Posted by: tvasailor | March 17, 2015

Archives of Old Articles and Mass Spec Documentation

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ASMS History Site:  The American Society for Mass Spectrometry has a great site managed by ASMS member/archivist, Michael Grayson.

ASMS History Site

CHF HIstory Site:   Also, great information at the Chemical Heritage Foundation site.

CHF History Site

BMSS History Site:  A new history site for the British Mass Spectrometry Society site.

BMSS History Site

Historical Documents from My Archives:  I found many mass spec artifacts when cleaning out my office in anticipation of retirement in early 2016.  My wife warned me their wasn’t unlimited room in our house or on our sailboat for lots of things.  Thus, I began to sort through and discard things in my office at Eastman and post ones of general interest on my website.

Finnigan Corporation:  A lot of my early career was greatly influenced by GC-MS software (INCOS) and hardware (chemical ionization) from the Finnigan Corporation.  Thus, many of the items on this archive page originated from Finnigan.

I was love stricken in my first encounter with our Finnigan 4000 series instrument and my love affair continued with the TSQ, DSQ, and ISQ instruments.  But possibly the first love was the best.  The Finnigan 4000 was a phenomenal piece of technology, software and hardware, for her time.  We routinely ran the instrument 24/7 using automated acquisition and automated data processing for both qualitative and quantitative analyses.


I found an article about Robert E. Finnigan on the internet that I found interesting:

Robert Finnigan long inverview

Finnigan Cookbook, 1979:  This is the Finnigan Cookbook given to me by Bill Tindall, a retiree from Eastman Chemical Company.  It had the following documentation on the front page:

“Marcie got the recipe and passed it to Mark Weiss of Finnigan-INCOS.  Mark Weiss compiled it into his now famous cookbook using what is now considered the first word process software which was written by Joel at INCOS.  The cookbook was printed from the Stanford computer Christmas day in 1979, copied at Finnigan during the dark of night and distributed to its contributors who were acknowledged only by their street names.  For all that its not a bad recipe.”

I made only a few changes when scanning the document.  I did character recognition and added title pages between sections because the handwritten ones could not be scanned.

Finnigan Spectra Vol 6 No 1 (1976):  I always enjoyed the early Finnigan Newsletters.  This newsletter contained the following very useful article and we utilized the work of Hunt on our Finnigan 4000/4500 in 1979 in the analyses of photographic chemicals for Kodak:

-Selective Reagents for Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometry, Don Hunt, University of Virginia
-Application of Gas Chromatography-Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometry to the Analysis of Microquantities of Choline and Its Esters, Israel Hanin, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Finnigan Spectra Vol 2 No 1 1972:  Another old Finnigan Newsletter containing articles by M. S. Story and R. E. Finnigan and other things.

Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometry, E. J. Bonelli, M. S. Story
Analysis of a Kraft Paper Mill Effluent by Electron Impact and Chemical Ionization GC/MS, J. B. Knight, E. J. Bonelli, and R. E. Finnigan
GC/MS of Chlorinated Dioxins, E. J. Bonelli
Dateline:  Finnigan acquires Quanta/Metrix

Finnigan Spectra Vol 12 No 1, Spring 1989:  A collection of early LC-MS articles in a Finnigan magazine.

Letter to the Reader, Richard M. Caprioli
Continuous Flow Fab, Richard M. Caprioli
Capillary Zone Electrophoresis/Mass Spectrometry:  An Alternative to LC/MS?, Richard D. Smith, Charles J. Barinaga, and Harold R Udsetb
Supercritical Fluid Chromatogrpahy/Mass Spectrometry (SFC/MS), D. E. Games, A. J. Berry, S. Y. Hughes, S. Mahatheeranont, I. C. Mylchrest, J. R. Perkins, E. D. Ramsey, and S. Pleasance
Thermospray LC/MS:  Effect of Experimental Parameters on Spectra and Sensitivity, Patrick J. Rudewicz
Perspectives on the Moving Belt LC/MS Interface, J. van der Greef, W. M. A. Niessen, and U. R. Tjaden

Finnigan Spectra Vol 9 No 1 Spring 1983:  Another collection of early LC-MS articles, listed the Finnigan thermospray interface.  The Thermospray interface is the first useful interface utilized at Eastman Chemical Company.  We utilized the Vestec interface on our Finnigan 4000/4500 GC-MS.  We tried a moving belt interface on a contract instrument in Boston, but we were not impressed, and thus, never purchased one.

