Reference numberAP/27/27
TitleUnpublished letter, 'An account of compact aluminum [aluminium]' from Friedrich Wöhler to Thomas Graham
DescriptionWöhler suggests, contrary to the results of his former researches on aluminum made eighteen years ago, that aluminium is readily fusible, and that in its reduction from the chloride of aluminium by means of potassium, it presents itself in the form of fused globules, generally so small that their shape is not distinguishable under the microscope, although occasionally they are met with having a sensible diameter. He effects the reduction at once in a clay crucible, the bottom of which he covers with pellets of pure potassium, and places upon these the chloride of ammonium, covering the whole with chloride of potassium in powder. The crucible being then closed up, and heated in a coal fire, the reduction is instantly effected. Fused aluminium has the colour and lustre of polished tin; it continues perfectly white in the air; it is fully malleable, and the globules may be beaten out into the thinnest plates without cracking at the edges. It is entirely unmagnetic. In other respects the metal in this compact state has the properties which the author formerly ascribed to it.

Marked on back as 'Archives 5 June 1845 S H C [Samuel Hunter Christie]'.

Subject: Chemistry

Received 20 February 1845. Communicated by Graham.

Written by Wöhler in Göttingen [Germany].

Whilst the Royal Society declined to publish this paper in full, an abstract of the paper was published in volume 5 of Abstracts of the Papers Printed in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London [later Proceedings of the Royal Society] as 'An account of compact aluminum. By Professor F. Wöhler of Göttingen, in a letter to Thomas Graham, Esq. Communicated by Thomas Graham, Esq., F. R. S'.
Physical descriptionInk on paper
Digital imagesView item on Science in the Making
Access statusOpen
Related materialDOI: 10.1098/rspl.1843.0040
Fellows associated with this archive
NA6374Graham; Thomas (1805 - 1869); chemist1805 - 1869
NA3800Wohler; Friedrich (1800 - 1882)1800 - 1882
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