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The creation of gas chromatography is traditionally associated with the names of Nobel Prize winner Archer Martin and his colleagues Richard Synge and Anthony James. However, sometimes references to their predecessors can be found. An investigation conducted by the authors of this article not only confirmed the reliability of these references; but in fact led to the conclusion that by 1952, which is commonly believed to be the year when gas chromatography was born, many research papers had already been devoted to this method, mainly, in its gas-solid version. These papers are considered in this article.
Research and developments of the 1940s
In 1941 appeared several works of G. Hesse, who is considered the first to use a carrier gas [17–20], and Claesson, who is viewed by many as the father of the displacement method,. In 1941, Hesse described  his first experiments on applications of gas chromatography. A stream of nitrogen with bromine and iodine vapors was fed through a starch-filled tube, and a bromine-containing brown and iodine-containing blue bands could be observed. In addition, preparative separation of certain esters not amenable to separation by distillation was carried out, with silica gel used as the stationary phase and carbon dioxide as the mobile phase. The device was rather simple, as illustrated in Fig. 2 . The history of this work, described by Hesse himself in , is curious. Then it was not rare to hear that gas chromatography has no prospects. Meanwhile, Hesse always recalled the words of Hans Meerwein, a venerable scientist, to his young colleagues: “The poor man is too educated. As soon as he has an idea, he immediately knows why it should not work and, therefore, he never tries anything”. Hesse was brave enough to try the “impossible.” The thought of replacing a liquid with a gas seemed only natural, and he began to prove it.