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A " Home-made” Distilling Apparatus.
slowly, away from the person. A little practice will The accompanying illustration shows a distilling ap
enable one to make a clean-cut scratch entirely around paratus recently improvised by a chemist who found
the tubing. In the absence of the diamond a little himself suddenly in need, for a special purpose, of a
slitting file may be used. After the ring is removed, retort larger than the ordinary glass ones.
smooth the edges by grinding with emery powder on a container, such as 25-pound lots of lemon, orange, and
leaden plate. For shallow cells an ordinary. cover-glass other essential oils are marketed in (and which may
may be used, by cementing it to a metallic ring of proper easily be procured by the druggist from his jobber, size, and when firmly fixed, punch a hole through the probably free of cost) was the starting-point. Flanges
center. Smooth the edge of the hole with a round file. were put on both the base and the top, which enabled
Small irregularities will not be visible when the cell is filled with mounting medium. Another plan is to wet the cover-glass with a little saliva, and press it down on the center of the turntable. Set the plate to revolving, and touch the surface of the glass with a writing diamond. With a little practice this is by far the neatest and most expeditious way.”
Are Pepsin and Alcohol Incompatible ?
Are pepsin and alcohol incompatible ? asks Dr. Wm. J. Robinson. “This question is also answered differently
by the chemists and by the clinicians. The chemists the two to be clamped together as seen in the illustra
say alcohol destroys the action of pepsin; the clinicians tion. Then a galvanized tin neck (copper would be say it makes no difference, as they get good results from better) was made on the top of the can and connected the elixirs and wines of pepsin. Syme's experiments with an ordinary, though large-sized, Liebig condenser,* seem to furnish a satisfactory reason for this difference supported by a standard. A receiving bottle, not shown
of opinion. He has shown (Med. Moderne, ix, p. 35) in the cut, was of course put at the end to receive the
that the alcohol exerts its inhibiting action on the pepsin distillate as it issued from the condenser. Here is a
when both are in a glass or similar inorganic vessel. cheap and efficient apparatus for making distilled water.
Something entirely different takes place, however, when Any druggist can have it made by a tinsmith.
the glass vessel is replaced by a moist animal membrane. To Make Glass Cells for Microscope Slides.
The alcohol at once begins to diffuse through the mem
brane, and in a short time the pepsin begins to exert its The National Druggist advises that there are several
solvent action on the albumen. In the experiments methods for making glass cells for slides of insects,
made the albumen dissolved after two hours was nearly samples of ore, etc., each more or less convenient, ac
equal to the amount of albumen dissolved by pepsin in cording to the depth of the proposed cell. “For cells
a medium containing no alcohol at all. He therefore from one-tenth inch in depth and upward we have found
concludes that pepsin is not incompatible with weak the plan of cutting a ring off a bit of soft glass tubing alcoholic media.” the easiest and best. This is done very quickly and surely by running a diamond pencil around the tubing Ethyl Alcohol from Wood.at the required distance from the end, and touching the
The Druggists Circular reports that Maguier and line thus made with the point of a red-hot poker or iron
Braguier have devised a process for obtaining ethyl rod. To run the line smoothly and evenly make a little
alcohol from wood. The wood reduced to small fragsupporter for the tube by nailing a couple of uprightments is digested for two hours at the boiling point in a strips, notched at the top in V-shape, to a wooden block,
vat containing milk of lime, to which chlorinated lime is six inches long. Let the tube rest in the notches, apply added; toward the end of the operation sulphuric acid the diamond firmly to the glass, and revolve the tube
is added in sufficient quantity to give a slightly acid
reaction. The matter is transferred to another tank and *A practical way of operating a Liebig condenser was described in an article published on page 196 of the BULLETIN for
heated to the boiling point with sulphuric and phosMay, 1898.—THE EDITORS.
