A set of triads of chemically similar elements noted by Johann Döbereiner (1780–1849) in 1817. Even with the inaccurate atomic mass data of the day it was observed that when each triad was arranged in order of increasing atomic mass, then the mass of the central member was approximately the average of the values for the other two. The chemical and physical properties were similarly related. The triads are now recognized as consecutive members of the groups of the periodic table. Examples are: lithium, sodium, and potassium; calcium, strontium, and barium; and chlorine, bromine, and iodine.
http://web.lemoyne.edu/~giunta/dobereiner.html Döbereiner's original paper