Strictly speaking it cannot be said that the art of assaying with the blowpipe is a recent achievement. As early as 1827, while a student at Freiberg, Harkort conceived the idea of using the blowpipe for quantitative as well as for qualitative determinations and suggested a method for assaying silver ores. He had planned to work out methods for other metals but his early death prevented him from carrying on these investigations. His successor, Carl Friedrich Plattner, continued what Harkort had begun and extended the operations to include gold, lead, copper, bismuth, tin, nickel and cobalt.1

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