phoric acids; after several minutes the mixture is intro
duced into a closed vessel and heated to a temperature ture applied to the surface of the mortar. After a of 150° to 160° C. By this series of operations the cel- contact of twelve to twenty-four hours it is washed lulose is transformed into dextrin and finally to glucose. off with water. Soap is usually unnecessary. The matter is then submitted to the action of an electric The odor of iodoform, musk, creosote, etc., may be current, which renders the saccharine matters suscepti- removed by first washing with warm water, then, after ble of fermentation under the action of appropriate thoroughly drying, pouring alcohol over the mortar and ferments; it is then placed in fermenting vats, and a igniting. If all odor has not disappeared, the treatcertain proportion of albuminoid substances added, and ment with alcohol is repeated. Rubbing with powdered after the process is completed, the resulting alcohol is ergot is said to remove iodoform; ammonia water is efobtained by distillation. This method of operation is
This method of operation is fective in the case of valerian; and rubbing with powsaid to give very successful results, and different fibers, dered mustard and a little water with all odors. To such as straw or vegetable stalks, may be thus treated. remove odorous substances from the hands it is rec
ommended to wash them with a moderately strong Incompatibilities of Heroia and Heroin Hydrochloride.- solution of salicylic acid.
Heroin and heroin hydrochloride form an essential part of so many formulas for the relief of cough, dyspnea, Dusting Powder for Pills.and pains in the treatment of respiratory affections that John P. Williams (Connecticut Pharmaceutical Assoit is important to determine in what combination they ciation) declares that the following is a form of white will prove most effective, and what are their incom- powder that is not too slippery on the slab and gives a patibilities. Owing to the insolubility of heroin in watery
sweet taste at the first touch of the tongue to the pills: solutions it is necessary to add a few drops of some acid,
Arrowroot.. acetic or hydrochloric, in order to effect its solution.
Starch. This can be entirely obviated by using the hydrochloride,
Rice flour.. which is freely soluble. The only incompatibilities of
Milk-sugar heroin and the hydrochloride worthy of special mention
4 drachas. are the alkalies, such as bicarbonate of sodium and car
German potato starch..
8 ounces. bonate of ammonium. On the other hand, salts of
30 grains. neutral reaction, such as iodide of potassium or chloride
Mix and pass through a fine sieve. of ammonium, may be used in the same mixture, and A Case of Acetanilid Habit.this also applies to acid salts, such as the hypophos
G. W. Gaines writes in the New Orleans Medical ana phites or acid phosphates. The vegetable expectorants, as ipecac, senega, squill, and sanguinaria, are entirely Surgical Journal that some four years ago acetanilid compatible with heroin and its hydrochloride.
was prescribed for a negro adult suffering from rheu
matism. He found that he was relieved by its adminisNew Sophistications of Pepper.
tration, but on leaving off the medicine for a few days
the pain returned. So he began taking it constantly As everybody knows, pepper is one of the most com
each day. Now he uses two ounces each week, and has monly adulterated substances. It is often difficult, in
been doing this for some months. It is not stated deed, to get a pure article. A writer in the Pharm. Post
whether the man suffers any ill effects of his habit. reports having seen specimens of powdered pepper adulterated with juniper berries, millet seed, and maize. Aromatic Spirit of Ammonia.These sophistications may be detected without the aid
Do you persist in following the U. S. P. method and of the microscope, the author says, by carefully sifting
as a result find the customary large quantity of preinto various portions. As a rule, the coarser part will cipitate upon the filter? asks John P. Williams. “If contain, besides the pepper hulls, the coarser element of
you would avoid all that, keep the two solutions apart the adulterant, which may be distinguished from the
for twelve hours in a cool place, then mix by slowly darker pepper hulls. Besides these adulterants, there pouring one into the other. Practically no precipitate has recently been employed also the oil-cake left after
will result." expressing the oil from poppy seed. This sophistication may also be readily detected by the sifting process. Thymol Containing Borax.–
A large firm was recently compelled to return to a Cleaning of Mortars.
prominent chemical house thirty pounds of supposedly A very effective means of cleaning mortars is the fol- pure thymol because it was found to contain a considerlowing (Pharm. Post): A small quantity of potassium able proportion of borax. It seems that this impurity is bichromate in fine powder is cautiously mixed with suf- quite frequently found in thymol, particularly that made ficient sulphuric acid to make a thin mass, and this mix- . in Germany.
