The Method of Standard Additions or the Standard Addition Method, often referred by its acronym as just SAM, is now a proverbial workhorse in both inorganic and organic quantitative analytical chemistry and in related disciplines such as geochemistry. Its advantage in mitigating the effects of matrix interferences compared to the calibration curve approach is well known and is one of its major benefits. It is presented in virtually all standard textbooks on analytical chemistry to varying degrees of complexity. Yet the story of how it originated and by whom is not well known. It is generally believed that it originated in the early 1950s. We have determined that the priority of its use and discovery belongs exclusively to Hans Hohn (1906 - 1978), a mining chemist, dating from the exposition of the method in his 1937 book on polarography, Chemische Analysen mit dem Polarographen. How the method became established in other disciplines quite different from polarography is not completely clear. It is likely that it was rediscovered independently in at least two separate disciplines, x-ray fluorescence (XRF) and atomic spectroscopy, almost simultaneously in 1953, almost 20 years after Hohns original description.
method of standard addition, Hans Hohn, polarography, standard additions, SAM