. He also drafted rules for translating the names of chemical elements and other scientific terms into Chinese that are still in use today.