BOTANY and MATERIA MEDICA After the first cutting the plant must be left untouched
for three years, in which time it reaches its full growth Monthly review by OLIVER A. FARWELL.
again. A plantation once well started requires compara
tively little attention, as the plant is very hardy; but A New Gutta-percha.
at the beginning great care must be taken to protect the
small sprouts from the sun. This is done by placing The English acting consul for Zanzibar reports the
shades of straw or strong grass over each plant on the discovery of a new gutta - percha (Scientific American).
side where the afternoon sun falls. It is better to water The substance is derived from a tree which grows prin
the plants when they are young, but this is not absocipally at Dunga. When tapped with a knife a white
lutely necessary if there is the average amount of rain. fluid emanates, which, when placed in boiling water,
“Yerba should always be planted in wooded land. coagulates into a substance which in character bears a
is claimed that by cultivation a much better article of very striking resemblance to gutta-percha. As the material cools it becomes exceedingly hard, but while soft yerba can be produced and the tea will bring a higher it can be molded into any required shape. The fruit
of price. I am told the managers expect from 20 to 30 per
cent on the money invested. It is a business that is the tree resembles a peach in shape, but grows to the
bound to increase, as the supply in the Yerbales will give size of a small melon. Experts have experimented with
out in time, while the consumption is continually inthis new product to see if it in any way possesses the
creasing:"-Consular Reports. qualities of gutta - percha, and although it is not expected to prove equal to the genuine article, it is con- Decayed Wood as a Source of Yellow Fever.sidered that it will be quite suitable for some purposes
Dr. W. J. Clarke calls attention (Louisville Journal of for which gutta-percha is at present utilized, and it will
Medicine and Surgery) to an old theory that the rotting thus become a marketable article. It is said to abound
of wet wood is a cause of yellow fever. In support of in Zanzibar, and will be a very cheap product.
this idea the author refers to an outbreak of that disease Yerba Mate Cultivated in Paraguay.
at Shreveport coincident with the alternate wetting and
drying during the hot weather of a huge raft, and ceasConsul J. N. Ruffin reports to the State Department ing when the raft disappeared. A rotten condition of that a stock company has been organized for the purpose the wood pavement at Memphis is said by him to have of cultivating this plant. In the River Plata countries
coincided with an outbreak of yellow fever there. Anthe consumption of tea made from the leaves of this
other epidemic in Florida, having hibernated at Plant shrub is enormous, and Consul Ruffin thinks the culti- City, jumped to Jacksonville and extended to a small vation of the plant, Ilex Paraguaiensis St. Hil., will be- place about thirty miles west thereof in the pine woods, come a paying industry. The company has a paid-up presumably a most unsuitable focus. A government incapital of $13,000 gold or about $100,000 paper money. spector found at the latter spot that the sawmills were The following notes concerning its cultivation may be of dropping their dust in the shallow water at the edge of interest:
a pond. At Jacksonville he found the fever most preva“In the first place the seeds are passed through an lent on the east bank of the St. John's River, where the acid bath. This is necessary, because each kernel is sawmills were. At Plant City similar conditions presurrounded by a hard shell, which must be softened vailed. At Fernandina a strike of lumbermen leaving in order that the seed may sprout quickly. If planted the timber to rot at the water's edge was quickly folin its natural state, from three to four years pass before lowed by an outbreak of yellow fever. Still other the plant appears above the ground, while by preparing instances are given in support of the theory. them in this way only three or four months is required for the growth to begin.
Odor of Valerian Root.“Seeds from the male and female trees must be planted Valerian while in a living state is odorless; the chartogether to get good results. After eight or ten months, acteristic odor of valerian root is developed by drying. the plants are transplanted, and the company has to-day Professor Carles has found that the ash of the carbonized 2000 ready to be moved. These will be placed in root is rich in manganese. He states in the Journal de wooded land which has been partially cleared, and in Pharmacie that these facts suggest the presence of an four years the first crop will be ready. The mature oxydase which acts in some way on the contained hydro. plant is about twelve feet high, the branches touching carbons, alcohols, and aldehydes, and that some natural the ground. The leaves and small twigs are cut, dried manganese compound assists in the oxidation processes. over slow fires, baled, and then marketed.
In these facts the author thinks may be found the reasons “The sorting and refining is done after the arrival of why essential oil of valerian and artificial valerianates the yerba in town, so that the planter requires nothing are unfit to replace entirely the galenical preparations of in the way of machinery, with the exception of his ovens.
