Why can I not read online even a 1897 research paper in J.Phys.Chem for free? Copyrights expire, and this is 1897 for God's sake! It is quite annoying.
The logic of such things evade me. Who will pay for this? The particular paper I want to see is Walker's paper on determining the lowering of the vapour pressure of a solution.
This experiment is explained in detail in any book on Physical Chemistry. I just wanted to see it out of curiosity, but have to pay $30 for 48 hr access. Do they get customers for such papers? Ridiculous! who will pay that much for what is common knowledge that even an undergrad knows.
Actually, I thought it would be good to show such papers to my students when I teach that particular topic...sort of make it come alive, also make it more real for them perhaps; but the idea is not worth $30
If you are not in a research institution, getting to read a paper is quite tough even in this age of internet.
Long ago, the top floor of the IISc library was like a treasure chest ....ancient journals (19th century) which no one ever saw...sort of exciting to read 100 year old scientific papers. Stuff that you take for granted...like Millikan's oil drop experiment....you cant believe that it was cutting edge research at that time. It feels like a glimpse into history..like the clothes in the Salar Jung or the neolithic grinding stone in the Birla museum.