Introduction, D. E. Games, guest editor
Combined Liquid Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (LC/MS), D. E. Games
The Moving Belt as an Interface for HPLC/MS-P. Vouros, B. L. Karger
First Steps in LC/MS with Simple Interfaces for the Finnigan MAT 44-N. Evans
Experiments with the Coupling of a Jasco Micro LC to a Finnigan MAT 3300 Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer, A. P. Bruins, B. F. H Drenth
Thermospray LC/MS:  Supplement of Substitute for Existing Techniques, W. H. McFadden

Finnigan Application Report Number AR8020, 1979?:  We found negative ion LC-MS to be really useful for Thermospray and later electrospray analyses.  We did some negative ion GC-MS, but not as universally useful.  Here is an early report on negative ion MS from Finnigan:

Biomedical Applications of Negative Ion Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometry, John R. B. Slayback and M. N. Kan, Finnigan Corporation

Finnigan Application Report No 47, 1982?:  We did a lot of direct chemical ionization on both our Finnigan 4000/4500, Finnigan 700/7000, and even our Autospec.  Worked reasonably well before the days of electrospray.  We normally would isolate compounds by preparative TLC or flash chromatography.

DCI-Direct Chemical Ionization or Desorption Chemical Ionization, A Powerful Soft Ionization Technique in Mass Spectrometry, U. Rapp, G. Meyerhoff, and G. Dielmann

Finnigan Technical Report No TR8027:  I loved my first GC-MS instrument, a Finnigan 4000 and its associated Data General computer, analytical-digital interface, jet separator, chemical ionization source, oscilloscope for tuning, library search software, etc.  Here is the information needed to optimize the INCOS data system.

Optimization of Acquisition Parameters for the INCOS Data System, Rhilip L. Warren, John R. B. Slayback, Carl R. Phillips

Finnigan TSQ70-We had a Finnigan TSQ-70 and two SSQ-70’s.  We really enjoyed all three instruments doing a lot of chemical ionization work; using the Vestec thermospray and the Vestec particle bean interfaces; using the fast atom bombardment interface; and the direct chemical ionization probe.  Here is a picture that Steve Lammert shared with me recently.  It is of the  TSQ 70 development team photo ca. 1985.


Direct Liquid Introduction (DLI) LC-MS Interface, 1984:  Jack Henion came to our lab to install the DLI interface.  He was a consultant for Kodak in Rochester.  Many people referred to it as “Pray and Spray” because always plugging.  Here is some documentation and data I retained even the parts listing for the various laser drilled holes.  We only used a very short time before transitioning to the Thermospray interface.

Vestec Particle Beam Interface Brochure:  We used this for several years in both EI and CI modes on our Finnigan TSQ-700.  It actually worked well, but the sensitivity was very poor compared to current electrospray interfaces.  Nevertheless, one could get good EI spectra for library searching we added the spectra to our computer searchable Eastman Corporate Database.

Additional Particle Beam Information:  I have included some additional data on the Vestec interface, the Hewlett-Packard demo, the Extrel Thermabeam interface, and the Particle Beam/FAB interface custom-built by Marvin Vestal for our VG-70 MS,  etc.

Kodak Laboratory Chemicals Bulletin Vol 55, No 3, 1984:  When I was in graduate school in the late 70’s, we ordered specialty chemicals from Kodak.  They supplied many in that era, but nothing to compare to the large list of chemicals from Aldrich.  Here is a bulleting talking about “The Chemistry of the Diketene-Acetone Adduct” by Robert J. Clemens, CAS No. 5394-63-8, 2,2,6-trimethyl-4H-1,3-dioxin-4-one.

