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Rev Hist Pharm (Paris). 1996;43(310):269-73.

[Clarification on publications concerning the synthesis of acetylsalicylic acid].

[Article in French]

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Faculté de médecine et pharmacie de Rouen, Saint-Etienne-de-Rouvray cedex.


Charles Frédéric Gerhardt (1816-1856) mentioned in his Traité de chimie Organique (1854) a publication, in French (realized in 1852 but published in 1853) entitled "Researches on anhydrous organic acids" in which, was reported the reaction of sodium salicylate with acetyl chloride. He thought that the reaction product was an acid anhydride, but obtained really crude acetylsalicylic acid. Later on, but also in 1853, a publication in german, by the same author related the same experiments. Surprisingly only the second publication has been mentioned in most of the historical studies on the subject. Acetyl salicylic acid was identified and synthesised in 1859 by von Gilm by another method and the product obtained by Gerhardt was identified to it in 1869.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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