Nature 162, 474-474 (25 September 1948) | doi:10.1038/162474a0

Qualitative Analysis by Spot Tests, Inorganic and Organic Applications

J. R. PARTINGTON

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ONE of the most striking features of recent developments in qualitative and quantitative analysis has been the increasing use made of micro-or semimicro-methods. This is not, indeed, a modern branch of analysis ; some of the old masters worked with very small quantities of materials. Wollaston’s laboratory, we are told, consisted at one time of a tray containing watch-glasses, a blowpipe, and similar unimpressive objects, and when he had occasion to need a little calcium phosphate for a blowpipe test, he supplied it by scrapings of an ivory paper-knife. Berzelius created nearly all the chemistry of vanadium with a few grams of material. The so-called spot test, with which the present treatise deals, is also an old friend to most chemists ; the use of test-papers and of an external indicator in titrations are examples of its early use.