Bayer hindered Edison and Britain fabricate explosives in World War I

Bayer hindered Edison and Britain fabricate explosives in World War IThe plot of phenol is one of the most interesting witty anecdotes of the Great War. And it is not every day teased the great Edison.

There are the most curious episodes in the history involving people and institutions, In principle, one would not expect that they had any relationship with them. And if these episodes fall into convulsive stages as war years, those that cause a morbid interest in students and history buffs, curiosity increases. One of those episodes involving the inventor Thomas Alva Edison, the manufacturer aspirin most famous, ie Germany’s Bayer, and a fact as fateful as the First World War.

The large plot of phenol

Phenol, also known as carbolic acid, carbolic or phenyl, fenilhidróxido hydrate phenyl alcohol phenyl, or hydroxybenzene oxybenzene is a substance used for various uses, including the process blaquelita manufacture of explosives and polymer synthesis of acetylsalicylic acid, namely aspirin all life, money for this war story.

United States did not participate in the Great War or European War, as it was known there at first, until 1917, when intelligence British intercepted a telegram from Arthur Zimmermann, German Foreign Minister, Heinrich von Eckardt, its ambassador in Mexico, urging him to persuade the president, Venustiano Carranza, intervened on their side of the war, and to intercede to Japan for the same, in exchange for the return of the territories that the United States had been endorsed by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which remained after the war between 1847 and 1848: California, Utah, Nevada, Texas, New Mexico and parts of Colorado, Arizona, Wyoming, Oklahoma and Kansas, that is, more than half of what was Mexico. In addition, Carranza, with its deep in the Mexican Revolution country not accepted

Edison Diamond Disc –

However, there is no doubt that the United States sympathized and traded with the Allies, who supported commercially and including Great Britain, producer of phenol, however, mattered the meager American production to manufacture explosives was. American public opinion was no longer divided about the intervention of his country in the war when, in May 1915, a German submarine torpedoed and sank near the RMS Lusitania off the Irish coast, an English liner in which, despite a notice issued by the German embassy in Hugo Schweitzer Edison manipulated him into selling their surplus phenol and they do not fall into British hands to make explosives Washington about the dangers of climbing on board British and browse war zone ships, carrying more than a hundred Americans.

Meanwhile, Edison had established a factory in Pennsylvania to produce phenol with blaquelita the phonograph records of his label Diamond Disc, and was able to produce no less than twelve tons per day, with a large surplus that the Germans feared that if the English seize Edison sold it. Therefore, and with the consequences of the sinking of the Lusitania in mind, they ordered Johann von Bernstorff, his ambassador to the United States, to try to redirect public opinion in their favor and to use sabotage to prevent shipments of phenol to Britain. But the big idea came Hugo Schweitzer, German Ministry agent, chemical Interior and, coincidentally, a former employee of Bayer, who not hesitate to manipulate the conscience of Edison to convince him sell its excess phenol to the pharmaceutical industry, not the military, in particular, his false company, which would provide the US subsidiary Chemische Fabrik von Heyden, German ownership, which in turn would provide Bayer, a company that had been very touched to the rising price of phenol by shortages had caused to British exports.

Hugo Schweitzer –

In July 1915, Edison factory provided three tons of phenol Schweitzer, amount therefore lost the British to make explosives. But this ingenious device, however, helped Bayer to pick and favored consumers mourners aspirin, only a few months remained: American secret service got a briefcase of Heinrich Albert, an official of the Ministry German Interior and link Schweitzer, briefcase containing a stack of papers about the great web of phenol. These papers were leaked to the newspaper New York World , of antigermánica trend, which published the news in August 1915.

As expected, Edison felt cheated and publicly humiliated, so he terminated the contract with Schweitzer, which was entirely legal as any kind of trade with Germany from the neutral United States, and decided to sell their surplus phenol army of his country, which in turn would sell to the British. And that was the end of the short story, from which the best stop came was Bayer, having imported both phenol could keep making aspirin at a good pace without problems


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