RE: Clorohydrate

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From:"Kellar, Eric" <kellarec@MSX.UPMC.EDU>
To:"'HistoNet Server'" <>, "'Schell, Maria G.'" <>
Date:Sat, 12 Jun 1999 11:42:13 -0400


2,2,2,-Trichloro-1,1,-ethanediol; First synthesized by Liebreich in 1869.
Comprehensive description: J.E. Fairbrother in Analytical Profiles of Drug
Substances vol. 2, K. Florey, Ed.

THERAP CAT: Hypnotic; sedative, narcotic, anesthetic.

Substitutes : Xylene, toluene, chloroform, cedarwood oil or a mixture of
equal parts of methyl salicylate (oil of wintergreen) and aniline followed
by pure methyl salicylate.

Remember Hunter S.Thompson in "Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas"? 
We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs
began to take hold.
And it only gets crazier and better: Suddenly there was a terrible roar all
around us and the sky was full of what looked like huge bats...

Thompson and his lawyer/companion were doing, among other things, ether.  It
wasn't ether as we know it that Rossetti* would
have been doing but the chemical compound Chloral Hydrate (from which ether
and chloroform came from). It would have
been prepared in an alcohol based tincture and was doctor prescribed.
Sometimes called "the knock out drug," it was of
course addictive.

*Dante Gabriel Rossetti was born in the same year as Jules Verne, another
Utopian novelist like friend William Morris. Like
Lord Byron, they loved the medievalism of Walter Scott's writing, and the
image of another 'more natural' era, like the world in
which Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) populated. 

Before moving permanently to England, the elder Rossetti worked as composer
Rossini's librettist. In England he taught and
worked as a Dante scholar, marrying the much younger Frances Polidori, niece
of Dr. John Polidori (who later wrote The
Vampyre). He was Lord Byron's companion during his exile from England in

He resumed his relationship with the earthy Fanny Cornforth; she'd been the
model for one of his moral paintings.
His ether addiction worried even him. In a letter to his brother William,
who referred sadly to these as Gabriel's "chloralized
years," wrote that he hoped people wouldn't find out about his ether use. He
was afraid that then his art would be discredited.

On Easter Sunday, 1882, he died at the country house of a friend, where he'd
gone in yet another vain attempt to recover his
health, which had been destroyed by the chloral as his wife's had been
destroyed by laudanum (a tincture containing opium).

Eric C. Kellar
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

	From:  Schell, Maria G. []
	Sent:  Thursday, June 10, 1999 3:52 PM
	To:  'HistoNet Server'
	Subject:  Clorohydrate

	Is there a substitute for clorohydrate ?
	I would like to use it to clear some plant tissue, but it is a
	substance and very hard to obtain. This was used years ago but I
don't know
	if there is something new that works just as well.

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