Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

Scientific American Suppl. No. 299 by Various

Part 2 out of 3

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.3 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

into the usual pigs of about one hundredweight each, it is run into
large blocks of 31/2 tons. These 31/2 ton blocks are taken on a bogie to
the mill-house, where the mill melting pot is charged with them by means
of a double-powered hydraulic crane, lifting, however, with the single
power only.

Three such blocks fill the pot, and when melted are tapped on to a large
casting plate, 8 ft. 4 in. by 7 ft. 6 in., and about 7 in. thick. This
block, weighing 101/2 tons, is lifted on to the mill table by the same
crane as fills the pot, but using the double power; and is moved along
to the rolls in the usual manner by means of a rope working on a surging
head. The mill itself, as regards the roll, is much the same as those
of other firms; but instead of an engine with a heavy fly-wheel, always
working in one direction, and connected to the rolls by double clutch
and gearing, the work is done by a pair of horizontal reversing engines,
in connection with which there is a very simple, and at the same time
extremely effectual, system of hydraulic reversing. On the usual method
there is no necessity for full or delicate control of lead mill engines;
but with this system it is essential, and the hydraulic reversing gear
contributes largely to such control. This may be explained as follows:

In all other mills with which the writer is acquainted, when the lead
sheet, or the original block, has passed through the rolls, and before
it can be sent back in the opposite direction, a man on either side of
the mill must work it into the grip of the rolls with crowbars.

In the writer's system this labor is avoided, and the sheet or block is
fed in automatically by means of subsidiary rolls, which are driven by
power. When it is required to cut the block or sheet by the guillotine,
or cross-cutting knife, instead of the block being moved to the desired
point by hand-labor, the subsidiary driven rolls work it up to the
knife; and such perfect control does the engine with its hydraulic
reversing gear possess, that should the sheet overshoot the knife
1/8 in., or even less, the engine would bring it back to this extent

Another point, which the writer looks upon as one of the greatest
improvements in this mill, is its being furnished with circular knives,
which can be set to any desired width, and put in or out of gear at
will; and which are used for dressing up the finished sheet in the
longitudinal direction. This is a simple mechanical arrangement, but
one which is found to be of immense benefit, and which, in the writer's
opinion, is far superior to the usual practice of marking off the sheet
with a chalk line, and then dressing off with hand knives. The last
length of the mill table forms a weighbridge, and a hydraulic crane
lifts the sheet from it either on to the warehouse floor or the tramway
communicating with the shipping quay.

* * * * *



The mixing vessel--a porcelain kettle capable of containing twenty
liters, made at the Royal Porcelain Factory at Berlin, whose products
are unequaled for chemical purposes--is also the boiling vessel, and,
therefore, fits tightly, by means of the tin ring with the wooden
handles, on to a large water bath. The light-tight metal lid, which
can be permanently affixed to the kettle, then supports a stirring
arrangement of fine silver, which dips into the emulsion and has blades
formed like a ship's screw.

The arrangements for injecting the silver vary. The simplest consists of
a large glass vessel containing the silver solution, which is closed
by a glass stopper, and terminates below in a funnel running to a fine
point. This funnel-shaped bottle fits into an opening specially made for
it in the lid of the kettle, and while revolving sends a fine stream
into the gelatine. When it is wished to interrupt it, it is only
necessary to raise the glass stopper in order to see the stream dry up
after a short time.

Another arrangement consists of a contrivance constructed on the
principle of the common India-rubber inhaling apparatus, and sends
the silver solution into the gelatine in the form of the minutest
air-bubbles. After the emulsion is boiled in such a kettle it is allowed
to stand until cool, when the ammonia is added. With such a great
quantity of emulsion and so large a water bath sufficient heat is
retained as to allow the action of the ammonia to take place. As soon
as the time set apart for that reaction has elapsed the water bath is
emptied and filled with pieces of ice and iced water, and the kettle
replaced in it.

If the stirring apparatus be now set in motion, even this large quantity
of emulsion will stiffen in at least an hour and a half. It may be
further remarked that, the outside of the kettle being black, the lid
being light-tight, and all the apertures in it being firmly closed,
nearly the whole process can be conducted by daylight, from the mixing
to the stiffening, so that it is very convenient to be able to keep the
emulsion in the same vessel during all these operations.


It is very desirable that those who do not prepare their emulsion by
boiling, but by prolonged digestion, should possess a regulator which
will keep the temperature at a given point. Such an apparatus would also
be very useful for warming the emulsion for the preparation of plates,
as then one would have no further occasion to pay attention to the
thermometer and gas stove. In the accompanying diagram a simple
contrivance is shown. The gas which feeds the stove passes through
a narrow glass tube, a b, into the wider tube, c d e, which is made
air-tight at e. This latter tube has an exit tube at f, by which the gas
is supplied to the gas stove. At e it is hermetically closed, and at its
deepest part it contains mercury, upon which a little sulphuric ether
floats in the hermetically-closed limb, e.g. Lastly, there is a minute
opening in the narrowest tube at i. The whole apparatus, or, at least,
the under part of it, is dipped into the water bath warmed by the gas
boiler. It acts thus: As the temperature rises the ethereal vapor in the
shorter limb expands and drives the mercury up the longer tube until
it closes the opening of the narrow tube, a b, and thereby impedes the
power of the stream of gas. Still, the Bunsen burner does not go out,
being always fed by the small opening, i, with sufficient gas to support
a small flame until the water bath has so far cooled as to leave the
opening at b free, when the burner again burns with a strong flame. By
removing the cork, c, from the tube the temperature of the water bath is
raised, while by pushing it in it is lowered. The apparatus never goes
wrong, and is very cheap. It was first made by Herr C. Braun, of Berlin.

[Illustration: FIG. 1.]


The apparatus hereafter described is in general use, and was invented
by Herr Paul Grundner, of Berlin. It is particularly adapted for finely
dividing large quantities of emulsion. It consists essentially of a
wooden lid, a b, fitting upon a large stone pot, to the under side of
which two strong trapezoid pieces of wood, e d and e f, are fixed, in
the under part of which semicircular incisions are cut and held together
by two leather straps, supporting a strong, easily-removable iron
transverse bar, g h. Through the center of the lid, and turned by the
crank, m, passes the axle i, which ends under the lid in the long ring,

The stiffened emulsion is then placed in the bag, o p q r, made of
fine but strong canvas, with meshes about 0.5 mm. (such as is used for
working upon with Berlin wool). The iron rod, g h, is then slipped
through the four loops at the bottom of the bag, the open end is slung
upon the ring, n, and bound tightly to it by the ribbons, r1. The loops
upon the iron bar are then pushed as close together in the middle as
possible, and the stone vessel is filled with water until o p q r is
completely covered. The crank is then turned, by which the bag is wrung,
and the emulsion squeezed through the meshes immediately into the water.
When this process is continued until the purse between n and g h feels
like a metal rod, the best part of the emulsion has been squeezed
through, and if one now take out the bag and dissolve its contents, it
will be found that the loss of emulsion is almost _nil_.

[Illustration: FIG. 2.]

It may be remarked that the whole apparatus, with the exception of the
crank, must be coated with asphalt varnish; also that the corners, r and
q, must be separated off from the purse, as shown by the dotted line, s
s s s, otherwise the emulsion would lodge there without being squeezed
through. Instead of g h a strong glass rod may be used for small
apparatus; but for large apparatus it is indispensable, as the power
that requires to be exerted would be far too great for glass.


The fundamental idea of the apparatus shown in Fig. 3 first occurred
to Herr Jos. Junk, of Berlin. In the present form all the subsequent
improvements made by Herren Carl Such, Paul Grundner, and others are
incorporated. It may be described as follows:

A tin vessel, the bottom of which sinks at e into the shape of a funnel,
rests upon strong iron feet, f f, and is covered with a lid, having a
double edge closing it light-tight. Through the center of the lid passes
the tube, g h, by which the water enters. In the interior of the vessel
upon iron hooks stands a wooden vessel saturated with paraffine, open at
the ends, and over one end of which the finest hair cloth is stretched
at o p. The water which enters the vessel runs off through the siphon.
The proceedings are as follows: Turn the granulated gelatine and the
water in which it is contained into the horsehair sieve, m n o p. Place
the lid upon the apparatus and turn on the water. The whole apparatus
fills with water until the siphon begins to act. If the diameter of
the siphon be properly measured--one inch should be sufficient for the
largest apparatus--and the cock by which the water is turned on properly
adjusted, more water will run out by the siphon than runs in through the
supply pipe, and the apparatus becomes completely empty.

The siphon has then performed its function, the apparatus fills again,
and the play begins anew. The tube, g h, which reaches right down nearly
to the bottom of the sieve, takes the water so deep into the vessel
that, as long as the water in the apparatus stands high enough above o
p, the gelatine nodules are in continuous motion. In order to prevent
the finest particles of the emulsion from stopping up the pores of the
sieve too much, and thereby incurring the danger of the water in the
sieve overflowing its upper edge, thus occasioning loss of emulsion,
the tube, g h, is now sometimes omitted and replaced by a supply pipe,
represented in the diagram by the dotted lines, x y. In this way
every possibility of loss is excluded, and yet a very careful washing
provided. Then when, after being emptied by the siphon, the apparatus
fills again, every particle of the emulsion which might have formerly
been pressed down into the interstices of the sieve would now be driven
up again by the upward pressure of the water entering from below, and
thus the sieve would always be kept clear and open.

[Illustration: FIG. 3.]

The great advantages of this apparatus are as follows: 1. From the
moment the lid is closed one can work by daylight. 2. The method of
washing in moving water is combined with that of complete change of
water. 3. The emulsion never comes in contact with metal. 4. Whoever
wishes to prepare dry gelatine only requires, when the washing is over
and the vessel perfectly emptied, to leave the emulsion to drip for a
time, and then to lift out the sieve and its contents and place it in
a suitable vessel with absolute alcohol. The latter should be changed
once, and when sufficient water has been extracted the sieve should be
withdrawn from the vessel and the emulsion allowed to dry spontaneously.
In this way all trouble occasioned by changing from vessel to vessel is
avoided, and there is no loss of material.

This apparatus is principally valuable in dealing with large quantities,
since it saves a great deal of labor, and affords perfect certainty of
the emulsion being well washed. It may not be unnecessary to maintain
that the difficulties of perfect washing--particularly if one do not
wash with running water--increase at least in quadruple proportion to
the quantity of emulsion manipulated.--_Franz Stoke, Ph.D., in Br. Jour,
of Photography_.

* * * * *



Numerous complaints have reached me within the last few weeks of the
difficulty experienced in preparing emulsion and coating plates; one is
very likely to blame everything but the right, but doubtless the weather
is the culprit.

I have always held that to boil gelatine is to spoil it, and, even when
emulsification is made with a few grains to the ounce and cooled down
before adding the bulk, the damage is done to the smaller quantity,
so that when mixed it contaminates the whole mass; moreover, it is
impossible to set and wash the gelatine without the aid of ice.

