Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Mr. Vigreux

Henri Vigreux gave his name to a piece of glassware, biographic facts are unfortunately hard to find.. Vigreux, a glassblowing chef from Paris, published a book about their instruments in 1920; Le soufflage du verre dans les laboratoires scientifiques et industriels
Browsing through the book I see nice equipent I would like to have in my shed to prepare my own mooshine.

Some illustration represent glassware that makes me wonder what it is used for. Unforntunately my French is far from perfect, and my fluently French speaking wife is not prepared to translate the 280 pages of instrument descriptions.

Looking at all the glassware in this book I realize how spoiled we are in industry. Specific glassware becomes a rarity on our labs. The last vigreux I touched was last year, cracking dicyclopentadiene wich was the last destillation I did as well. You have to search the whole building for a complete destillation-set on the right scale. There is some mini-scale glassware that becomes mouldy and almost starts to decompose We are so spoiled we buy dry solvents, stored under nitrogen on molsieves. Ground-glass jointless glassware can nott be found here. Reagents like diazomethane are almost prohibited, we need 523 signatures and fill in 735 forms to be allowed to use such reagents. Apart from LDA we buy everything that can be made easily, because we have the presumptuous idea that our time is more expensive than the commercial reagents. It is a miracle we are able to synthesize anything at all.


jasmine said...

So very cute really....
"I'm surprised we are able to synthesise anything at all"!!!

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