Tantalum: historical information
Niobium was discovered in 1802 by Anders Gustaf Ekeberg, but many chemists thought niobium and tantalum were one and the same. Some felt that perhaps tantalum was an allotrope of niobium. Later, Rose, in 1844, and Marignac, in 1866, showed that niobic and tantalic acids were two different acids.
The first relatively pure tantalum was produced by von Bolton in 1907.