IN view of the projected celebration of the centenary of Faraday's discovery of benzene in 1825, it is important that any doubt concerning his priority should be dispelled. The standard work on coal-tar, Lunge's “Coal Tar and Ammonia”, states on p. 223, vol. 1 of the fifth edition (1916): “It is usually stated that benzene was discovered in 1825, by Faraday, in the liquid separating from condensed oil-gas, but Schelenz (Z. angew. Chem., 1908, p. 2577) has shown that the compound which we now term benzol, or more recently benzene, had been discovered in coal-tar forty years before Faraday in the year 1825 reported On new compounds of carbon and hydrogen.” Lunge then quotes from Schelenz three passages, culled from the chemical literature of the period 1740–1784, which in the opinion of both prove that benzene "was undoubtedly known forty years earlier" (although elsewhere in his article Schelenz refers to "Faraday's discovery, of which England can indeed be proud"). The citations from the eighteenth century are from German versions of Macquer's "Dictionary of Chemistry" (Leipzig, 1783), Demady's "Laborant" (Leipzig, 1784), and Caspar Neumann's "Prælectiones Chemicæ" (Schneeberg, 1740).
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TRIPP, E. The Discovery of Benzene. Nature 115, 909 (1925). https://doi.org/10.1038/115909a0
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