Haymarket Affair Digital Collection

Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial evidence book. People's Exhibit 99.
Arbeiter-Zeitung (Newspaper) article, "Voice from the People: Nitro-glycerine," 1885 Jan. 4

2 p.
Introduced into evidence during testimony of E. F. L. Gauss (Vol. K p. 721-732), 1886 July 31.
Transcript of translation of article.

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[Image, People's Exhibit 99, Page 1]


January 4th, 8th page.


Headed "Nitro-glycerine."

"Editor Arbeiter Zeitung: Johann Most gave in his speech at Philadelphia among other things a description for the preparation of nitro-glycerine. But as our dear Lord as considered it suitable to allow me to walk through this vale of sorrow, only with a passable school education of which chemistry was no part, I find Mr% Most's receipt, a little obscure, but I would request you to reproduce the names of the ingredients and quantities of them in a little more complete form.

"The consideration that you paper is read by thousands of young people, eager to learn for whom--not through their own fault--it is impossible to study chemistry and to go through the high schools and colleges and to visit libraries, will not doubt move you to comply with my request.

Signed "K".

(Editorial answer).

"The most simple method of preparation of nitro-glycerine is the following:

"Prepare a mixture of one part concentrated nitric acid,

[Image, People's Exhibit 99, Page 2]

(one fifty-two hundredths specific weight) and two parts strongest sulphuric acid (one eighty-three hundredths specific weight). Some of this mixture is placed in a well-cooled generator surrounded by ice; after this mixture of acids has been in the vessel for some time and has been well cooled in consequence, a few grains (15 grs.) of perfectly pure glycerine free from water is added. Hereupon the whole is poured as quickly as possible into a larger quantity of cold water. The nitro-glycerine that has been formed is seen at once dripping to the bottom as a liquid of specific weight looking like drops of oil. Now, the acid is poured off the nitro-glycerine, water is poured upon the latter which is again carefully poured off and is re-placed by fresh water, after this has been repeated several times the nitro-glycerine is washed out with a week solution of soda to completely free it from acid, and is then finally freed from the water by a few small pieces of muriate-chloride of calcium."

"This preparation is not accompanied with danger, but only of course in the hands of an experienced man, who knows exactly the nature of the material which he handles. The layman ought not to venture the experiment.

(Signed) "The editor"

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