One evening, while rushing for dinner after a long day at the lab, Constantin Fahlberg, a chemist at Johns Hopkins, forgot to wash his hands that had traces of benzoic sulfimide. This compound made his dinner taste sweet, and that’s how he discovered the artificial sweetener Saccharin.

Constantin Fahlberg

A representative of the American Analyst called on Dr. Constantine Fahlberg, the inventor or discoverer of saccharin, the new coal tar sugar, and had a long talk with him about his new discovery. The doctor is a tall, well built, handsome German-American of about thirty-eight years of age. He speaks the modern languages fluently, and despite the celebrity that has so suddenly fallen on him, is quite diffident and reserved.

“How did I discover saccharin?” he said. “Well, it was partly by accident and partly by study. I had worked a long time on the compound radicals and substitution products of coal tar, and had made a number of scientific discoveries, that are, so far as I know, of no commercial value. One evening I was so interested in… Continue Reading