I have lately made several batches (with the thermometer at 92 deg. in the
shade, and the washing water at 78 deg.) as follows:

Hard gelatine...............,...... 1/2 ounce.
Water.............................. 2 ounces.
Alcohol............................ 2 "
Bromide ammonia....................150 grains.
Liquor ammonia, 880................ 60 drops.

When all is thoroughly dissolved and of about 120 deg. temperature, add,
stirring all the time,

Nitrate silver..................... 60 grains,
Water.............................. 3/4 ounce.
Alcohol............................ 3/4 "

Then again add,

Nitrate silver.....................140 grains.
Water.............................. 1 ounce.
Alcohol............................ 1 "

Both solutions being warmed to about 120 deg..

My object is adding the silver in two quantities will be obvious to
many--viz., when the first portion of silver is mixed, nitrate of
ammonia is liberated (which is a powerful restrainer), and the bulk of
the solution being increased, the remainder of the silver may be added
in a much more concentrated state.

The alcohol, both in the gelatine and silver solutions, plays a most
important part: (1) It prevents decomposition of the gelatine. (2) It
allows the gelatine to be precipitated with a much smaller quantity of
alcohol (say about 10 ounces).

After letting the emulsion stand for a few minutes to ripen, I pour in
slowly about eight ounces of alcohol, stirring all the time, and keeping
the emulsion warm; the emulsion will adhere to the stirring-rod and the
bottom of the vessel in a soft mass, and all that is now required is to
pour away the alcohol, allow the emulsion to cool, tear it into small
pieces, wash in several changes of cold water, make up the quantity to
ten ounces, and strain; it is then ready for coating.

By this formula I have no difficulties whatever; my plates set in about
five minutes, and their quality is such that, "unless a better method is
devised," I intend to adopt it in all weathers.

One word more as to the alcohol. It will prevent the decomposition of
gelatine when boiling goes on, or when in the presence of foreign salts;
no flocculent deposit is noticed in the alcohol after the emulsion has
been precipitated.--_Photographic News_.

* * * * *



The industrial problem of the rectification of alcohols is based
entirely upon the properties of volatile liquids, upon the laws of the
maximum tensions of the vapors of these liquids, and upon the influence
of temperature upon those different elements which find themselves in
presence of each other in an alembic.

If we desire to follow, in their least details, all the phenomena which
succeed one another in a rectifying column, and which are connected with
one another by a continuous chain of reciprocal influences, the problem
becomes exceedingly complex.


In order that the new applications of the mechanical theory of heat may
be readily understood, we shall divide this problem into a series of
propositions, which we shall examine separately, and which collectively
constitutes in its general features the methodical rectification of

I. Knowing the maximum tensions of pure water and pure alcohol, can we
calculate directly the tensions of the vapors of any mixture whatever of
alcohol and water?

Yes, we can calculate this tension by a general formula, provided we
take into account the affinity of water for alcohol, which increases the
value of the total latent heat of evaporation of the liquid. The results
of the calculation are fully confirmed by experience. We thus establish
the following laws:

a. For any temperature whatever, the maximum tension of the vapors of a
mixture of water and alcohol is always comprised between that of pure
water and that of pure alcohol.

b. The tension of the vapors of a mixture of water and alcohol
approaches the tension of alcohol so much the nearer in proportion as
the proof is higher; and, reciprocally, if water is in excess, the
tension of the vapors approaches the tension of the vapors of water.

c. The curves of the maximum tensions of vapors formed by all mixtures
of alcohol and water are represented by the same general formula, one
factor only of which is a function of the richness of the alcoholic

It results, then, from these laws that we may determine with the
greatest exactness the richness of a solution containing alcohol and
water, if we know the tension of the vapors that it gives off at a
certain temperature. Such indications are confirmed by the centigrade

We see likewise that, for these solutions of alcohol and water, the
laws of Dalton are completely at fault, since the total pressure of the
vapors is never equal to the sum of the tensions of the two liquids,
water and alcohol.

II. Being given a solution of water and alcohol, mixed in equal volumes,
what will be the quality of the vapors emitted from it?

In other terms, do the vapors which escape from a definite mixture of
water and alcohol also contain volumes of vapor of water and alcohol in
the same proportion as the liquids?

We have discovered the following laws:

d. The quality of the vapors emitted by a mixture of water and alcohol
varies according to the alcoholic richness of the solution, but is not
in simple proportion thereto.

e. The quality of the vapors emitted by a definite mixture of water and
alcohol varies according to the temperature.

f. In a same solution of water and alcohol, it is at low temperatures
that the vapors emitted by the mixture contain the largest proportion of

g. The more the temperature rises the more the tensions of the two
liquids tend to become equalized.

We have been able to verify these different laws experimentally, and
to find an interesting confirmation of our general formula of maximum
tensions, in the following way:

Let us take a test tube containing a 50 per cent. solution of alcohol
and water, plunge it into water of 20 deg.C., and put its interior in
hermetic communication with the receiver of a mercurial air-pump.

We vaporize at 20 deg. a certain quantity of the liquid, and the vapors
fill the known capacity of the pump. The pressure of the gases in the
interior is ascertained by a pressure gauge, and this pressure should be
constant if care is taken to act upon a sufficient mass of liquid and
with moderate speed. When the receiver of the air-pump is full of
vapors, communication between it and the test-tube is shut off, and
communication is effected with a second test-tube, like the first,
plunged into the same water at 20 deg.. Care must be taken beforehand to
create a perfect vacuum in this test-tube.

On causing the mercury to rise into the space that it previously
occupied, the vapors are made to condense in the second test-tube at the
same temperature as that at which they were formed.

We immediately ascertain that the pressure-gauge shows an elevation
of pressure; moreover, the proof of the condensed alcohol has very
perceptibly risen.

If, instead of causing these vapors to condense in the second test-tube,
we leave the first communication open, the vapors recondense in the
first test-tube without any elevation of pressure; and we do not see the
least trace of liquid forming in the second test tube.

This difference of pressure in the two foregoing experiments must be
attributed, then, to the specific action of the water on the vapors of
alcohol. Now we can calculate the difference of the work of the pump,
and put at 1 kilogramme of condensed liquid the difference of mechanical
work represented in kilogrammeters. What is remarkable is that this
difference is absolutely the equivalent of the heat disengaged when the
condensed liquid and the old liquid are remixed; there is a complete
identity. Thus the affinity of the water for the alcohol modifies the
tension of the vapors which form or condense upon the free surface of
the mixture. The two phenomena are closely connected by the law of

It results from all the laws that we have cited that by properly
regulating the tensions of the vapors of a mixture of alcohol and water,
and the temperature of the liquid, we shall be able to obtain a liquid
of a desired richness by the condensation of these vapors.

III. It was likewise indispensable to make sure of one important fact:
When the temperature of a liquid like alcohol is considerably lowered,
can the distillation of a given weight of this substance be effected
with sufficient rapidity for industrial requirements? Repeated
experiments with a host of volatile liquids have demonstrated the
following laws:

If we introduce a volatile liquid into two spherical receivers connected
by a wide tube, and if these be kept at different temperatures after
driving out all the air from the apparatus, the liquid distills from the
warmer into the cooler receiver, and we ascertain that:

h. The weight of the liquid which distills in the unit of time increases
with the deviation of temperature between the two receivers.

i. The weight of the liquid which distills in the unit of time is
constant for a same deviation of temperature between the receivers,
whatever be, moreover, the absolute temperature of the receivers.

k. The weight of the liquid distilled in the unit of time is
proportional to the active surfaces of the receivers; that is to say,
to the surfaces which are the seat of passage of heat through their

l. The least trace of a foreign gas in the vapors left in the apparatus
throws the preceding laws into confusion, and checks distillation to a
considerable degree, especially at low temperatures.

Thus, water distilling between 100 deg. and 60 deg. will pass over as
quickly as that which is distilling between 40 deg. and 0 deg.. Absolute
temperature is without influence, provided every trace of air or foreign
gas be got rid of.

The distillatory apparatus should be provided with an excellent
air-pump, capable of preventing all those entrances of air which are
inevitable in practice.

The following is the industrial application that we have endeavored to
make of these theoretical views: The rectification of alcohols is one
of the most complex of operations; it looks toward several results
simultaneously. Alcohol derived from the fermentation of grain, sugar,
and of all starchy matters in general, contains an innumerable host of
different products, which may be grouped under four principal heads:

1. Empyreumatic essential oils, characteristic of the source of the
alcohol, and having a powerful odor which infects the total mass of
the crude spirits. 2. A considerable quantity of water. 3. A certain
quantity of pure alcohol. 4. A variable proportion of volatile
substances, composed in great part of ethers, different alcohols, and
bodies as yet not well defined. These latter affect the quality of
the alcohol by an odor which is entirely different from that of the
essential oils.

The object of rectification is to bring out No. 3 all alone; that is
to say, to extract the alcohol in a pure state by ridding it of oils,
water, ether, and foreign alcohols.

The alcohol industry never realizes this operation in an absolutely
complete manner. All the rectifying apparatus in operation at the
present day are based on the use of high temperatures varying between
78.5 deg. and 100 deg.. The successive condensation and vaporization of the
vapors issuing from the spirits effect in the rectifying columns a
partial separation of these liquids, and there are received successively
as products of rectification:

1. Bad tasting alcohols, containing the majority of the ethers and
impure alcohols.

2. Fine alcohol.

3. Alcohols contaminated by notable proportions of empyreumatic oils.

Industry knows only one means of obtaining an excellent product, and
that is to diminish the quantity of fine alcohol which comes from a same
lot of spirits, and to make a large number of successive distillations.
Hence the large expenses attending rectification, which produce fine
alcohols necessarily at an elevated price. We may remark, in passing,
that the toxic action of commercial alcohols is in great part caused by
the presence of essential oils, amylic alcohol, and ethers, absolutely
pure alcohol, as compared with these, being relatively innocent.

Why is it that our present apparatus cannot produce good results in
rectifying alcohol? Because they are limited by the temperature at which
they must operate. Between 78 deg. and 100 deg. the tension of the vapors
of all the liquids mixed in the spirits is considerable for each of them;
they all pass over, then, in certain proportions during the operation of

We have been led, by examining the theoretical question, to ascertain
that the proportion of alcohol which evaporates from a mixture is
maximum at low temperatures; consequently, we should seek to establish
some arrangement which can realize the following conditions: (1) Render
variable, at will, the temperature of the boiling liquid; and (2),
render variable the pressure of the vapors which act on the liquid.

Thus, to effect the rectification of alcohol it suffices to cause its
ebullition at very low temperatures, and to keep up the ebullition
without changing such temperatures when once obtained.

It is exactly these two conditions that we have fulfilled in the
apparatus that we have just installed in our factory in Rue Immeubles
Industriels, at Paris.

