Pinacyanol (synthetic dye)

From Kook Science

Pinacyanol is a synthetic blue dye derived from coal tar that was used for sensitizing photographic plates, manufactured in the early twentieth century by the dye works of Meister, Lucius & Brüning at Höchst (near Frankfurt), Germany. It became associated with auric research thanks to the experiments of Oscar Bagnall, who continued from Walter J. Kilner's earlier research and reported success in substituting dicyanin dye with pinacyanol in his own experiments, leading him to speculate that other blue or violet coloured dyes should have the same effect.[1]


In Dyestuffs & Coal-Tar Products (1915), the authors — Beacall, Martin, et. al. — relate that the pinacyanol is quinoline dye of the isocyanine type, reporting it is "obtained by treating quinaldinium salts with formaldehyde, followed by alkali."[B]



  1. Bagnall, Oscar (1937), "Apparatus and How to Use It", The Origins and Properties of the Human Aura, London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner, p. 46, "It is, of course, possible — even probable — that dyes other than dicyanin have the same effect upon the nerves of the retina — I have got good results from pinacyanol. The necessary qualification is that it should be of a blue or a violet colour; one that will transmit the shorter-wave lengths of the spectrum. In fact, it should bring the object slightly nearer to the eye."