SALUTATORY.—The newly elected editor of this Journal commences his editorial labors with the present number. In accepting these duties, he is cognizant of the responsibility assumed by him, both towards the Journal, which, under the able and fearless management of its retiring editor, has been carried into the foremost ranks of pharmaceutical periodicals, and also towards its numerous readers, who have a right to expect that it shall maintain the high position in which it has been placed through years of patient labor. To accomplish this we shall spare no pains, but shall use our best endeavors in advancing what we conceive to be the true interests of our profession, and in this light we desire our editorial acts to be viewed, trusting that the sense of duty towards the readers, the profession generally, and toward kindred professions will always be evident, as it will be the governing motive of our labors. Through our connection with this Journal during the past years, as one of its contributors, we are not a stranger to its readers, and in our new relation to it as editor we feel that we have no special promises to make, but we trust that with the aid of those who have heretofore so liberally contributed to its pages, and also through communications from many of our younger friends, we may be enabled to make each and every number of the Journal full of interest and of lasting value to the profession.
IS VACCINIIN IDENTICAL WITH ARBUTIN?—On page 297 of the last volume (1870) of this journal, Mr. E. Claassen describes a bitter principle which he obtained from the leaves of Vaccinium vitis idaea, Lin. Our attention was again called to this paper on reading the inaugural essay or Mr. Jungmann, published in this number, page 202. A comparison of Claassen's process with the processes used by Strecker and Kawalier, for the preparation of arbutin, will show that they are almost identical. As far as it goes, the description of the properties of vacciniin agrees with arbutin; products of decomposition, experiments on the glucoside nature of vacciniin, &c., are not mentioned. As far back as 1859 Moth obtained from the aqueous extracts of various ericaceae, ericinon, which Zwenger, Hesse and Himmelmann subsequently proved to be identical with hydrokinone, which is a decomposition product of kinic acid and of arbutin. The fact that kinic acid has been prepared from one or two species of vaccinium is no proof that arbutin may not occur in the same plants, or in plants of the same or an allied genus. Hence, the probabilities are in favor of the supposition that vacciniin and arbutin are identical.
The American Journal of Pharmacy, Vol. XLIII, 1871, was edited by William Procter, Jr. (Issues 1-4) and John M. Maisch (Issues 5-12).