By their arrangement, which is shown in the opposite figure, they form
a mechanical system permitting of the rectification of alcohols at
temperatures as low as -40 deg. or even -50 deg.. They verify
experimentally, by their operation, the theoretical deductions which
precede. The boilers, A, which, in an industrial application, may be
more numerous, receive their supply of spirits from the country
distilleries in the vicinity of the factory. There may even be
introduced directly into them _vinasses_, or washes, that is to say,
liquids, such as are obtained by alcoholic fermentation.

Above the boiler rises a rectifying column composed of superposed plates
inclined one over the other, and surmounted by a tubular condenser,
which serves to effect the retrogression of the first condensation by
means of a current of water supplied by the reservoir placed above.

On leaving this condenser, the vapors which have escaped condensation
pass into the refrigerator, C, where they are totally condensed by a
current of water which goes to the reservoir above.

The first products obtained contain ethers and impure alcohols, which
are collected in the reservoir, E.

When the first products have been thus introduced into the reservoir,
and it is ascertained by tasting that good alcohol is passing over,
the liquid produced is directed into the second boiler, F. The sliding
valve, operated by a screw having a very fine pitch, establishes a
communication between the refrigerator, C, and the second boiler, F. The
office of this valve we shall learn further on. This first rectification
is performed in a vacuum, for a system of metallic pipes connects the
entire apparatus with an air-pump, O. The temperature at which the
liquids shall enter into ebullition in the boilers, A A, may, then, be
regulated in advance.

The operations will be carried on with a more or less complete vacuum,
according to the nature of the products to be rectified. The distiller
will have to be guided in this by practice alone.

The good tasted products are received in boiler No. 2, F, and there
the liquids are submitted to the action of an almost absolute vacuum.
As we have before said, their temperature falls immediately and
spontaneously. The vapors which issue from this liquid contain almost
solely pure alcohol. The other substances, which passed over in the
first distillation, no longer emit vapors at temperatures ranging
between -10 deg. and +5 deg.. Their temperature is shown by a
thermometer running into the boiler, F.

These vapors, purified by ebullition at a low temperature, rise into a
second rectifying column, G, which terminates in the refrigerator, H,
filled with liquid sulphurous anhydride. This refrigerator is like those
which we employ in our sulphurous anhydride frigorific apparatus. Under
the action of a special pump, M, this liquid produces and maintains a
constant temperature of -25 deg. to -30 deg. in the refrigerator. The
vapors of alcohol condense therein at this low temperature, and the cold
liquid alcohol flows into the lower part of the refrigerator.

By the action of a return cock, a portion of this liquid falls upon
the plates of the column, G, and descends, while the vapors are rising
therein. The other portion of the liquid obtained flows into the
reservoir, K, at the beginning of the operation, and into the reservoir,
L, during all the remainder of the rectification. The ice-making machine
keeps up of itself alone the two operations.

In fact, the exhaust of the steam engine which actuates the sulphurous
anhydride pump is directed into a worm which circulates through the
first boiler, A, and the refrigerator, H, of the frigorific machine
keeps up the second rectification, which was brought about below the
surrounding temperature, and which for this reason takes place without
necessitating any combustion of coal. It suffices to cause the current
of water which issues from the condenser of the frigorific machine to
pass into the worm of the boiler.

We have, then, two results, two like operations, both produced by
the working of a single machine. Moreover, these two operations are
performed _in vacuo_, and we know that under these conditions they are
effected at lower temperatures. Owing to this fact, likewise, the weight
of the water that must be evaporated diminishes just so much. Now, one
kilogramme of water requires 636 heat units to cause it to pass from the
liquid to the gaseous state, while one kilogramme of alcohol requires
only 230 heat units to vaporize it. Thus every decrease of temperature
in rectification has for an immediate corollary an important economy of
fuel, which is proved by the diminution of radiation, and by the less
quantity of water to be distilled.

Between the boilers, A, in which is maintained a temperature bordering
on +50 deg. to +60 deg., and the refrigerator, H, in which is easily
obtained a temperature of -30 deg. to -40 deg., there is at our disposal
a range of temperature of nearly 100 deg., an immense difference
compared with that which can be made use of in ordinary apparatus.
Thanks to this powerful factor, which is manageable at will, we can
take directly from the apparatus alcohols marking 98 and 99 degrees by
the centigrade alcoholmeter. Such results are unobtainable by the usual

We have likewise ascertained that at low temperatures the ebullition of
alcohol is as active as at near 100 deg..

For a same range of temperature between the boiler and the refrigerator,
the weight of alcohol which distills in an hour is constant. By the
operation of the valve, D, it becomes easy to allow all the liquid
condensed in the first refrigerator to pass into the second boiler;
and thus the second rectification, which is effected in a more perfect
vacuum, is supplied with exactness. The object of this valve, then, is
to allow the liquid to pass, and yet to cut off the pressure in such
a way as to have a double fall of temperature throughout the whole
apparatus; from 60 deg. to 20 deg. in the first operation, and from
0 deg. to -40 deg. in the second. We may add that the regulation of the
valve is extremely easy, because of the screw which actuates it.

To sum up the commercial advantages that our process procures, we may
say that it realizes the following _desiderata_: 1. With the cost of a
single distillation we have, at once, distillation and rectification,
or a single expense for two results. 2. With one operation at a low
temperature we obtain products which are almost impossible to get even
by an indefinite number of rectifications at a high temperature, the
temperature having an intrinsic value in the operation. 3. The alcohols
obtained are wholesome, and can be put on the market without danger. 4.
Their superior quality gives these alcohols an extra value difficult
to calculate, but which is very notable. 5. The whole operation being
performed in closed vessels, there is absolutely no waste. 6. For the
same reason there is scarcely any danger of fire. 7. The management of
the works and the service are performed by the pressure of the gases
entirely; there are only a few cocks to be turned to perform all the
interior maneuvers, empty and fill the vessels, etc. Hence economy in

* * * * *


[Footnote: NOTE.--Each of these determinations was accompanied by a
series of results in which the practical determinations obtained from
the method described were compared with the theoretical contents of the
solutions of the various elements. These, however, would take up too
much room for insertion in these columns.]

By ALEX. CLASSEN and M.A. VON REIS; translated by M. BENJAMIN, Ph.B.,

Ever since the electrolytic method for the estimation of copper came
into general use, numerous chemists have endeavored to adapt this
peculiarly simple and elegant method to the determination of other
metals. According to the experiments which have been made up to the
present time, it has been found that the separation of copper is best
effected in a nitric acid solution, while that of nickel and cobalt
takes place most readily in an ammoniacal solution, and for the
precipitation of zinc and cadmium a potassium cyanide solution is the
best. The accuracy of the results depend chiefly upon the following of
certain fixed rules, such as, for instance, that the precipitation of
copper only takes place when there is a definite amount of nitric acid
in the solution; that of cobalt and nickel when a certain quantity of
ammonium hydrate and ammonium sulphate is present. The electrolytic
decomposition of the chlorides has not yet been successfully
accomplished, so that prior to the operation it is necessary to convert
them into sulphates. The experiments which have been made for the
purpose of investigating the application of the electric current in
quantitative analyses are very few, about the only exception being the
separation of copper from the metals which are not precipitated from a
nitric acid solution, or which are deposited as peroxides at the other
electrode. We shall endeavor to show in that which follows, that copper,
zinc, nickel, and cobalt, and even iron, manganese, cadmium, bismuth,
and tin, whether they be present as sulphates, chlorides, or nitrates,
may be precipitated and separated from each other by electrolytic
methods much more rapidly than by any previously known process.


Neutral potassium oxalate is added in excess to the solution of a cobalt
salt, and the clear solution of cobalt potassium oxalate submitted to
electrolysis. The intense red color of this solution is soon changed
into a dark green; the latter diminishing in intensity as the metal is
deposited at the negative electrode. The electric current decomposes the
potassium oxalate into the carbonate, so that a precipitate of cobalt
carbonate is simultaneously formed with the separation of the metallic
cobalt. This precipitate may be dissolved by adding oxalic acid or
dilute sulphuric acid; the further action of the current will change the
solution to an alkaline reaction, upon which the treatment with acid is
repeated until all the cobalt has been separated out in its metallic
condition. The electrolytic separation of cobalt is much more easily
and rapidly effected when the potassium oxalate is substituted by the
corresponding ammonium salt, as the latter forms a soluble double
salt with the cobalt compounds. If the ammonium oxalate added is just
sufficient to form the double salt, a red cobalt oxalate (_which is only
slowly reduced by the current_) will separate out in addition to the
cobalt. In order to obviate this difficulty, the solution to which the
ammonium oxalate had been added in excess is heated, and then three
or four grammes more of solid ammonium oxalate are added. The _hot_
solution, when exposed to the action of the current, deposits the cobalt
as a closely adhering gray film. By the aid of two Bunsen's elements,
0.2 gramme cobalt can be separated in an hour's time. When the reduction
has been completed, and this is best determined by testing a small
sample (removed by a pipette) with ammonium sulphide, the positive
electrode[1] is removed from the solution, and the liquid poured off.
The dish is immediately rinsed several times with water, and the excess
of water removed at first with alcohol, and then with absolute ether.
The cobalt in the dish is dried in the air bath at 100 deg. C., and in the
course of a few minutes a constant weight is obtained.

[Footnote 1: A piece of platinum foil, 4.5 cm. in diameter, is used
for the positive electrode, and a deep platinum dish as the negative
electrode.--_Vide_ "Classen's Quantitative Analysis," 3d Edition, p.


This process is precisely identical with the previously described method
for cobalt. The ammonium oxalate is added in excess to the solution,
which is then heated, and four more grammes of the solid salt added. The
separation of the nickel is as rapid as that of the cobalt. The nickel
is precipitated as a gray, compact mass, tightly adhering to the


For this estimation, solutions of the chloride as well as those of the
sulphate (ammonium, iron, alum) may be used in the manner previously
described. The electrolysis is best effected in the presence of a
sufficient quantity of ammonium oxalate; no separation of any iron
compound takes place. The iron is deposited in the form of a bright,
steel gray, firmly-adhering mass on the platinum dish. The iron may be
exposed to the air for several days without any noticeable oxidation
taking place.


Zinc may be separated from a solution of the double salt fully as easily
and rapidly as the previously mentioned metals were. The reduced zinc
has a dark gray color, and adheres very firmly to the electrode. The
separated metal is dissolved by using dilute acids and heating. It is
only removed with difficulty, and generally leaves a dark coating on the
dish, which is separated by repeated ignitions and treatment with acid.


It is already known that manganese may be separated as the peroxide from
its nitric acid solution. We find, however, that the precipitation is
only completely effected when the quantity present is small; the amount
of nitric acid must also be slight, and it is necessary to wash the dish
without interrupting the current. If the manganese is converted into
the soluble double salt, prepared by adding an excess of potassium, and
submitted to the electric current, the whole of the manganese will be
deposited at the positive electrode. When ammonium oxalate is used, the
complete precipitation does not take place. As the separated peroxide
does not adhere firmly to the electrode, it is necessary to filter it
and convert it, by ignition, into the trimangano-tetroxide (Mn_3O_4).


