This section is from the "Elixirs And Flavoring Extracts. Their History, Formulae, & Methods of Preparation" book, by John Uri Lloyd. Also available from Amazon: Elixirs and flavoring extracts,: Their history, formulae, and methods of preparation;
Salicylic acid, 128 grains.
Powdered borax, 128 grains.
Simple elixir, 16 fluidounces.
Triturate the salicylic acid and powdered borax together, add the simple elixir, and when the powders are dissolved filter the liquid. Each fluidrachm (teaspoonful) of the finished elixir contains one grain of salicylic acid.
In March, 1881, Dr. Wolff presented a formula for making this elixir to the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, using salicylic acid, alcohol, and simple elixir. In our hands it failed, the salicylic acid crystallizing as soon as the simple elixir was added to the alcoholic solution. We have met with little success when we have endeavored to make an elixir of this acid without using some substance, such as borax, to act as a solvent. Of course, bicarbonate of sodium is not admissible, or other alkaline carbonate, or an alkali, for such will form salts of salicylic acid.