CD may be interested in a reference to a method of detecting 1/195000 of a grain of sodium chloride.
Also, on Drosera, suggests it would be interesting to try substances such as gun-cotton, in which nitrogen is in very different states from a salt of ammonia.
St James's Terrace | Regents Park
Dec 10 1860
Dear Mr Cresy
I saw a passage in the Chemical News of Nov 24th,
which I think will interest your friend M
At p 281 of that number (published by Mitchell Red Lion Court Fleet
Street) you will find it stated that by a peculiar optical
A dilution to the extent of
I am glad you think that Herapath has undergone a proper rasping in my paper
I am | Your's very truly | Alfred S Taylor
E Cresy Esq
- f1 3015.f1Taylor was the author of a book on poisons (Taylor 1848) about which Cresy and CD had been corresponding. See particularly the letter from Edward Cresy, 30 October 1860. Cresy subsequently sent Taylor's letter to CD (see letter to Edward Cresy, 12 December ).
- f2 3015.f2The Chemical News 2 (1860): 281 reported the discovery of a new alkali metal (later called caesium or cesium) by Robert Wilhelm Eberhard Bunsen and Gustav Robert Kirchhoff with the aid of the new technique of spectrum analysis (see Bunsen and Kirchhoff 1860). The great advantage of this method, the report noted, was its extraordinary delicacy.
- f3 3015.f3C. Mitchell and Co., founded by Charles Mitchell, published the two 1860 volumes of Chemical News; thereafter the journal was published by other companies.
- f4 3015.f4CD had been experimenting on the effects of various salts of ammonia on Drosera leaves. His results were given in Insectivorous plants, chapter 7.
- f5 3015.f5CD found that gun-cotton, a highly explosive, manufactured compound that consists of a series of nitrates of cellulose, was not digested by Drosera (Insectivorous plants, p. 125).
- f6 3015.f6William Herapath, the Bristol medical chemist, was frequently on the opposing side of Taylor in medical jurisprudence cases, most notably in the notorious 1856 murder trial of William Palmer (the Rugeley poisoner). In 1860 Taylor issued a detailed paper demonstrating that the test for arsenic established by Edgar Hugo Emil Reinsch and much favoured by Herapath was inaccurate: the copper wire used in the test itself contained arsenic compounds. Taylor used this article to take issue with criticisms levelled at him by Herapath in a letter to the Lancet (1859 (2)): 248. (Taylor 1860, pp. 219--20 and 220 n. 1). See also Coley 1991.
- f7 3015.f7CD's note refers to the statement in the letter that a dilution of common salt to the extent of
1/500,000of a grain can be detected by nitrate of silver. In Insectivorous plants, pp. 174--88, he gave the results of testing the response of Drosera leaves to very dilute solutions of various salts. His manuscript notes are in DAR 54, 60.1, and 60.2.