This separation presents considerable difficulty, because the metal
is not precipitated as a compact mass on the platinum. The bismuth is
always obtained in the same form, no matter whether it is precipitated
from an acid solution, or from the double ammonium oxalate, or, finally,
from a solution to which potassium tartrate has been added. As large a
surface as possible must be used, and the dish piled to the rim; then,
if the quantity of bismuth is small, the washing with water, alcohol,
and ether may be effected without any loss of the element. If small
quantities of the metal separate from the dish, they must be collected
on a tared filter, and determined separately. In our experiments, an
excess of ammonium oxalate was added to a nitric acid solution of
bismuth. During the electrolytic decomposition, a separation of the
peroxide was observed at the positive electrode, which, however, slowly
disappeared. In order to prevent the reduced metal from oxidation, the
last traces of water are completely removed by repeated washings with
alcohol and anhydrous ether.


The nitric solution of lead acts similarly to that of manganese. When
the amount of peroxide separated is so large that it does not adhere
firmly, and becomes mechanically precipitated on the negative electrode,
it becomes impossible to complete the estimation without loss from the
solution of the peroxide, and the results cannot be accepted.

If the double oxalate is submitted to electrolysis, the whole of the
lead is separated out in its metallic state, but it is so rapidly
oxidized by the air that it is very seldom that it can be dried without
decomposition even when the operation is conducted in a current of
illuminating gas. The electrolytic estimation of this element cannot be


The copper may be very easily and rapidly separated from the double
ammonium oxalate salt, provided a sufficient excess of ammonium oxalate
is present. Weak currents cannot be employed for the determination of
this element when it is present in large quantities, for under such
circumstances the metal does not adhere with sufficient firmness to the
electrode. We employed a current which corresponded to an evolution of
330 c.c. of gas per hour, and we were able to precipitate 0.15 gramme
metallic copper in about twenty-five minutes.


When the cadmium ammonium oxalate is submitted to the action of the
electric current, the metal is thrown down in the form of a gray
coating, which does not adhere very firmly to the electrode, but,
however, sufficiently so as not to become separated on careful washing.


Tin may be easily estimated by electrolysis; it can be separated from
its hydrochloric acid solution, or from its double salt with ammonium
oxalate, as a beautiful silver gray coating on the platinum. When the
ammonium oxalate is substituted by the potassium salt, the operation
becomes more difficult, as a basic salt is formed at the opposite
pole, and is not easily reduced. If the tin is separated from an acid
solution, the current must not be interrupted while the washing takes
place, a precaution which it is not necessary to follow when the
ammonium oxalate is used. When the tin is dissolved from the platinum
dish, it acts like the zinc; that is to say, a black coating is left on
the electrode.


Antimony may be precipitated in its metallic state from a hydrochloric
acid solution, but it does not adhere very firmly to the electrode.
If potassium oxalate is added to a solution of the trichloride, the
antimony may be readily reduced, but the metal adheres still less firmly
to the electrode than it did in the first instance. An adherent coating
may be obtained by adding an alkaline tartrate, but in that case the
separation takes place too slowly. The precipitation of antimony may be
very readily effected from solutions of its sulpho salts.

To a liquid, which may contain free hydrochloric acid, hydrogen sulphide
is added, then neutralized with ammonium hydrate, and saturated with
ammonium sulphide in excess. The reduction may be accelerated by the
addition of some ammonium sulphate. The antimony separates out as a
fine, light gray precipitate on the electrode, and which adheres very
firmly, provided the precipitation has not been carried on too rapidly,
_i. e._, if the current employed for the reduction was not too strong.

When the reduction has been completed, the supernatant liquid is poured
off, and the residue washed in the ordinary manner.


Arsenic cannot be completely separated from either its aqueous
hydrochloric acid, or from a solution to which ammonium oxalate has been
added in excess. From its aqueous as well as from its oxalate solution,
a portion of the metal may be separated, but if the current is passed
through its hydrochloric acid solution for a sufficient length of time,
all the arsenic will be volatilized as arsenious hydride (AsH_3).


If a solution of ferric oxide and manganese ammonium oxalate is
submitted to electrolysis, without the previous addition of ammonium
oxalate, the characteristic color of permanganic acid immediately makes
its appearance, and the peroxide gradually precipitates itself on the
positive, while the iron is deposited on the negative electrode. When
the examination is made in the above manner, it is impossible to
separate the two metals, for the peroxide will bring down with it a
considerable quantity of ferric hydrate. The separation of the two
metals is only possible when the precipitation of the manganese peroxide
is prevented, until the greater portion of the iron has been deposited.
This result may be attained by adding sodium phosphate, or, better
still, by the addition of ammonium oxalate in great excess. In both
cases the characteristic coloration from permanganic acid is developed
by the action of the current at the positive pole; this, however,
disappears in the direction of the negative electrode. After the greater
portion of the ammonium oxalate has been converted into carbonate, the
coloration and necessarily the formation of manganese peroxide begins.

Ammonium oxalate is added to the solution, and heat applied; then three
or four grammes more of ammonium oxalate are dissolved in the liquid,
which is then immediately submitted to electrolysis. When the amount of
manganese is small, the separation of the two elements takes place very
rapidly, and the results are accurate. If the amount of manganese is
more than double that of iron, the separation of the latter will take a
much longer time. Then, in order to effect a complete separation of the
two elements, it is necessary to redissolve the deposited manganese in
oxalic acid (the acid is added, without interrupting the current, until
the liquid becomes red), and the current is allowed to continue its

It was found desirable, in effecting this separation, not to employ
too strong a current (two Bunsen elements will suffice), and only
to increase the strength of the current when it is necessary, in
consequence of a large amount of manganese being present, to redissolve
the peroxide.

When the process is completed, it is not advisable to allow the current
to act any longer, for otherwise some of the peroxide may adhere firmly
to the iron, and the latter (after previously having poured off the
liquid) must be redissolved in oxalic acid, that is to say, the
electrolysis must be repeated. As has been already mentioned in the
determination of manganese as peroxide, its precipitation from ammonium
oxalate is not complete. The solution which contains the greater portion
of manganese, suspended as peroxide, must first, therefore, be boiled to
decompose the ammonium carbonate; the remainder of the ammonium oxalate
is neutralized with nitric acid, and the manganese converted into the
sulphide by ammonium sulphide. The manganese sulphide is then ignited in
a current of hydrogen, and weighed as such.


The quantitative separation of iron from aluminum, which presented many
difficulties according to the older methods, may be easily performed
by electrolysis. If a solution of iron ammonium oxalate and aluminum
oxalate, to which an excess of ammonium oxalate has been added, be
submitted to the action of the electric current, the iron will be
deposited as a firmly adhering coat on the negative electrode, while
the aluminum oxide remains in solution, just so long as the quantity
of ammonium oxalate is in excess of the quantity of ammonium carbonate
produced. When, finally, a precipitation of aluminum oxide takes place
the liquid is almost free from iron. From time to time, the solution, in
which the aluminum oxide is suspended, is tested for iron by ammonium
sulphide, and the current is interrupted when no further reaction is
observed. The best method of procedure is to add ammonium oxalate in
excess to a neutral, a slightly acid solution, or to one which has been
neutralized by the addition of ammonium hydrate (a hydrochloric acid
solution is not well adapted for this purpose); then as much more solid
ammonium oxalate is added until for every 0.1 gramme there is 2 to
3 grammes of the oxalate present. The hot solution is then directly
submitted to the action of the electric current. After the iron has been
precipitated, it is best to stop the action of the current before all
the aluminum oxide is thrown down, for otherwise a portion of the latter
may adhere firmly to the iron, and be difficult to remove.

In such a case, as was mentioned previously in the separation of iron
from manganese, it is necessary to redissolve the iron (after previously
having poured off the liquid) in oxalic acid, and then the electrolysis
is continued.

In order to effect the complete precipitation of the aluminum oxide from
the solution which was poured from the iron, ammonium hydrate is added,
and the solution boiled for some time, and then the aluminum oxide is
determined in the usual manner. When the quantity of aluminum is less
than that of iron, this method may be relied upon to give exact results.
With the reverse (_i. e._, an excess of iron) the precipitate
of aluminum oxide must be dissolved in oxalic acid (without the
interruption of the current), and the electrolysis continued.--_Berichte
der Deutschen Chemischen Gesellschaft_, 14, 1662.

* * * * *


In accordance with an announcement in the March number of the
_Naturalist_, the editor of this department has sent out the seed of two
species of pyrethrum, viz. _P. roseum_ and _P. cinerarioefolium_, to
a large number of correspondents in different parts of North America.
Every mail brings us some inquiries for further particulars and
directions to guide in the cultivation of the plant and preparation of
the powder. We have concluded, therefore, that such information as is
obtainable on these heads will prove of public interest, and we shall
ask Professor Bessey's pardon for trenching somewhat on his domain.

There are very few data at hand concerning the discovery of the
insecticide properties of pyrethrum. The powder has been in use for many
years in Asiatic countries south of the Caucasus mountains. It was sold
at a high price by the inhabitants, who successfully kept its nature a
secret until the beginning of this century, when an Armenian merchant,
Mr. Jumtikoff, learned that the powder was obtained from the dried
and pulverized flower-heads of certain species of pyrethrum growing
abundantly in the mountain region of what is now known as the Russian
province of Transcaucasia. The son of Mr. Jumtikoff began the
manufacture of the article on a large scale in 1828, after which year
the pyrethrum industry steadily grew, until to-day the export of the
dried flower-heads represents an important item in the revenue of those

Still less seems to be known of the discovery and history of the
Dalmatian species of pyrethrum (_P. cinerarioefolum_), but it is
probable that its history is very similar to that of the Asiatic
species. At the present time the pyrethrum flowers are considered by far
the most valuable product of the soil of Dalmatia.

There is also very little information published regarding either the
mode of growth or the cultivation of pyrethrum plants in their native
home. As to the Caucasian species we have reasons to believe that they
are not cultivated, at least not at the present time, statements to the
contrary notwithstanding.[1]

[Footnote 1: Report Comm. of Patents, 1857, Agriculture, p. 130.]

The well-known Dr. Gustav Radde, director of the Imperial Museum of
Natural History at Tiflis, Transcaucasia, who is the highest living
authority on everything pertaining to the natural history of that
region, wrote us recently as follows: "The only species of its genus
_Pyrethrum roseum_, which gives a good, effective insect powder, is
nowhere cultivated, but grows wild in the basal-alpine zone of our
mountains at an altitude of from 6,000 to 8,000 feet." From this it
appears that this species, at least, is not cultivated in its native
home, and Dr. Radde's statement is corroborated by a communication of
Mr. S. M. Hutton, Vice-Consul General of the U. S. at Moscow, Russia, to
whom we applied for seed of this species. He writes that his agents were
not able to get more than about half a pound of the seed from any one
person. From this statement it may be inferred that the seeds have to be
gathered from the wild and not from the cultivated plants.