Mercurol in Gonorrhea.
ARRANGEMENT FOR MELTING AND BOTTLING
PETROLATUM. The chemical nature of this valuable combination of
To the Editors: mercury with nuclein was given in this department of
In the November issue of the BULLETIN OF PHARthe Bulletin for September, 1899. Since that time its
MACY (pagė 473) is a note telling about the construction therapeutic virtues have been put to the test, and much
of a convenient can to be used for melting petrolatum information concerning it has been published. Quite and drawing it off by a faucet. According to the note recently Guiteras (the London Lancet) has used it in
any large shipping can will do and can be roughly fitted 100 cases of gonorrhea. In these cases a two-per-cent
with a faucet. Now this will make a rough, leaky joint solution of mercurol was ordered which the patients
at best. There is also great risk of overheating the solwere directed to inject three times a day, after mic
dered joints, making them spread, and allowing the turition; the injection to be held within the urethra
petrolatum to spill and possibly catch fire and do great for five minutes at each operation. The clinical re
damage. This can be overcome by constructing a waterports of the cases show that frequently in two days jacketed tank as follows: after beginning the use of mercurol, gonococci could
Take two cans of such size as will allow one to set no longer be found in the discharge. The author dis
inside the other, leaving an inch space all around. The cusses at some length the value of the term “practically inner can must not rest on the bottom of the outer can. cured," and sums up his argument by saying that to
Four V-shaped legs of extra heavy tin, soldered near the draw conclusions of value we should consider only cases
corners of the bottom of the inner can before the faucet that have been under treatment for three or more weeks, is permanently put in place, will support the weight and omitting those making but a few visits. On this basis
maintain a space between the bottoms of the two cans. he eliminates all but sixty-five cases from his report, and
Thus you will have a space all around the can. Pass a tabulates these as follows: Ten of the cases, or 15 per faucet from the inner can outward through the outer can cent, were cured in four weeks; fifteen cases, or 23 per and have a perfectly tight joint. The faucet will then cent, were cured in six weeks; twenty cases, or 30 per cent,
be fastened in each can. Fill the intervening space were “practically cured,” as there was no discharge,
with water; when this is heated to boiling the petrothough there were some shreds in the urine at the
latum will melt very rapidly. After melting, let it stand end of from four to eight weeks. Among the obser
a few minutes to allow the dirt, which by unavoidable vations made by the author in the hundred cases were
accident seems to be always present, to settle, and then these, that mercurol quickly destroys the gonococcus,
you may draw off the liquid. lessens the severity of the inflammation, and tends to
FRANK B. Styles. prevent the development of complications.
Hempstead, L. I., N. Y. comparative study of the different methods of treating gonorrhea the author concludes that treatment with
WORM POWDERS. mercurol is an advance beyond the older methods with
To the Editors: balsamics and astringent injections.
I submit a formula for worm powders which, I believe, Quinine Lygosinate.
is an excellent one: This new compound of quinine, for which very power
5 grains. ful antiseptic properties are claimed, is obtained by the
Powdered rhubarb...... action of quinine hydrochloride on lygosinate of sodium
Compound licorice powder.... 2 drachms. (Chemist and Druggist). It is a fine orange - yellow
Mix and make into twelve powders. One powder is to be powder, with a faint aromatic odor, almost insoluble in
taken three times daily. water, but more readily soluble in oil or alcohol. It is
T. A. MAJOR. used especially for antiseptic dressings.
EAGERLY WAITS FOR IT! A pure active hemoglobin associated with most im
To the Publisher: portant salts and albuminous constituents of the blood. It is odorless, and it is claimed to be absolutely free journals, the Bulletin is the one I wait for eagerly each
I want to say that although I take two other drug from all decomposition products, and therefore can be
time. I consider it "head and shoulders" above the kept for a long time unchanged. It dissolves in cold
rest! water, leaving a dark-red liquid. It is recommended for
VINCENT BENEDICT. use in all forms of anemia.
