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AN INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY
COMPOUNDS OF CARBON
REVISED AND ENLARGED
W. R. ORNDORFF, Ph.d.
PROFESSOR OF ORGANIC CHEMISTRY, CORNELL UNIVERSITY
D. C. HEATH & CO., PUBLISHERS
BOSTON NEW YORK CHICAGO
Quoting from the preface to the first edition: "This book is intended for those who are beginning the subject. For this reason, special care has been taken to select for treatment such compounds as best serve to make clear the fundamental principles. General relations as illustrated by special cases are discussed rather more fully than is customary in books of the same size; and, on the other hand, the number of compounds taken up is smaller than usual. The author has endeavored to avoid dogmatism, and to lead the student, through a careful study of the facts, to see for himself the reasons for adopting the prevalent views in regard to the structure of the compounds of carbon. Whenever a new formula is presented, the reasons for using it are given so that it may afterward be used intelligently. It is believed that the book is adapted to the needs of all students of chemistry, whether they intend to follow the pure science, or to deal with it in its applications to the arts, medicine, etc. It is difficult to see how, without some such general introductory study, the technical chemist and the student of medicine can comprehend what is usually put before them under the heads of 'Applied Organic Chemistry' and 'Medical Chemistry.'"
These words apply to the present edition. For some time I have been aware that the book needed a thorough overhauling, but one thing and another prevented me from undertaking the work. Finally, I decided to ask Dr. W. R. Orndorff of Cornell University to join me. He consented, and the many additions and corrections that have been made are largely due to him. I have great confidence in his accuracy and thoroughness, and I am sure that these qualities will be evident to those who may examine and use this new edition.
Organic chemistry has come very much to the front in the last few years, and I suppose it is true that for one who studied
the subject at the time the book was written a hundred study it now. Most of these are in the early stages of their study, and I have had them principally in mind. At the same time a good deal of new material has been introduced which will, I believe, be helpful to those who have passed beyond the first stage.
I make no apology and offer no explanation. I do not see how any one can acquire a working knowledge of the subject without learning about compounds and a good many of them. The acquisition of this knowledge is much facilitated by a study of the structure of the compounds. Organic chemistry is to a large extent structural chemistry. Without this aid the subject would be confusion worse confounded. Structural formulas play somewhat the same part as mathematics in some related subjects. We do not, however, need to be told that they are not the end. Properly used they reveal the inner nature of the things they represent, and they are therefore of great value.
One change has been made that will be noted at once. The descriptions of laboratory experiments have been omitted. I am informed that in most laboratories special manuals designed for that purpose have come into use, and it is clear therefore that it is not necessary to include this matter in the book. Professor Orndorff long ago prepared such a laboratory manual and a new edition will appear at about the same time as this book.
Cross references abound throughout the text and appear in parenthesis in heavy-faced type.