As to the Dalmatian plant it is also said to be cultivated in its native
home, but we can get no definite information on this score, owing to the
fact that the inhabitants are very unwilling to give any information
regarding a plant the product of which they wish to monopolize. For
similar reasons we have found great difficulty in obtaining even small
quantities of the seed of _P. cinerarioefolium_ that was not baked or in
other ways tampered with to prevent germination. Indeed, the people
are so jealous of their plant that to send the seed out of the country
becomes a serious matter, in which life is risked. The seed of
_Pyrethrum roseum_ is obtained with less difficulty, at least in small
quantities, and it has even become an article of commerce, several
nurserymen here, as well as in Europe, advertising it in their
catalogues. The species has been successfully grown as a garden plant
for its pale rose or bright pink flower-rays. Mr. Thomas Meehan, of
Germantown, Pa., writes us: "I have had a plant of _Pyrethrum roseum_ in
my herbaceous garden for many years past, and it holds its own without
any care much better than many other things. I should say from this
experience that it was a plant which will very easily accommodate itself
to culture anywhere in the United States." Peter Henderson, of New York,
another well-known and experienced nurseryman, writes: "I have grown the
plant and its varieties for ten years. It is of the easiest cultivation,
either by seeds or divisions. It now ramifies into a great variety of
all shades, from white to deep crimson, double and single, perfectly
hardy here, and I think likely to be nearly everywhere on this
continent." Dr. James C. Neal, of Archer, Fla., has also successfully
grown _P. roseum_ and many varieties thereof, and other correspondents
report similar favorable experience. None of them have found a special
mode of cultivation necessary. In 1856 Mr. C. Willemot made a serious
attempt to introduce and cultivate the plant[1] on a large scale in
France. As his account of the cultivation of pyrethrum is the best
we know of we quote here his experience in full, with but few slight
omissions: "The soil best adapted to its culture should be composed of
pure ground, somewhat silicious and dry. Moisture and the presence of
clay are injurious, the plant being extremely sensitive to an excess of
water, and would in such case immediately perish. A southern exposure is
the most favorable. The best time for putting the seeds in the ground is
from March to April. It can be done even in the month of February if the
weather will permit it. After the soil has been prepared and the seeds
are sown they are covered by a stratum of ground mixed with some
vegetable mould, when the roller is slightly applied to it. Every five
or six days the watering is to be renewed, in order to facilitate the
germination. At the end of about thirty or forty days the young plants
make their appearance, and as soon as they have gained strength enough
they are transplanted at a distance of about six inches from each other.
Three months after this operation they are transplanted again at a
distance of from fourteen to twenty inches, according to their strength.
Each transplantation requires, of course, a new watering, which,
however, should only be moderately applied. The blossoming of the
pyrethrum commences the second year, toward the end of May, and
continues to the end of September." Mr. Willemot also states that the
plant is very little sensitive to cold, and needs no shelter, even
during severe winters.

[Footnote 1: Mr. Willemot calls his plant _Pyrethre du Caucase (P.
Willemoti._ Duchartre), but it is more than probable that this is only
a synonym of _P. roseum_. We have drawn liberally from Mr. Willemot's
paper on the subject, a translation of which may be found in the Report
of the Commissioner of Patents for the year 1861, Agriculture, pp.

The above quoted directions have reference to the climate of France, and
as the cultivation of the plant in many parts of North America is yet
an experiment, a great deal of independent judgment must be used. The
plants should be treated in the same manner as the ordinary Asters of
the garden or other perennial Compositae.

As to the Dalmatian plant, it is well known that Mr. G. N. Milco, a
native of Dalmatia, has of late years successfully cultivated _Pyrethrum
cinerarioefolium_ near Stockton, Cal., and the powder from the
California grown plants, to which Mr. Milco has given the name of
"Buhach," retains all the insecticide qualities and is far superior to
most of the imported powder, as we know from experience. Mr. Milco
gives the following advice about planting--advice which applies more
particularly to the Pacific coast: "Prepare a small bed of fine, loose,
sandy, loamy soil, slightly mixed with fine manure. Mix the seed with
dry sand and sow carefully on top of the bed. Then with a common rake
disturb the surface of the ground half an inch in depth. Sprinkle the
bed every evening until sprouted; too much water will cause injury.
After it is well sprouted, watering twice a week is sufficient. When
about a month old, weed carefully. They should be transplanted to loamy
soil during the rainy season of winter or spring."

Our own experience with _P. roseum_ as well as _P. cinerarioefolium_
in Washington, D. C., has been so far quite satisfactory. Some that we
planted last year in the fall came up quite well in the spring and will
perhaps bloom the present year. The plants from sound seed which we
planted this spring are also doing finely, and as the soil is a rather
stiff clay and the rains have been many and heavy, we conclude that Mr.
Willemot has overstated the delicacy of the plants.

In regard to manufacturing the powder, the flower heads should be
gathered during fine weather when they are about to open, or at the time
when fertilization takes place, as the essential oil that gives the
insecticide qualities reaches, at this time, its greatest development.
When the blossoming has ceased the stalks may be cut within about four
inches from the ground and utilized, being ground and mixed with the
flowers in the proportion of one-third of their weight. Great care must
be taken not to expose the flowers to moisture, or the rays of the sun,
or still less to artificial heat. They should be dried under cover and
hermetically closed up in sacks or other vessels to prevent untimely
pulverization. The finer the flower-heads are pulverized the more
effectually the powder acts and the more economical in its use. Proper
pulverization in large quantities is best done by those who make a
business of it and have special mill facilities. Lehn & Fink, of New
York, have furnished us with the most satisfactory powder. For his own
use the farmer can pulverize smaller quantities by the simple method of
pounding the flowers in a mortar. It is necessary that the mortar be
closed, and a piece of leather through which the pestle moves, such
as is generally used in pulverizing pharmaceutic substances in a
laboratory, will answer. The quantity to be pulverized should not exceed
one pound at a time, thus avoiding too high a degree of heat, which
would be injurious to the quality of the powder. The pulverization being
deemed sufficient, the substance is sifted through a silk sieve, and
then the remainder, with a new addition of flowers, is put in the mortar
and pulverized again.

The best vessels for keeping the powder are fruit jars with patent
covers or any other perfectly tight glass vessel or tin box.--_American

* * * * *


In a paper read before the Aix-la-Chapelle section of the _Verein
deutscher Ingenieure_, Herr Robert Hasenclever presents a summary of
the results obtained with various methods for the absorption of the
sulphurous acid generated during the roasting of zinc-blende and other
sulphurets. Though most of our own metallurgical works are not so
located as to be forced to pay much attention to the removal of noxious
vapors, the efforts made abroad possess some interest for American
metallurgists. Besides containing sulphurous acid, the gases from the
roasting furnaces hold varying quantities of sulphuric acid, and Dr.
Bernoulli describes a process applied on a large scale in Silesian zinc
works, where the gases were passed through towers filled with lime. It
was found that there was no trouble on account of the absorption of
carbonic acid by the lime, and that the latter acted very efficiently
in reducing the quantity of sulphurous acid. Before entering the tower,
they contained 0.258 per cent. by volume of sulphurous acid and 2.45 per
cent. of carbonic acid; while, after their passage through it, they
held 0.017 and 2.478 per cent, respectively. The process, however, is
declared by Herr Hasenclever to be too costly for ordinary working,
although he does not deny its value under special circumstances.

The removal of anhydrous sulphuric acid from the gases from
roasting-furnaces has hitherto, as at the Waldmeister works, near
Stolberg, been effected by means of water trickling down in a tower
filled with coke, the gases entering below and moving upward. Herr
Hasenclever tested the Freytag method, in which the water is replaced
by sulphuric acid, and obtained favorable results, as shown by the
following analyses of the gases before and after treatment. The figures
given are grammes per 1,000 liters:

SO_2. SO_3. SO_2. SO_3.
8.24 0.63 5.74 0.00
8.29 0.37 6.74 0.07
9.36 0.69 6.96 0.00
9.46 0.63 7.38 0.05
10.03 1.08 7.69 0.09
16.52 2.97 14.39 0.23
17.90 1.97 13.32 0.11
17.80 2.46 16.18 0.69

The average absorption for the first set of four analyses when three
roasting-furnaces were discharging into the tower was 95 per cent. of
the sulphuric acid, and that of the second set of four or five furnaces
was 90 per cent. The amount of sulphuric acid charged per twenty-four
hours was about 5,000 kilogrammes of 50 degrees Baume, which flowed off
with a density of from 56 to 58 degrees Baume. The quantity of acid
condensed varied according to the nature of the ores and the number of
furnaces working. It ranged between 300 and 1,000 kilogrammes of 60
degrees Baume per twenty-four hours. The condensation of anhydrous
sulphuric acid would pay, according to estimates submitted by Herr
Hasenclever; but to pass the gases through a tower filled with lime,
in order to get rid of the remaining sulphurous acid, would prove too
expensive at Stolberg. An attempt to use milk of lime proved partially
successful; but it was not followed up, because it was decided to
experiment with the process suggested by Prof. Cl. Winkler, of Freiberg,
who proposes to pass the gases through a tower filled with iron in
some suitable shape, over which water trickles. From the solution thus
obtained, sulphurous acid pure enough to be used for the manufacture
of sulphuric acid, sulphur, and a solution of green vitriol is made.
Experiments with this process are making at Freiberg and at the Rhenania
Works, near Stolberg. The trouble with the majority of methods thus
far is, that the draught of the furnaces is so much impeded by the
absorption towers that fans, blowers, or steam jets must be used to
carry the gases through it.

The experience of Herr Hasenclever has proved how difficult it is to
find a satisfactory means of removing the noxious vapors from furnace
gases without incurring too serious an expense. Thus far the value of
the products obtained by absorption of sulphurous acid has not been
equal to the cost of producing them. Herr C. Landsberg, who is general
manager of the Stolberg Company, has had similar experience, though his
experiments were made to test methods suggested at various times by Dr.
E. Jacob and Dr. Aarland. Both are very ingenious, and were successful
on a small scale, but failed when tried in actual working.--_Engineering
and Mining Journal_.

* * * * *


In common practice, the new exhauster at the Old Kent Road passes
about five million cubic feet of gas per day of twenty-four hours, and
requires the attention of two men and two boys for driving and stoking,
at the following cost:

s. d.
Wages--2 men, at 5s. 6d 11 0
Wages--2 boys, at 3s. 6d 7 0
L 0 18 0
Oil, 1 gallon 0 3 6
Waste, 5 lb 0 1 0
Total L 1 2 6

for five million cubic feet, or 0.054d. per 1,000 feet. The boiler
burns a mixture of coke and breeze, chiefly the latter, of small value,
costing 0.0174d. per 1,000 feet of gas exhausted; therefore the total
cost of exhausting gas by the new system is--

Fuel 0.0174d
Wages, oil, and waste 0.0540
Total 0.07l4d.

per 1,000 cubic feet of gas, exclusive of repairs, which will be
decidedly less for the new exhauster than for that on the older system,
from the friction being so much less. The feed water evaporated is at
the rate of about 7.4 lb. per pound of breeze, and 7.5 lb. per pound of


It will be seen that the exhausting arrangements at the Old Kent Road
are extremely economical, the cost of fuel being reduced to a minimum;
while a man and boy by day, and their reliefs for the night, attend to
the machinery inside the exhauster-house, and also to the pumps outside,
and stoke the boiler as well.--_Journal of Gas Lighting_.

