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The picture caption stating that “the Varian A-60, the console of which is shown here, was the first commercially available NMR spectrometer” is incorrect (C&EN, Sept. 9, page 70). Varian launched the first commercial 30-MHz nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer in 1952. It was upgraded to a 40-MHz model in 1955 and later to a 60-MHz model.
The A-60 was introduced in 1961; this instrument was designed for routine use and could be operated by chemists with little knowledge of the physics of NMR. I am old enough to remember the chemist’s world without NMR spectroscopy. NMR spectrometers were never, nor are they now, mere “machines.” They truly revolutionized physical-analytical chemistry.
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