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The Literature of Classical Microchemistry, Spot Tests, and Chemical Microscopy
||John Gustav Delly, Scientific Advisor, Hooke College of Applied Sciences, Westmont, IL
Again, there is considerable overlap when taking a decades
approach, because of updates of older books and because of the historical links
between those writing the books. Still, some very important new books in the
field were first published in the 1930's.
Fritz Feigl is an important name here. His Qualitative Analyse mit Hilfe von Tupfelreaktionen [Feigl,
Fritz (1931)]; published in 1931 is only one of this prolific writer's books. The
second English edition, Qualitative
Analysis by Spot Tests [Feigl (1939)], translated from the Third German
edition, was published in 1939 (Figure 46). Another is his Chemistry of Specific, Selective and Sensitive Reactions [Feigl,
Fritz (1949)], published in 1949 (Figure 47). The more generally available,
and highly recommended, books of his are the two spot test books, Spot Tests in
Inorganic Analysis [Feigl, Fritz
and Vinzenz Anger (1937, 1939, 1946, 1954, 1958)], and Spot Tests in Organic Analysis [Feigl, Fritz (1937, 1954, 1956, 1960)]. Here
are the attractive front covers of the 1954 fourth edition (Figure 48, Figure
49). I like these two books very much; they are not strictly microscopical
tests; they are intended, as the titles suggest, to be conducted in spot
plates; they are colorimetric/filter paper/spot plate tests. Many of the
described reaction products are deeply colored, and I have, on more than one
occasion, successfully adapted the tests to microscopic scale, especially when
my unknown was organic. I, personally, would not be without these two books
close at hand. All of the editions going back to the 1937 translation are
useful, but the latest editions have been completely revised and enlarged.
click image to enlarge (98K)
46. Title page of Feigl’s Qualitative
Analysis by Spot Tests (1939).
click image to enlarge (113K)
47. Title page of Chemistry of Specific,
Selective and Sensitive Reactions (1949).
click image to enlarge (187K)
48. Front cover of Feigl’s Spot
Tests in Inorganic Analysis (1954).
click image to enlarge (177K)
49. Front cover of Feigl’s Spot
Tests in Organic Analysis (1954).
In 1932, Emich's Microchemical
Laboratory Manual [Emich,
Friedrich (1932)], with
a section on Spot Analysis by Fritz Feigl, was translated into English by Frank
Schneider, and was published by Wiley. Schneider was working in the
microchemical field for a few years with A.A. Benedetti-Pichler, who was
Emich's former assistant and co-worker. The American edition of Emich's book
was translated, partly, as a tribute to "that grand old master of
A.A. Benedetti-Pichler had been Privat Dozent at the
Technische Hochschule in Graz, Austria; he and W.F. Spikes had both been
Emich's students. Together, Benedetti-Pichler and Spikes wrote, Introduction to the Microtechnique of Inorganic
Qualitative Analysis [Benedetti-Pichler,
A.A. and W.F. Spikes (1935)], in 1935, and dedicated the volume to
Emich. One of the features of this book is the use of empty 3-inch diameter
circles throughout, in which the user is expected to draw the microscopical
view of the crystals or reaction product being discussed. In 1942, this book
was replaced by, Introduction to the
Microtechnique of Inorganic Analysis [Benedetti-Pichler, A.A. (1942 and
1950)], under the authorship of Benedetti-Pichler alone. The 3-inch diameter
circles for do-it-yourself drawing are not in this version.
Hotstage methods (fusion methods; thermomicroscopy) is
another category which requires a separate survey; however, a few works may
be mentioned here. The techniques are traceable back to Otto Lehmann's works in
the 1880's and after. (I regard myself as
extremely fortunate to have one of Lehmann's books, Die scheinbar lebenden Kristalle, that bears the library stamps -of the
Technische Hoogeschule in Delft where Behrens taught).
In 1936, Kofler, Kofler, and Mayrhofer
saw the publication of their Mikroskopische Methoden in der Mikrochemie
L., A. Kofler and Mayrhofer, A. (1936)], Mayrhofer had previously (1923)
published his Mikrochemie der Arzneimittel und Gifte [Mayrhofer, A.
(1923)], Kofler and Kofler had their Thermomikromethoden [Kofler L.,
and A. Kofler (1954)], published in 1954. And then Maria Kuhnert-Brandstätter,
Professor of Pharmacognosy, University of Innsbruck, and close friend and
colleague of the Koflers, saw her highly valuable Thermomicroscopy
in the Analysis of Pharmaceuticals [Kuhnert-Brandstätter, Maria (1971)],
published in 1971. Her book is dedicated to Adelheid Kofler, widow of her
highly esteemed teacher, Ludwig Kofler.
Walter McCrone used to tell the story
that, both he and the Koflers were, unknown to each other, developing thermal
methods for the study of fusible compounds, and neither knew that Otto Lehmann
had already developed most of their procedures in the 1880's [Lehmann, Otto
(1891)], McCrone published his work Fusion Methods in Chemical Microscopy [McCrone, W.C.
(1956)], incorporating the Koflers' analytical tables in 1956.
In 1938, a
little book appeared that was intended to introduce senior chemistry students
to the methods of microchemistry; it was Cecil L. Wilson's An Introduction
to Microchemical Methods [Wilson, Cecil L. (1938)]. This book also
introduces the student to the tintometer, the calorimeter, the nephelometer,
and the spectrograph, in addition to qualitative organic and inorganic