* * * * *


The continued advance in the price of glycerine continues to excite
comment among those who deal in or use it, and no one seems to know
exactly where or when the advance is likely to stop, or by what means a
retrograde movement will probably be brought about.

As we have heretofore stated, the rise has been brought about by a
combination of two causes--a falling off in production and a great
increase in the demand, owing to the discovery of new uses for it, and
the extension of the branches of manufactures in which it has been
heretofore employed.

In pharmacy, it is coming more and more into use daily, and in various
other branches of manufacture the same tendency is observable. It
has proved itself so elegant and so convenient a vehicle for the
administration of various medicinal substances, is so easily miscible
with both water and alcohol, and is so pleasant to the taste, that it
seems almost a wonder that it should have been so long in attaining the
rank among the articles of the _Materia Medica_ which it now occupies.
The two manufactures, however, which seem to lead in the demand for
glycerine are of nitro-glycerine and of oleomargarine.

The uses to which it is put for the former are well known, but precisely
what the latter could want of the article is not, at first glance,
quite so obvious. We are informed, however, that it is valued for its
antiseptic properties, and also for its softening effect on the _quasi_
butter. Be this as it may, it seems that both here and in Europe the
makers of these two articles are buying largely of both crude and
refined glycerine.

So it appears that the willingness of the people to eat artificial
butter, and the progress in schemes for internal improvement, such as
the De Lesseps Canal, for instance, to say nothing of the European
revolutionists, are responsible to a great extent for the scarcity of an
important article of pharmaceutical use.

On the other hand, while there is a notable increase in the demand for
the article, there is a gradual but very sure and noticeable falling off
in the production.

At present the supply for the whole world comes from the candlemakers
of Europe--chiefly France and Germany--and, as improved methods of
illumination push candles out of the drawing rooms of the wealthier as
well as the cabins of the poor, and consequently out of the markets, the
production of glycerine naturally grows less. In France, for instance,
candles are coming to be regarded among the wealthy chiefly as articles
of luxury, and are lighted only for display at festivals of especial
magnificence and ceremony, while among the poor the kerosene lamp is
coming into almost as universal use as here.

To be sure, the inexorable inn-keeper still keeps up, we believe, the
inevitable _bougie_, but even that is fast becoming more of a fiction
than ever. Even in the churches, it is said, the use of candles is
gradually falling off. To these causes must be attributed the decreasing
supply of the crude material, but it may be doubted whether this
decrease would be sufficient to materially affect the price for some
time to come were it not for the increased demand for the two industries
to which we have alluded. Obviously, there must be found eventually some
substitute for glycerine, or else some new source from which it may be
procured. The natural place to look for this would be in the waste
lye from the soapmakers' boilers, but so far no one has succeeded in
obtaining from this substance the glycerine it undoubtedly contains by
any process sufficiently cheap to allow of its profitable employment.

We are assured by a veteran soap-boiler who has experimented much in
this direction that it is impossible to recover a marketable article of
glycerine from the lees of soap in which resin is an ingredient. In his
words, it "kills the glycerine," and, as none but a few of the finest
soaps are now made without resin, it would seem that the search for
glycerine in this direction must be a hopeless one. It is a curious
commentary in the present state of affairs that previous to about 1857,
when candles were largely manufactured in this country, there was little
or no demand for glycerine, and millions of pounds of it were run
into the sewers. Even then, however, the use of it as a wholesome and
pleasant article of diet was known to the workmen employed in the candle
factories, who were accustomed to drink freely of the mingled glycerine
and water which constituted the waste from the candles. Yet with this
fact under their noses, as it were, it is only recently that members of
the medical profession have begun to recommend the same use of glycerine
as a substitute for cod liver oil.--_Pharmacist_.

* * * * *


Oils, fats, waxes, and bodies somewhat similar in nature, may--according
to the substance of a paper recently read before the Chemical Society,
by Mr. A. H. Allen, of Sheffield, and Mr. Thomson, of Manchester--be
divided into two great classes, viz., those which combine with soda,
potash, or other alkalies to form soaps, and those which do not; and
as those two classes of bodies differ materially in their actions on
substances such as iron, copper, etc., with which they come in contact,
it often becomes a question of great importance to the users of oils
for lubricating purposes to know what proportions of these different
substances are contained in any oil or mixture of oils. The object of
the authors was to give accurate methods for determining the percentages
of these bodies contained in any sample. Hydrocarbon or mineral oils are
now much used for lubricating the cylinders of engines, and especially
of condensing engines, and that for two reasons--first, because they are
neutral bodies, which have no action on metals; and, second, that they
are not liable to deposit on the boilers, if they should happen to be
introduced with the condensed water so as to produce burning of the
ironwork over the flues.

Animal or vegetable oils or fats are composed of fatty acids in
combination with glycerine, and these, under the influence of
high-pressure steam, are decomposed or dissociated, the fatty acids
being liberated from the glycerine, leaving the former to act upon or
corrode the iron of the cylinder. But here their objectionable influence
does not end. They form with the iron hard, insoluble compounds called
iron soaps, which increase the friction between the cylinder and piston,
and in some cases gradually collect into the form of hard balls inside
the cylinder.

When the water is used over and over again a considerable proportion of
the fatty acids of the oils used for lubricating the piston is carried
over with the steam and is found in the condensed water which is
introduced into the boiler along with the water. Here it commences
action, which proves quite as injurious to the boiler as it does to the
cylinder, but in a different way. It acts upon the iron of the boiler
and on some of the lime salts which constitute the incrustation, forming
greasy iron and lime soaps, which prevent the water from coming into
absolute contact with it. Thus the heat cannot be drawn away quickly
enough by the water, and the plates thus coated above the flues are
liable to become burdened and weakened. This action has in many cases
gone on to such an extent that the flues have collapsed under the
pressure of the steam inside.

The authors give two different processes for the determination of animal
or vegetable oils or fats and hydrocarbon or other neutral oils. They
take a certain weight of the sample and boil it with twice its weight
of an eight per cent, solution of caustic soda in alcohol. The soda
combines with the fatty acids of the animal or vegetable oils forming
soaps; bicarbonate of soda is then added to neutralize the excess of
caustic soda; and, lastly, sand; and the whole is evaporated to dryness
at the temperature of boiling water. The dry mixture is then transferred
to a large glass tube, having a small hole in the bottom plugged with
glass wool to act as a filter, and light petroleum spirit--which boils
at about 150 deg. to 180 deg. Fahr.--is poured over it, till all the
neutral or unsaponifiable oil is dissolved out. In the other process no
sand is used, but the dry mixture is dissolved in water, and the soap
solution which holds the neutral oils in solution is treated with ether,
which dissolves out the neutral oil and then floats to the surface of
the liquid. The ether solution is then drawn off, and the ether in the
one case and petroleum spirit in the other are separated from the
dissolved oils by distillation, the last traces of these volatile
liquids being separated by blowing a current of filtered air through
the flask containing the neutral oil, which is then weighed and its
percentage on the original sample calculated.

All animal and vegetable oils yield a small quantity--about one per
cent.--of unsaponifiable fatty matter, which must be deducted from the
result obtained. Sperm oil, however, was found to be an exception,
because from its peculiar chemical constitution it yields nearly half
its weight of a greasy substance to the ether or to the petroleum
spirit. The substance, however, dissolved from sperm oil after
saponification has the appearance of jelly, when the ether or petroleum
spirit solution is concentrated and allowed to cool, and the presence of
sperm oil can thus be readily detected. Solid paraffin, heavy petroleum
or paraffin oils, and rosin oil--which is produced by the destructive
distillation of rosin--are not saponifiable, and yield about the whole
of the amount employed to the petroleum spirit or ether. Japan wax is
almost entirely saponifiable, while beeswax and spermaceti yield about
half their weights to the petroleum spirit or ether.

* * * * *


Dr. Edgar Kurtz, of Florence, has found this medicament so useful in the
various aches and pains of every-day life that he has persuaded many
families of his acquaintance to keep it on hand as a domestic remedy. It
is an excellent external application for stomach-ache, colic, tooth ache
(whether nervous or arising from caries), neuralgia of the trigeminus,
of the cervico-brachial plexus, etc. It is superior to anything else
when inhaled in so-called angio-spastic hemicrania, giving rapid relief
in the individual paroxysms and prolonging the intervals between the
latter. No trial was made in cases of angio paralytic hemicrania, since
in this affection the drug would be physiologically contraindicated. It
has a very good effect in dysmenorrhoea, especially when occurring in
chlorotic girls; in mild cases external applications suffice, otherwise
the drug should be inhaled (when complicated with inflammatory
conditions of the uterus or appendages the results were doubtful or
negative). Its physiological action being that of a paralyzing agent of
the muscular tissue of the blood vessels, with consequent dilatation of
their caliber (most marked in the upper half of the body), nitrite of
amyl is theoretically indicated in all conditions of cerebral anaemia.
Practically it was found to be of much value in attacks of dizziness and
faintness occurring in anaemic individuals, as also in a fainting-fit
from renal colic, and in several cases of collapse during anaesthesia by

It has been recommended in asphyxia from drowning, hanging, and in
asphyxia of the new born, but the first indication in these cases is the
induction of artificial respiration, after the successful initiation of
which inhalations of nitrite of amyl doubtless assist in overcoming the
concomitant spasm of the smaller arteries.

One of the most important indications for the use of the drug is
threatening paralysis of the heart from insufficient compensation. In
such cases it is necessary to gain time until digitalis and alcoholics
can unfold their action, and here nitrite of amyl stands pre-eminent. A
single case in point will suffice to illustrate this. The patient was
suffering from mitral insufficiency, with irregular pulse, loss of
appetite, enlargement of the liver, and mild jaundice. Temporary relief
had been several times afforded by infusion of digitalis. In February,
1879, the condition of the patient suddenly became aggravated. The pulse
became very irregular and intermittent. The condition described as
delirium cordis presented itself, together with epigastric pulsation
and vomiting. Vigorous counter-irritation, by means of hot bottles
and sinapisms to the extremities, etc., proved useless. Digitalis and
champagne, when administered, were immediately vomited. The pulse ran up
from seventy until it could no longer be counted at the wrist, while
the beats of the heart increased to one hundred and twenty and more per
minute. The extremities grew cold, and the face became covered with
perspiration. The urine was highly albuminous. Nitrite of amyl was then
administered by inhalation: at first, three to five drops; then, ten to
twenty; and finally, more or less was poured on the handkerchief without
being measured. During each inhalation the condition of the patient
rapidly improved, but as quickly grew worse, so that the drug was
continued at short intervals all night, ten grammes in all having been
used. In the morning the patient was better, and 0.5 gramme of digitalis
was then given in infusion per rectum, and repeated on the following
day, after which the patient remained comparatively well until a year
and a half later, when a second attack of the kind just described was
quickly cut short by similar treatment.

