Chas. W. Kelly. 1938. Suitable methods of testing commercial spirit and the results obtained in testing a representative group of commercial samples.

First a great thank you to Susan Coppin and the team of archivists at the University of Adelaide who made recovering these documents possible.

All these documents from Australia were contained in Series 600 of the Roseworthy Agricultural College archives.  We should probably figure out how to digitize all of the papers.

Kelly, Chas W. Suitable methods of testing commercial spirit and the results obtained in testing a representative group of commercial samples. 1938. from Series 600 University of Adelaide Archives, Inventory Identifier 060000004 Box Number 1. [PDF]

This project was unfortunately not completed by Kelly but I’m not sure why.  It still seems to have received a Karl Weidenhofer prize.

Chemistry and analysis was particularly important to the Roseworthy program. Alan Hickenbotham who many of the papers thank in their acknowledgements was a chemist who made many firsts in wine analysis.  Hickenbotham’s work paralleled that of Maynard Amerine and Emile Peynaud.

The paper starts with a bibliography with some references that are new to me:

“2. Simmonds ‘Alcohol’ page 270, 1919.” Page 270 relates spirit percent alcohol and specific gravity.

“5. Vasey ‘Analysis of potable spirits’ 1904.This English text supposedly contains some of the statistics found in the famous French book on analysis by Girard and Cuniasse.  He acknowledges the works of Allen, Hewitt, and Schidrowitz who turn up in a lot of early bibliographies.  He even thanks M. Ordinneau whom he visited in Paris and described his work as well known. It is worth while to start reading at page 67 and hear Vasey’s anecdotes of organoleptic analysis.  He describes strange foaming with soda water of some spirits and formation of soaps when other spirits are mixed with caustic alkali and distilled. Definitely a notable book.

“The analysis of fortifying spirits has been, prior to this last decade, much neglected in this country, partly because little attempt was made to draw up a systematic scheme for their examination,…”

This paper is important but not particularly exciting. I do need to learn more about the specifics of these analysis procedures but at the moment I have no where to put them to use. Some day.

The analysis that Kelly explores probably paves the way for a lot of the other papers.

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