In these days of new remedies of ephemeral usefulness and evanescent reputation, it is refreshing to take up, for brief consideration, a drug with an established record of more than half a century. We recall the fact that while experimenting with tar from beech-wood, Reichenbach, in 1832, first obtained a fluid substance, which, on account of its possessing pre-eminently the power of preventing putrefaction in organic substances, he termed "creosote," or "flesh preserver." That expert chemist also fully recognized the fact that the new chemic agent was not a simple, but a very complex, substance, being composed principally of hydrocarbons of the aromatic group. It also contains a variable quantity of water. According to a recent authority, Marasse, it contains phenol, cresol, phlorol, guaiacol and creosol; also methylcreosol and the methylic ethers of guaiacol, phlorol, etc. By fractional distillation, Hofmann separated the dimethylic ethers of pyrogallol, of methyl-pyrogallol and of
WOODBURY F. A NOTE ON TWO NEW CREOSOTE COMPOUNDS: CREOSOTE VALERIANATE AND GUAIACOL VALERIANATE. JAMA. 1897;XXIX(10):465–467. doi:10.1001/jama.1897.02440360009002b
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