1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Fehling, Hermann von

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FEHLING, HERMANN VON (1812-1885), German chemist, was born at Lübeck on the 9th of June 1885. With the intention of taking up pharmacy he entered Heidelberg University about 1835, and after graduating went to Giessen as préparateur to Liebig, with whom he elucidated the composition of paraldehyde and metaldehyde. In 1839 on Liebig's recommendation he was appointed to the chair of chemistry in the polytechnic at Stuttgart, and held it till within three years of his death, which happened at Stuttgart on the 1st of July 1885. His earlier work included an investigation of succinic acid, and the preparation of phenyl cyanide (benzonitrile), the simplest nitrile of the aromatic series; but later his time was mainly occupied with questions of technology and public health rather than with pure chemistry. Among the analytical methods worked up by him the best known is that for the estimation of sugars by “Fehling's solution,” which consists of a solution of cupric sulphate mixed with alkali and potassium-sodium tartrate (Rochelle salt). He was a contributor to the Handwörterbuch of Liebig, Wöhler and Poggendorff, and to the Graham-Otto Textbook of Chemistry, and for many years was a member of the committee of revision of the Pharmacopoeia Germanica.