As is stated by H. B. and M. Baker in their 1912 article, it was a letter in regard to desiccated calomel that led them to study the effects of intensive desiccation on boiling points and other physical properties of liquids, a field in which the many investigators who have since entered it have obtained results that are outstandingly discordant. In looking back at the work of Smith and Menzies, published in 1911, one can readily see that, in working with calomel, they were fortunate in being able to heat the substance to be desiccated for months at 115°, while the drying agent, in another portion of the same apparatus, could be kept at room temperature. But one can recall also a feature of the work that is not obvious, namely, that, by reason of the methods used, their dry system was presumably unusually free from contamination with atmospheric dust. Recent work in this laboratory has again brought to our attention the importance of atmospheric dust.
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Journal of Applied Chemistry (2007)