Question: How has pH testing evolved over time?

liz is asking a question about ph
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by liz | September 22, 2017 17:09 | #14940

Image credit to Kellie Griffen

I'm wondering how the very first measurement of pH was conducted.


Arnaldus de Villa Nova around the year 1300 is credited with developing a litmus test for pH, (Chemical Education Digital Library), utilizing a blue dye derived from lichens in the Netherlands. A good chronology of the advancement of pH testing technology from 1906-2009 can be found in John Buie's 2010 article in Lab Manager, October 07, 2010, "Evolution of the pH Meter: Tracing the origins of the pH meter."

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I found this webpage that describes how to use either red cabbage, turmeric, radish, or elderberry to make a quick and short term color change test:

Home-made "litmus paper" made from elderberry juice. It's stable and almost as good as real litmus paper:

Screen_Shot_2017-09-25_at_6.00.23_PM.png elderberry-litmus-paper-home-made_th.jpg




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