British Fine Chemicals


DURING the period of twenty years preceding the war, it was a frequent complaint among organic chemists that there did not exist in this country a firm resembling Kahlbaum or Schuchardt, from which it would be possible to obtain, at short notice, large or small quantities of those organic compounds, both common and obscure, required for the prosecution of research. The absence of such a domestic source of supply was deplorable for several reasons, but there was always said to be “no money in it,” and various ingenious theories were necessarily devised to explain the survival of the German firms, which certainly did not remain in business on philanthropic grounds alone. The shock of war galvanised this branch of industry along with many others, and it was widely declared that the gradually increasing supply of these materials should be augmented to the volume essential for the brisk practice of research, and should be maintained on a self-supporting basis even when free communication with Germany had become restored.


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F., M. British Fine Chemicals. Nature 109, 701–702 (1922).

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