What's happened in the last 30 years? What will happen next?
October is my anniversary month with LCGC — it was October of 1983 (1) when I wrote my first "LC Troubleshooting" column. That's 30 years ago and, if my count is correct,
342 columns later. Whew! The only person associated with LCGC that's been around longer is my good friend and colleague, Ron Majors (editor of "Column Watch"), who started several months
before I did. But I wasn't the first editor of "LC Troubleshooting" — that honour goes to Dennis Runser, who wrote the first
few instalments. I started by sharing the editing duties with Vern Berry, who went on to write meeting reviews for LCGC, and I took over sole proprietorship of "LC Troubleshooting" in July 1984. Of course, I've had guest authors from time to
time as well as many coauthors. One joke in our laboratory was that if you really messed up you could get a by-line in "LC
Troubleshooting." Indeed, practical problems in our laboratory and yours have been the mainstay of this column. I've never
rerun a column, but this month I'm going to steal part of the title from March of 1992 (2). I do repeat themes occasionally,
and I'll do that this month with a look at liquid chromatography (LC) in the past, what it has become today, and where I think
it is going in the future.
Each year at the spring meeting of the Minnesota Chromatography Forum (MCF), Daron Decker of Agilent and I facilitate a special
topics discussion related to gas chromatography (GC) and LC in a rather light-hearted competition between the two techniques.
As we were preparing this year, it occurred to me that this is the 110th anniversary of the discovery of chromatography by
Mikhail Tswett and I remembered that I had given the keynote address at the MCF meeting in 2003 on the topic of the centennial
of chromatography. As I reviewed that talk, I discovered a gold mine of predictions that I had made over the years. I'd like
to share some of those topics in this month's "LC Troubleshooting".