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Constitutional Formulæ and the Progress of Organic Chemistry

Nature volume 36, pages 368372 | Download Citation



IF the mere increase in the number of known facts were an accurate measure of the growth of a science, the question as to the progress of organic chemistry would be easily answered. Let the reader open a text-book on chemistry of fifty or sixty years ago, and he will find, sheltering itself under the wing of the inorganic chemistry of that day, the half-fledged science of organic chemistry. Then let him turn to Beilstein's gigantic Handbuch der organischen Chemie, with its more than two thousand large closely-printed pages—a mere classified catalogue of the known facts, written moreover in the highly-condensed elliptical style appropriate to catalogues. Here is increase.

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