MS9 Design Lectures, AEI, Associated Electrical Industries Limited:  I think we had a MS9 in the Kodak Rochester laboratories.  We did have a CEC 21-110B mass spectroemeter in Research at Eastman Chemical.  We used the instrument at Eastman to characterize TLC fractions, prepared samples, and even components trapped off a GC/TCD system.  Thus the beginnings of GC-MS!

Finnigan 1015 GC-MS:  We had one of these systems at Eastman.  Bob Finnigan would always ask me about it every year when I attended ASMS in the mid 80’s.  The picture below was from the Heritage article written by David C. Brock.

finnigan 1015 picture

INCOS 50:  We had one of these systems.  It always looked to me as if someone had made the manifold for the system produced from a “glass sewer pipe.”  Probably the best part of the instrument was the INCOS library search software:

S. Sokolow, J. Karnofsky, P. Gustafson, The Finnigan Library Search Program, Finnigan Application Report 2, San Jose, CA (1978).

A good friend of mine supplied me a copy of the report.

Here is a link to an ACS advertisement for the instrument featuring Bob Finnigan.

incos 50

British Mass Spectrometry History:  One of my wife’s British relatives, Winifred Hall, was a early scientist in mass spectrometry at Shell.  When we went to visit her, she introduced me to several people in the mass spectrometry industry including Robert Craig.  Robert was an early founder of VG.

This was actually before my career in mass spectrometrist at Eastman Kodak in Kingsport, TN.  At the time, I was attending the University of Georgia as a graduate student in chemistry, but our school did not have a working mass spectrometer.  It had been “hit” by lightening and no one knew how to repair the beast!

I found a lot of history of the British mass spectrometry community on the British Mass Spectrometry website that is very interesting.

Mike Morris – 50 years of British MS

BMSS 50th poster by ASMS

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  1. I was allowed to stand next to an MS9 in about 1971. I was expensive and complex and only one (Post Doc) operator was allowed to touch it. Occasionally I was invited into the MS lab to watch my samples running that I had previously put through our GC, Infrared, and HPLC.

    The MS9 instrument was later marketed as the classic (very) high resolution MS50 by Kratos. The British Kratos and VG companies both evolved from AEI. AEI MS instruments have their linage in the British “Tube Alloys” project, a basis and predecessor of the much more famous Manhattan Project. The instruments’ main purposes were the determination of fissionable isotopes. I believe that a lot of the development was done after Britain reinstated their project to develop their own weapons just after WW2.

    The next place that I worked had VG quads, but a feeling in the labs was that they were not “proper” MS instruments as the resolution was <5,000 FWHM. At my next job I was charged with getting a ~20 year old Kratos/AEI sector instrument working. It worked well enough to allow me to purchase a modern Kratos instrument a year later. The lab became very busy and, because the down-time on sector instruments is generally higher than quads, we replaced it by the late 1980s with several instruments including a Finnigan INCOS (50? The one with the nifty transparent glass source/analyser/detector housing).

    Incidentally the MS50 was capable of sub femtogram work, and depending on the instrument, a resolution of 150,000 10% valley or (~300,000 FWHM).

    • I have a couple of ion gauges, source slits and the liquid nitrogen dewar that bolts on the front of an MS9 but have never had the pleasure to run one… the first sector I worked on was a Kratos MS25-RFA called Kriton!

      Recent travels to the HEJ Institute at the University of Karachi in Pakistan were most interesting, they have many sector instruments including a MAT 312 that has been run by the same man since 1980, he is called Yaqub John and I beleive he is a world record holder! If anyone knows of any longer lasting relationship between man and mass spectrometer please get in touch 🙂

  2. Thanks for the nice information. We used a lot of magnetics over the years and got lots of useful information from the instruments. We did a lot of field desorption analyses on our magnetic instruments.

    We now do all of that work on our electrospray LC-MS instruments using either chromatographic introductions or infusion. However, the FD would still be useful. I have been impressed by some of the advertisements of FD (field desorptions) by JEOL on their time of flight insrumentation.

    Well not much time left in my career, so will leave that to others to explore. Thanks again for your reflectionson mass spec instrumentation.

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