Unknown oxidizing agent

The recent threads on oxidizing agents reminded me that I have an
almost empty bottle of an unknown oxidizer that I purchased
pre-1980. It still works very well (deep black immediately on warm
metal) and I’d like to buy more, if I can figure out what it is.

The oxidizer is a light greenish-yellow, clear liquid. Its viscosity
is similar to water. No sulfur odor.

The paper label has flaked apart, but originally was a white and
yellow strip that encircled the brown glass jar with a black lid.
What’s left on the label is a re-order #52-734A or #52-736; product
of Hammel, Riglander & Co…

The hazard warning on it includes avoiding breathing the vapor and
contact with skin, eyes and clothing. If taken internally, swallow
salt to induce vomiting. Keep patient warm and call physician.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

It sounds like Griffith’s Silver Black, which can be bought through
many suppliers. I think it is hydrochloric (or muriatic) acid. I
have a 1 ounce bottle that has lasted for a long time- hardly used
even though I have used it multiple times.


Probably a compound containing nitric and selenious acid and copper
sulphate. Great for blacking copper, brass, pewter and bluing steel.
The inducing vomiting bit wouldnt be on the label if it didnt contain
something particularly nasty like selenium or antimony.