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Letters

I was delighted to see a photograph of Friedrich August Kekulé, one of the architects of the structural theory of organic chemistry, in Science Archive (September 7, 1987, P. 28). You describe the dream that led to the ring structure for benzene, a structure he first proposed in 1865. He divulged the origin of that idea 25 years later at a celebration hosted by the chemical industry that gained immeasurably from that one proposal. The benzene dream was the second he described, the first be

Theodor Benfey

I was delighted to see a photograph of Friedrich August Kekulé, one of the architects of the structural theory of organic chemistry, in Science Archive (September 7, 1987, P. 28). You describe the dream that led to the ring structure for benzene, a structure he first proposed in 1865. He divulged the origin of that idea 25 years later at a celebration hosted by the chemical industry that gained immeasurably from that one proposal. The benzene dream was the second he described, the first being a reverie he had while riding a double-decker bus in London, which led to the proposal of the remarkable chain-forming capacity of carbon atoms.

Considering the controversy currently going on about whether these dreams actually occurred, and in view of the fact that a centennial symposium on the 1890 benzene festivities will be held in April 1990 at the Boston meeting of the American Chemical...

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