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Zephyr
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[*] posted on 18-4-2014 at 16:30
Old Chemicals


While visiting family on Gabriola (a small island west of Vancouver), me and my cousin found an abandoned farm house. The inside was dilapidated, but its last inhabitants had been there in 1960, and it was very interesting to look through the old letters and magazines. In addition to old photos, letters, books and clothing, we also found some interesting old chemicals.
*Sorry for the image quality, these were taken with my phone*

The house;


Old calender;


Most of the chemicals;


Some perfume/flavoring;


Now we get to the interesting stuff!

Some weird crystals with red goop in them, they smelled like phenol;



Orange pills;


Strange gray pills;


Weird orange crystals;


Some "hand softener";


"Constipation relief", yellow powder, similar to sulfur, but lighter;


Kidney pills;


Magnesia pills;


Silver protein disinfectant;


Unknown whie powder;


A unpierced bottle that is used for injections;


And some cool old skeleton keys;


We also found several jars with mundane chemicals that included boric acid, magnesium sulfate, and potassium nitrate.
I am particularly interested in the contents/composition of the injection bottle, the gray pills, the orange crystals, and the clear crystals with red goop.
I will post more pictures on request.




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12AX7
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[*] posted on 18-4-2014 at 17:04


The one that smells like phenol most likely is. I recognize the lustrous crystalline appearance. The complete label most likely read "carbolic acid", an old name for phenol. Not sure what's turning it red, but there are a lot of things that can polymerize with the stuff, so it could very well be a condensation product.

The weird orange crystals could be potassium or ammonium dichromate, but you'd want to dig some out and do some tests (if it burns, it's organic; if it turns yellow at high pH, it's probably a dichromate; etc.).

The grass, daffodils and roof are in awfully good shape for an abandoned house...

Tim




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bismuthate
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[*] posted on 18-4-2014 at 17:08


The orange crystals could also very well be pottassium ferricyanide. You can easily test this by adding it to FeCl3 and watching for prussian blue.



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Zephyr
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[*] posted on 18-4-2014 at 18:22


Thanks for those ideas, I will test them when i get a chance.

Quote: Originally posted by 12AX7  


The grass, daffodils and roof are in awfully good shape for an abandoned house...

Tim


Yes the yard was nice, I think it was being used as pasture for the nieghbors sheep, but the house was in terrible condition. The roof has numerous holes, and almost all of the windows are broken.
Here's a picture of the inside;






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[*] posted on 19-4-2014 at 01:46


It seems that house and lab belonged to an amateur chemist like most of guys here
Those are for 54 years ago,maybe at the age of 2068!! Some one will see our old chemiclas
Very interesting pinkhippo
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[*] posted on 19-4-2014 at 12:20


Probably the contents of a typical medicine cabinet one would expect to encounter from the turn of the century. Fascinating to see. The white powder, Powdered alum maybe?



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[*] posted on 19-4-2014 at 12:51



Nice daffodils.
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[*] posted on 19-4-2014 at 15:56


I suppose you drank the tincture of paregoric? The injection could be old insulin or cow antibiotic. Try TLC and see what the spread looks like. I'd be inclined to do a little chemical testing followed by incineration



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Zyklon-A
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[*] posted on 20-4-2014 at 06:00


Very easy test for potassium or ammonium dichromate:
Just add a tiny amount (~50 milligrams) of potassium or ammonium dichromate to water (100mL). To this solution add several drops of 3% hydrogen peroxide and then a few drops of hydrochloric acid. An extreme color change will occur.
Here's some pictures of my experiment:http://www.sciencemadness.org/talk/viewthread.php?tid=26378&...

[Edited on 20-4-2014 by Zyklonb]




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[*] posted on 20-4-2014 at 08:52


This reminds me, recently, I visited my grandfather and began to excavate an old well on his farm that had been filled in with dirt and trash. Unfortunately, most of the trash that we've found so far is from the mid to late 70s, so nothing too interesting, but I did dig up a lot of glass bottles and jars that were perfectly intact that would make decent reagent storage if I could get lids to fit them.
Some of the stuff I found was of serious environmental concern… such as some old paint cans that had rusted out, losing remaining contents, and worse, an old car battery…

Hopefully, next time I go to continue the excavation we could find some older stuff (the well could have been filled in over a number of years), maybe even some old chemicals, although that's doubtful since everything down there was discarded having been used up already.

I've dug down to about 7 feet below the surface, and it's probably a 25-30 foot deep well.

IMG_1148.jpg - 228kB
(Sorry for the picture quality, it was a phone picture since I forgot my camera)

[Edited on 4-20-2014 by zts16]
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Zephyr
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[*] posted on 20-4-2014 at 11:01


I just tested the orange crystals as Zyklonb suggested. The potassium dichromate that I know is pure turned a deep purple, as expected, but the orange crystals would not dissolve in the water and instead formed a thick suspension. They were not affected by the hydrogen peroxide and hydrochloric acid.
Also, Zyklond, your link doesn't work.
I think this is your post you were thinking of...
http://www.sciencemadness.org/talk/viewthread.php?tid=26378&...

[Edited on 20-4-2014 by Pinkhippo11]




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Zyklon-A
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[*] posted on 20-4-2014 at 19:33


My link works fine for me, perhaps you've set it to a different number of post per page.
Hmm, so not dichromate. I have no idea...




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[*] posted on 20-4-2014 at 23:19


Error The item you requested could not be found.

Does not work for me either and I have not set anything different than default settings. Obviously there is some error in your link. The link pinkhippo11 gave comes up at your 'Chromium Chemistry'.




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[*] posted on 21-4-2014 at 05:21


another member of this site once told me about that he had been to his grandparents house where he found small vials with mercury oxide and such in it.. some 100g of dichromate i think also?
once myself found an abandoned shed near a house with general solvents and such.. the average stuff approx 20-30 years old.. not that much difference from todays available chemicals, sadly..




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Zyklon-A
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[*] posted on 21-4-2014 at 11:42


Ok, I guess I had changed my number of post per page - I forgot...
I changed it back to 25 post per page rather than 20.




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