Another noteworthy case was that of a robust man of thirty years, who
was attacked with acute gastro intestinal catarrh. The patient had
as many as one hundred watery evacuations in forty-eight hours, with
fainting fits, violent cramps in the calves of the legs, two attacks
of general convulsions--in short, he presented the picture of a person
attacked with cholera. Opium, champagne, hypodermic injections of
sulphuric ether, counter-irritation, etc., proved useless. The doctor
was on the point of injecting dilute liquor ammonii into the veins, but,
none being obtainable, it occurred to him to try nitrite of amyl as a
last resort. A considerable amount was poured on a handkerchief and held
before the patient's mouth and nose, while the legs were also rubbed
energetically with the same agent. Respiration soon became deeper and
more regular, while the pulse gradually returned at the wrist. These
procedures were repeated again and again, without regard to the quantity
of the drug used, as soon as the radial pulse became weaker, and kept
up until the patient complained of a sense of fullness in the head, and
requested the discontinuance of the drug. The evacuations became less
frequent, and in a week the patient was able to be up. Resuming then,
Kurz concludes that nitrite of amyl is indicated in cardiac affections
when the capillary circulation is obstructed and the cardiac muscle is
threatened with paralysis from overwork; further, in cases of impeded
circulation occasioned by cholera or severe diarrhea, particularly in
the so-called hydrocephaloid (false hydrocephalus) of children. It
is worthy of trial in tetanic and eclamptic seizures, and in tonic
angiospasms such as occur during the chill of malarial fevers, although
in the last-mentioned condition pilocarpine is perhaps more suitable,
provided the energy of the heart be unimpaired.

As regards the dose, Kurz's experience demonstrates that we need not
restrict ourselves to a few drops. The quantity may be increased, if
necessary, until symptoms of cerebral congestion show themselves, when
the drug should be momentarily or permanently discontinued. Usually from
three to five or ten drops are sufficient, sometimes even less. Kurz has
met with no unpleasant consequences, much less serious complications,
from the application of nitrite of amyl. But the drug is contraindicated
in cases associated with cerebral hyperaemia, in atheromatous conditions
of the arteries, and in the so-called plethoric state--_Beta's
Memoabilien, March 24, 1881_.

* * * * *



The treatment of simple acute articular rheumatism may be abandoned to
palliatives and nature. Apart from complications, such cases nearly
always recover under rest and careful nursing. Try and disabuse
yourselves of the idea that their cure is dependent upon medicines
alone; to help nature is often the best we can do. No treatment was ever
invented which stopped a case of acute articular rheumatism. It cannot
be stopped by bleeding, or sweating, or purging, by niter, by tartar
emetic, by guaiacum, by alkalies, by salines, by salicylic acid, or by
anything else. The physician can palliate the pain and perhaps shorten
the attack, can control and perhaps prevent complications and stiffness
of the joints, but he cannot arrest the disease. Where rest, proper
diet, and warmth are enjoined, most cases will get well just as soon
without as with the use of medicinal methods. Dr. Austin Flint, Sr.,
of New York, in support of this statement, subjected some patients, a
number of years ago, to the expectant treatment, and found that they
made just as rapid and just as complete recoveries as did those cases
under the most active medication. Purgatives have been used in all ages
in the treatment of this disease, because it was thought to be a fever.
We are all but too ready to put our necks into the yoke of a theory. In
old times they thought that the system ought to be reduced. Before the
time of purgatives depletion was employed. This mode of treatment I will
not even discuss. There is no evidence of which I am cognizant in favor
of purgatives. There are very good reasons indeed why they should not be
used: (1) Because they cannot possibly cure; (2) because they oblige the
patient to make painful movements; and (3) because they expose him to
the dangers of cold. A celebrated London physician had all his patients
packed in blankets, and did not allow them to move a finger. This was
going to the other extreme. There are certain cases in which purgatives
are alleged to be of use, viz.: Those in which the bowels are
constipated, and there is a bitter taste in the mouth. I have never seen
such cases except in habitual drunkards, and in such cases a purgative
does more harm than allowing the effete matter to remain in the system.
Opium was once vaunted as a specific, and it was claimed that it
diminished the tendency to complications in the course of the disease.
Dr. Corrigan, of Dublin, said that large doses of opium were well
borne--say from four to twelve grains in the course of twenty-four
hours, or sometimes he advised giving as much as one grain every hour.
Opium so employed does not produce narcotism, and does not constipate
the bowels. More recent experience has shown that opium, of all
remedies, is the most likely to cause heart complications. Some have
recommended colchicum, arguing that because it does good in gout, it
must, therefore, do good in rheumatism. But colchicum is not a remedy
for rheumatism. Many years ago it was very much the custom to administer
large doses of powdered Peruvian bark. The rationale of these large
doses was founded upon their sedative effect. Haygrath, Morton,
Heberden, and Fothergill were the first to employ this method. Later
still, a number of noted French physicians, among them Briquet, Andral,
Monerat, and Legroux, renewed the use of this medicine in the form of
quinia, but gave it in smaller doses, seeking only its tonic effect,
from five to fifteen grains being administered in the course of
twenty-four hours, and then it was still continued in smaller doses.
Still more recently, quinia taking the place of Peruvian bark, the old
plan of administering large doses has been resumed. From thirty all the
way up to one hundred grains have been administered in the course of
twenty-four hours. Never was there a more profligate waste of a precious
medicine. Even the physicians who so used it were obliged to acknowledge
that it only did good in sub-acute and mild cases. I believe that it has
also been fashionable in the so called cases of hyperpyrexia to immerse
the patient in a bath varying in temperature from 60 deg. to 98 deg. Fahr.
Although patients thus treated sometimes recovered, they also sometimes
perished from congestion of the lungs and brain.

Among cardiac and nervous sedatives, digitalis, veratrum album and
viride, veratria and aconite, have each, at one time or other, been
employed indiscriminately. Such treatment, of course, has only proven
itself to be a monument of rashness to those who employed it. Such
sedatives may reduce the pulse, but do not shorten the disease. Indeed,
if it is possible to prove the absurdity of anything more clearly by
mere enumeration of these medicines as cures for rheumatism, I do not
know of it. Do digitalis and aconite act in the same manner? This is
just one expression of the folly which surrounded the use of digitalis
at the time of its discovery. Then every affection of the heart was
treated with digitalis.

Within the last few years new remedies have been proclaimed in the shape
of salicylic acid and its sodium salt. I confess that I possess no
personal knowledge of their use in this disease, for I was at first
dissuaded from employing them by a prejudice against the grounds on
which they were recommended, and more recently by the contradictory
judgments respecting them, and the unquestionable mischief they have
sometimes caused. According to their eulogists, the arrest of the
disease is secured by them within four or five days, whether the attack
be febrile or not; its mortality was diminished; relapses do not occur
if the medicine is continued until full convalescence; it is without
influence on the heart complications already existing, but it tends
to prevent them as well as other serious inflammations. One of these
gentlemen assures us that to say it far excels any other method of
treatment would be to give it but scant praise. But, upon the other
hand, it is accused of producing disorders, and even grave accidents in
almost all the functions of the economy. In some cases it has produced
ringing in the ears or deafness, or a rapid pulse, or an excessively
high temperature, panting respiration, profuse perspiration,
albuminuria, delirium, and imminent collapse. In one published case this
anti-pyretic did not lower, but, on the contrary, seemed actually to
raise the temperature so high that immediately after death it stood at
110 deg. F. Many, very many, analogous cases have been published. I repeat,
therefore, that I am personally unacquainted with the effects of this
medicine in acute articular rheumatism, and that I have not thus far
been tempted to employ it.

It may be difficult to see the connection between blisters and alkalies
in their power to influence the course of acute articular rheumatism,
and yet it is certain that they do so influence it, and in the same way,
_i. e._, by altering the condition of the blood from acid to alkaline.
If you ask me to explain to you how blisters act in this way I am
obliged to confess my ignorance. To produce this result they must be
applied over all the affected joints. Experience, if not science, has
decided conclusively in their favor. They do effect a cessation of the
local symptoms, render the urine alkaline, and diminish the amount of
fibrin in the blood.

This brings us to a consideration of the use of alkalies. Alkalies
neutralize the acids, act as diuretics, and eliminate the _materies
morbi_. Alone, and in small doses, they are unable to influence the
course of the disease; but when given in very large doses their effects
are marvelous; the pulse falls, the urine is increased in quantity and
becomes alkaline, and the inflammation subsides. The symptoms of the
disease are moderated, the duration of the attack is shortened, and the
cardiac complications are prevented. The dose of the alkalies must
be increased until the acid secretions are neutralized. A very good
combination of these remedies is the following:

Rx. Sodae bicarb 3 iss.
Potas. acet 3 ss.
Acid. cit f. 3 ss.
Aquae f. 3 ij. [1]

[Transcribers note 1: Could also be '2/3 ij.']

S. This dose should be repeated every three or four hours, until the
urine becomes alkaline. On the subsidence of the active symptoms two
grains of quinine may be added with advantage to each dose. The alkalies
must be gradually discontinued, but the quinia continued. The diet
should consist of beef tea or broth, with bread and milk; no solid food
should be allowed. Woolen cloths, moistened with alkaline solutions, may
with advantage be applied to the affected joints. To these laudanum
may be added for its anodyne effect. The patient must be sedulously
protected from vicissitudes of the temperature and be in bed between
blankets. The alkaline treatment relieves the pain, abates the fever,
and saves the heart by lessening the amount of fibrin in the blood. A
long time ago Dr. Owen Rees, of London, introduced the use of lemon
juice. This remedy was thought to convert uric acid into urea, and to
so help elimination. Though the treatment is practically correct, the
theory of it is all wrong. Lemon juice does good in mild cases, but
cannot be relied upon in severe attacks. During the febrile stage of
acute articular rheumatism the diet should consist mainly of farinaceous
and mucilaginous preparations, with lemonade and carbonic acid water as
drinks. The cloths applied to the joints should be changed when they
become saturated with sweat, and in changing them the patient should be
protected from the air. The sweating may be controlled by small doses
of atropia, from the one-sixtieth to the one-thirtieth of a grain. To
prevent subsequent stiffness the joints should be bathed with warm oil
and chloroform, and wrapped in flannel cloths. In the proper season this
condition is very well treated by sea-bathing. There is no specific plan
of treatment in acute articular rheumatism. The treatment pursued
must vary according to the intensity of the inflammation and the
peculiarities of the patients.--_Medical Gazette_.

