Vogel's Practical Organic ChemistryThird Edition, 1956
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One of the best books there is out there teaching practical organic chemistry is the one written by Arthur I. Vogel. The author is now deceased, but his teachings continues to live on - there has even been published a fifth edition of his masterpiece A Textbook of Practical Organic Chemistry after his death, containing many new preparations and procedures with techniques discovered in the last decades, which has been added to the book by other editors. However, the third edition of his book (first published in 1956) is actually of much better use to the hobby chemist, as it does not make use of any hideously expensive glassware/apparatus or exotic reagents or catalysts. Back in those days, an organic chemist was supposed to make many of his precursors himself, and to purify solvents and reagents in the lab before using them, as they were not available from chemical supply houses in 99.99% purity. There are even sections on glass-blowing in the book. The organic chemists of that day hadn't access to million-dollar NMR machines or GC/MS analytical equipment, therefore the preparations in this book don't require the use of such unavailable machines to identify products, only simple melting points to be taken, or the identification of certain odors, colors or crystal shapes.
The book has been scanned and turned into PDF format by Polverone, making a 73 MB file out of the thick 1200 page book. With the help of Hypo and Hocatka this PDF was converted it to the much more compact format DjVu, being only about a fifth of that size with almost the same quality and much faster viewing. As the bandwidth consumed will be much less using this format, it's possible to make it available online at this site.
To be able to view DjVu documents, you need a plugin for you web browser, which can be downloaded at LizardTech, Inc. After Installing the plugin, simply click the link below to read the book.
If you want to download the whole book in DjVu format to your hard drive for
Now (July 2003), Polverone has presented an improved version of the book in PDF format, with cleaned-up scans, an included OCR layer beneath the text (making it possible to cut-n-paste directly from the PDF), and JBIG2-compression of the images, making this improved version of Vogel's Practical Organic Chemistry, 3rd Ed. only around 23MB!