Glycerin; its Quality as it Exists in Commerce.


By JOSEPH P. REMINGTON, Philadelphia, Pa.

This powerful solvent and useful medicine, though but lately called from its seclusion in the cabinet in answer to the demands of this progressive age, has rapidly ingratiated itself into the esteem of the chemist, pharmacist, and the public at large.

It continues to widen its sphere of usefulness; we hear of new applications constantly; and its bland manners and insinuating disposition have won for it a host of friends, and an ever-increasing popularity.

It serves its mission as faithfully on the dressing-table of a lady as it does in our gas meters; as well as an excipient for pill masses as it does a substitute for molasses in printers' rollers, and its range of applications between these extremes is varied and extensive.

Its production, with a view to improve the quality and lower the price, has been attended with success, as we all know. A glycerin which will answer almost every purpose (except for internal administration), can be procured for twenty-five cents per pound; and one fit for any purpose for sixty cents per pound.

One of the principal reasons for bringing this matter before you, is to detail a comparative examination of the different brands in the market, which examination was at first undertaken for the writer's own satisfaction, but which may prove not uninteresting to the Association. Each glycerin was tested by the same reagent, in the same relative quantity, at the same time; and the effect carefully noted.

The glycerins, as they stood in their commercial attire before the examination, presented quite a contrast; the most pretentious was one of the latest comers into the market, De Haen's; which, from the size of the bottle would lead to the supposition that it contained more than a pound. This glycerin has attracted attention by reason of the free use of adjectives on the label, and on account of a vigorous attack on the propriety of using the adjectives by the editor of a trade journal.

Sarg's Pure Glycerin is put up in a very attractive style, the blue stencilled label and the refractive property of the glycerin contrast to very good advantage.

The American glycerins were in a plainer and neater dress, Bower's, Gordon's and Concentrated being put up in the usual glycerin bottle with a plain label.

BRANDS. For Strength.
Sp. Gr.
Color. Odor when warm. Nitrate of Silver.
Bower's Pure 1.253 None. None. No precipitate.
Gordon's Pure 1.240 Yellowish. Fatty. Heavy white precipitate.
Concentrated 1.250 Yellowish. Slight. Rose color.
Sarg's Chemically Pure 1.254 None. Empyreumatic. No precipitate.
Sarg's second quality 1.250 Quite dark. Like glue. White precipitate.
De Haen's Chemically Pure 1.245 None. Slight. Rose color.


BRANDS Sulphuric Acid. For Sulphate of Lime. For Lime Salts Ox. Ammon. Ferro-cyanice of Iron
Bower's Pure Slightly discolored. No precipitate. No precipitate. Opalescence.
Gordon's Pure Discolored. No precipitate. Slight precipitate. Clear.
Concentrated Discolored. No precipitate. No precipitate. Opalescence.
Sarg's Chemically Pure Discolored. No precipitate. No precipitate. Precipitate.
Sarg's second quality Slightly discolored. No precipitate. White precipitate. Slight precipitate.
De Haen's Chemically Pure Discolored. No precipitate. No precipitate. No precipitate.


BRANDS Hydrosulph. of Ammon. Chloride of Barium. For Ethyl-butyrate. For Sugar.
Bower's Pure No precipitate. No precipitate. Slight odor. Free from sugar.
Gordon's Pure No precipitate. Slight precipitate. Strong odor. Free from sugar.
Concentrated No precipitate. Precipitate. Slight odor. Free from sugar.
Sarg's Chemically Pure No precipitate. No precipitate. Very slight odor. Free from sugar.
Sarg's second quality No precipitate. Opalescent. Slight odor. Free from sugar.
De Haen's Chemically Pure Slight precipitate. No precipitate. Slight odor. Free from sugar.

The result will be found in the foregoing table.—Proc. Amer. Pharm. Assoc., 1870.

The American Journal of Pharmacy, Vol. XLIII, 1871, was edited by William Procter, Jr. (Issues 1-4) and John M. Maisch (Issues 5-12).