Grand Rapids, Mich.
praise. The present work on inorganic chemistry, like that on the organic compounds which was re
viewed in the BULLETIN for last January, is widely Students' Edition: A Practical Treatise of Materia Medica and
used on both sides of the Atlantic, and is known to Therapeutics. With Special Reference to the Clinical Applica
every student of the science. As the above presentation tion of Drugs. By John V. Shoemaker, M.D., LL.D., Professor of Materia Medica, Pharmacology, Therapeutics, and
of the contents of its title-page indicates, this is the fifth Clinical Medicine, and Clinical Professor of Diseases of the
American from the tenth German edition. It has been Skin, in the Medico-Chirurgical College of Philadelphia. Fifth brought carefully up to the present: additions have been Edition, Thoroughly Revised. 6% x 9% inches. Pages vii- made relating to the general properties and the meas770. Extra cloth, $4.00, net; sheep, $4.75, net. Philadelphia: urement of gases, to the atmosphere and the interesting F. A. Davis Co.
constituents lately observed in it, to the theory of dilute One feature of Shoemaker's Materia Medica and solutions and electrolytic dissociation, to the electrolysis Therapeutics has always afforded much satisfaction to of salts, etc., etc. the writer, and that is its comprehensiveness. When Preceding the separate consideration of the inorganic looking for information upon some preparation, perhaps elements there are valuable short chapters on such not in general use, it has frequently happened that a things as are very necessary for the student to know number of text - books were consulted, and in many
and comprehend before passing on to the study proper instances without avail. Turning to “Shoemaker,” of inorganic chemistry—i.e.
, “physics and chemistry,” however, it has just as frequently happened that the “physical and chemical phenomena,” “chemical eleinformation sought would be found there, in its proper ments,” “principle of the indestructibility of matter," place.
“principle of conservation of energy," "constitution of The volume that lies before us, known as the Students' matter,” “the atomic theory,”
matter," "the atomic theory," "chemical equations," Edition, is one of two independent issues of the fifth "conditions of chemical action," etc., etc. These introedition of this well known work. The other the ductory chapters prepare the student for understanding Physicians' Edition-will shortly appear. The Students' the science by making him to comprehend the principles Edition includes only the description of drugs and prep
which underlie it. So far as the character of the teacharations official in the pharmacopoeias of the United ing given in the book is concerned, it is worthy of States and Great Britain, with some of their chemical especial note that the relations existing between fact modifications. The doses in the text are given in the and theory have been brought out prominently. As is decimal system, with the English equivalent in paren
well known, these, in most text - books, are considered thesis. A general index and a clinical index of liberal apart, as if having but little in common; whereas the proportions are provided, and should facilitate ready very opposite is the truth. To have experiments accureference. However, the use of full-face type to make rately described and carefully performed, with a view to the names of diseases more conspicuous would be an drawing conclusions from them and proving the intimate improvement in future editions.
connection between these results and the theories based The descriptions are clear, succinct, and well sus- upon them, is obviously preferable to their separate tained by frequent references to standard authorities. Study; and the large and continued demand for RichThe sections relating to the physiological action of ter's book may be correctly considered, we believe, drugs are not as formidable as they might appear; in as evidence of a general approval of his inductive fact, there is a noticeable absence of that confusion methods. of statement and conflict of views which has proved a stumbling-block to many a student of therapeutics and
The annual diaries, respectively, of The Chemist and materia medica. This book should prove a useful addi
Druggist, and The British and Colonial Druggist, have tion to the library of the student of either pharmacy or
again made their appearance. As usual, they contain, medicine.
besides the diary proper, a large fund of miscellaneous
information pertinent to the needs of British pharmaVictor von Richter's Text-book of Inorganic Chemistry. Edited cists; and both books will prore, as have their predeby Prof. H. Klinger, of the University of Koenigsberg;
cessors, of great practical usefulness to the readers of Authorized American Translation by Edgar F. Smith, Pro
the two journals. fessor of Chemistry in the University of Pennsylvania. Fifth American from the Tenth German Edition. With Sixty-eight Illustrations on Wood, and a Colored Lithographic Plate of For a weekly journal which epitomizes everything of Spectro. 429 pages; cloth; $1.75. Philadelphia: P. Blakis- importance going on in the worlds of politics, literature, ton's Son & Co.
art, science, and religion, no journal excels The Literary The chemistries of the eminent Richter are so well Digest. It fills the whole field, and in a concise and inknown as scarcely to need mention, and much less teresting fashion,