* * * * *


No psychologist has hitherto been able, and probably it is impossible,
to define _madness_, or to give a clearly marked indication of the
boundary line between sanity and insanity. Mental soundness is merged
in unsoundness by degrees of decadence which are so small as to be
practically inappreciable. It is with the mind-state which precedes the
development of recognized form of insanity the therapeutist and the
social philosopher are chiefly interested. Although in individual cases
the subject of mental derangement may, as the phrase runs, "go mad"
suddenly, speaking generally insanity is a symptom occurring in the
course of disease, and, commonly, not until the malady of which it is
the expression has made some progress. Those mental disturbances which
consist in a temporary aberration of brain function, and which are the
accidents of instability, rather than the effects of developed or even
developing neuroses, can scarcely be classed as insanity; although it is
true, and in an important sense, that these passing storms of excitement
or spells of moody depression may--acting reflexly on the cerebral and
nervous centers, as all mind-states and mind-movements react--exert a
morbific influence and lay the physical bases of mental disease. The
consideration most practical to the community and germane to the
question of public safety is, that in any and every population there
must exist a dangerously large proportion of persons who are always in
a condition of mind to be injuriously influenced by any force which
powerfully affects them. As a matter of history, it would seem that the
majority of such persons are controlled rather than morbidly excited by
the opportunity of throwing themselves into any popular movement. They
may suffer afterward for the stimulation they receive at the time of
public commotions, but while these are in progress they link their own
consciousness with that of other minds, and the tendency to develop
individual eccentricities of mental action is thereby for the moment
repressed or exhausted. It is in the intervals of great public
excitement the peace is disturbed by the vagaries of criminals who are
more or less reasonably suspected of being "insane."

It would be premature to assume that the murderer of Mr. Gold, or the
man who attempted to assassinate the President of the United States of
America, is insane. There are circumstances in connection with each of
these tragedies which must suggest the reflection that the assailants
were possibly, or even probably, of unsound mind. We do not, however,
propose to discuss these features of the respective cases at this
juncture. The full facts are not, as yet, ascertained; but enough is
known to warrant an endeavor to clear the way for future remark by
disposing of the objection that the suspected perpetrator of the
Brighton outrage and the would-be assassin of the President both showed
"forethought" and "method." It is a common formula for the expression of
doubt as to the irresponsibility of an alleged lunatic, that there is
"method in his madness." Nothing can be farther from the truth than the
inference to which this observation is intended to point. It is not in
the least degree necessary that a madman should be unconscious of the
act he performs, or of its nature as a violation of the law of God
or man; nor is it necessary that he should do the deed under an
ungovernable impulse, or at the supposed bidding of God or devil, angel
or fiend. The forms of mental disease to which these presumptions apply
are coarse developments of insanity. Dr. Prichard was among the first of
English medico-psychologists to recognize the existence of a more subtle
form of disease, which he termed "moral insanity." Herbert Spencer
supplied the key-note to this mystery of madness when he propounded the
doctrine of "dissolution;" and Dr. Hughlings Jackson has since applied
that hypothesis to the elucidation of morbid mental states and their
correlated phenomena. When disorganizing--or, if we may borrow
an expression from the terminology of geological science,
_denuding_--disease attacks the mental organism, it, so to say, strips
off, layer by layer, the successive strata of "habit," "principle," and
"nature," which compose the character. First in order go the higher
moral qualities of the mind; next those which are the result of
personally formed habits; then the inherited principles of personal and
social life; at length the polish which civilization gives to humanity
is lost, and in the process of denudation the evolutionary elements of
man's nature are progressively destroyed, until he is reduced to the
level of a creature inspired by purely animal passions, and obeying the
lower brutish instincts. The term "moral insanity" is accurate as far
as it goes, but it expresses only the first stage in a process of
dissolution which is essentially the same throughout, but which has
unfortunately received different designations as its several features
have been recognized and studied apart. The difference between the
subject of "moral insanity" and the general paralytic, who has lost all
sense of decency and lives the life of a beast, is one of degree. The
practical difficulty is to convince the mere observer that forms of
insanity which seem to consist in the loss of moral qualities and
principles _only_, may be as directly the effect of brain disease as any
of those grosser varieties of mental disorder which he is perfectly well
able to recognize, and fully prepared to ascribe to their proper cause.

To the professional mind, at least, it will follow from what we have
said that the injury to mind properties or qualities inflicted by the
invasion of disease may be partial, and must in every case be determined
by laws or conditions governing the progress of disease, perhaps on
the lines and in the directions which have been least well guarded by
educationary influences. A man may lose his faculty of forming a wise
judgment long before he is deprived of the power of distinguishing
between right and wrong. This is so because it is a higher attainment in
moral culture to do right advisedly, than simply to perceive the right
thing to do. The application of principle to conduct is an advance on
the mere recognition of virtue in the concrete, or even the possession
of virtue in the abstract. The question whether any past act of
wrongdoing was an act of insanity does not so much depend upon the great
question whether the person doing it was insane as a whole being, or
whether the deed done was the outcome of passion or error, the direct
fruit of limited or special disease. In short, the insanity of the act
must be inferred from the morbid condition of the brain from which it
sprang, rather than from the act itself. A partially disorganized--or as
we prefer to say "denuded"--brain may be fully capable of sane thought,
except on some one topic, and able to exercise every intellectual
function except of a particular order. Or there may be mental weakness
and neurotic susceptibility in regard to a special class of impressions.
It would be difficult to name any form of act or submission which may
not be the outcome of incipient or limited disease. The practical
difficulty is to avoid, on the other hand, treating the fruits of
disease as willful offenses; while, on the other, we do not allow the
supposition or presumption of disease to be employed as an excuse for
wrongdoing. It is, of course, clear that there may be perfect method in
such madness as springs from partial or commencing brain disease; for
every element in the mental process which culminates in a mad act may be
sane except the inception of the idea in which the act took its rise.
Thus, in the case of the suspected murderer of Mr. Gold, there may have
been perfect sanity in respect to every stage of the process by which
the crime was planned and carried out, and yet insanity, the effect of
brain disease, in the idea by which the deed was suggested. For example,
when a man is suffering from morbid suspicion, and, fixing his distrust
on some individual, purposes to murder him, the intellectual processes
by which he lays his plans and fulfills his morbidly conceived
intention, are performed with perfect sanity, as by a sane will. It is
important to recognize this. There is no difference in _nature_ between
the mental operation by which a "sane" man contrives and executes a
crime, and that by which a known "lunatic" will commit the like offense.
There may be as much _method_ in the one instance as in the other, and
the faculties which exhibit this method may be as sound and effective,
but in the one case the idea behind the act is sane, while in the other
it is insane. The brain is not one large homogeneous organ to be
healthy or diseased, orderly or deranged, throughout at any one period.
Inflammations, and diseases generally, which affect the brain as a whole
do not commonly cause insanity properly so called. The organ of the
mind is a composite, or aggregate of cells, or molecules, any number
or series of which may be affected with disease while the rest remain
healthy. At present we are only on the threshold of investigation
concerning the physical causes of insanity, and have scarcely done more
than recognize the possibility of _molecular_ disease of the brain.
Hereafter science will, probably, succeed in unveiling the obscure facts
of molecular brain pathology, and enable the medical psychologist to
predicate disease of recognized classes of brain elements from the
special phenomena of mind disturbance. This is the line of inquiry, and
the result, to which the progress already made distinctly tends. For the
present, the inferences we can surely draw from known facts are
very few; but prominent among the number are certain which it is
all-important to recognize in view of the judgment which must hereafter
be formed on the two cases now engaging public attention on both sides
of the Atlantic. The existence of method in madness is no marvel, and
that characteristic cannot therefore be supposed, or alleged, to weigh
as evidence against the "insanity" of the criminal. The perpetrators of
these heinous offenses against common right and public safety may be
more or less responsible for their acts, and, so far as these are
concerned, more or less sane or insane. The measure of the morbid
element in their individual cases will be the health or disease of the
particular part or element of the brain from which the offense sprang.
The ultimate judgment formed must be determined upon the basis of
scientific tests to be applied to the action of the brain alleged to be
the subject of partial or incipient disease. There is nothing in the
facts as they stand to supply the materials for a judgment. Precise
scientific inquiry can alone solve the enigma each case presents.

* * * * *


By EDWARD BORCK, M.D., St. Louis, Mo.

At first sight it seems almost superfluous to write or say a word about
any method of arresting hemorrhage from wounds; for the practitioner,
as a rule, is well acquainted with all the different manipulations and
appliances for the purpose, and enough may be obtained from the text
books. Nevertheless, to call attention to some useful, or old, or
apparently forgotten matter occasionally, seems not to be amiss, for it
refreshes our memory, stimulates us to think about and keeps before
our eyes important subjects. A few hints on the above, I hope, will
therefore be well received.

The treatment of hemorrhage, viz., the arresting of the same from open
wounds, is not only important to the surgeon as the basis of surgery,
but it is also of great importance to the laity, and especially to
those workmen who are perpetually in danger of being injured. It is
astonishing how unknowing the people seem to be, with any method to
check bleeding from a wound temporarily; even the most simple method of
pressure is in the majority of such accidents not resorted to. The sight
of a little blood does not alone upset a timid, nervous woman, but many
times the strongest of men; and why? because it naturally creates a
feeling of awe and detestation. If a person is wounded by a machine, or
otherwise, a crowd of all his fellow workmen gather around him, and look
on the poor fellow bleeding; half a dozen or more will start out on a
run in different directions to hunt a doctor, or some old woman who has
a reputation for stopping bleeding by sympathy, either of whom they are
likely to find "not at home." In the meantime the vital fluid trickles
away; nobody knows what to do; everybody does something, but none the
right thing. Now, it is true, it does not often happen that any one
bleeds to death, wise mother nature, as a rule, coming to their
assistance, especially in lacerated wounds; but the anemic condition
produced by excessive loss of blood is followed by severe consequences,
and is to be dreaded, for it retards recovery. To save all the blood
possible ought to be apprehended as an important matter by every one.

Hardly a week passes that some unfortunate is not brought to my office,
who has been badly injured in some way; he has been bleeding, perhaps,
the distance of several blocks, and arrives almost faint. In the most of
such cases they have something tied around their wounds, but hardly ever
in any manner so as to be equal to stop the bleeding. In exceptional
cases you find a tourniquet or the Spanish windlass applied. This,
when applied by a surgeon, may answer very well, but when applied by a
non-professional person it is invariably screwed up so tight that the
pain produced thereby is so great and intolerable that the patient
prefers rather to bleed to death. This is a great objection.

Therefore I will call attention to the method of forcible flexion; and
though extreme flexion has been practiced by surgeons in isolated cases,
still to Professor Adelman, of Dorpat, is due the credit of first having
systematized the following method:


Bring the elbows of the patient as near as possible together upon the
back, and fasten them with a bandage. From this point let a doppelt
bandage pass down to and over the perineum; separate the bandages again
in front, let one end run over the left, the other over the right groin
back again to the elbows (see Fig. 1)

[Illustration: Fig. 1.]

"The illustrations will explain at a glance."


Acute flexion of the elbow, simple bending of the forearm upon the upper
arm, will suffice. But if there is bleeding from the arteries near the
joint of the hand or from any part of the hand, then the hand must also
be brought into flexion, and secured by a bandage. (See Fig. 2.) The
bandage must always be wrapped around the wound first.

Book of the day: