The Manufacturer and Builder 7, 1877
To the Editor of the Manufacturer and Builder.
I have a lot of coal-tar always on hand - more than the market here can use, and what I want to ask you is: 1st. Can I manufacture any of the anilin colors from it, profitably? Id. State the minutiae of the operation. 3d. About how much would a barrel of tar be worth when worked into any of the colors? 4th. What apparatus would I need? I
hope you will give these questions your consideration, for I entertain a higher regard for your opinion than that of any other person, and intend to act on your advice.
Marcus A. Jones, Superintendent Gas and Water Works, Frankfort, Ky.
P. S. - I once made this request of the Scientific American, but the answer was so vague that it was not of the least possible use to me.
ANSWER TO THE ABOVE.
As we have received several more inquiries upon the same subject, and the available space in this department is utterly inadequate to do it justice, so as to make the answer of any value to those interested, we will devote to it a regular place in another part of our journal, and treat it in a series of illustrated articles on the derivatives of coal-tar. We have another special reason: we wish to show that there are other uses for coal-tar than that of making pitch for pavements and roofing, for which the natural asphaltum is infinitely better, and in comparison with which the coal-tar pitch is worthless. We now import yearly, at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars, coal-tar products, such as carbolic acid, benzole, nitro-benzoic or oil of myrbane, naphthalin, anilin and its various colors, such a magenta, fuchsin, etc., all of which we could manufacture here, if we only knew how to do it economically. We are perfectly well aware that the manufacture of some of these products has been attempted here, and failed. We also know why. It was from ignorance of the correct methods, which is followed by the large successful establishments in France and Germany, of which one of the main principles is to waste nothing, but make all the incidental products profitable by converting them into a form which has some value in the industrial arts.