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Full text of "The American Journal of Pharmacy 1861-01: Vol 33"

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JANUARY, 1861. 


By Epwarp Parris anp C. Bakes, 

The legitimate enterprise of our progressive age, heightened 
by the competition resulting from the overcrowding of educated 
pharmaceutists in large cities, continually exhibits itself in 
‘some new phase of practice, sometimes destined to be perma- 
nently incorporated into the arcana of the profession, but often 
too ephemeral to deserve more than a passing nOtice. As the 
dress and address of our remote ancestry will occasionally loom 
up amid the ever-changing fashions of modern society, so do we 
occasionally find the almost forgotten institutions of by-gone 
pharmacy frequently dressed in the popular guise of new 

In the present essay, we propose to describe some rare prepa- 
rations now called for in Philadelphia. Though they may 
seem to readers in other localities of too trivial importance to 
occupy @ position in the Journal, we are sure they will not be 
without their use in this particular pharmaceutical centre. 


In the last century, the practice was not unfrequently resorted 
to, of coating freshly made pills with silver or gold-leaf, and in 
some of the long established pharmaceutical stores in London, 
facilities are always at hand for finishing pills in this way, when 
in request. Some very particular people of the old school oc- 
casionally bring an ancient recipe, at the foot of which is writ- 



ten deaurentur pilule, meaning, let the pills be gilt, and might 
not be satisfied with a less spiendid surface than that of the 
gilded pill. 

With us, the demard has become quite frequent of late for 
silver and gold coated pills, several eminent practitioners pre- 
scribing this elegant finish, and we have acquired some ex- 
perience in the manipulation. 

The above represents an apparatus we have had turned to 
order from hard wood for use in this process. In rolling the 
pills, care is taken to use no dusting powder of any kind, and 
to have them moderately damp, otherwise we moisten them with 
a little syrup, and then introduce them into the hollow sphere 
along with the requisite quantity of silver or gold leaf; a rapid 
motion is now given to the globe, and in a few seconds the pills 
are removed wjth a clear and bright coating. One dozen pills 
of average size, require one sheet of foil, and larger numbers in 
the same proportion. Some difficulty is experienced in giving 
a handsome coating to pills of Quevenne’s Metallic Iron, on ac- 
count of their black color ; this can only be obviated by the use 
of a larger proportion of foil, which may be objectionable as in- 
terfering with their solubility notwithstanding its extreme 

The taste of the pills is of course disguised in proportion to 
the completeness of the coating; in dispensing, no powder is 
necessary, the tendency to adhere to each other being ob- 

Some of the old recipes direct to use a gallipot laid against 
the palm of the hand, for coating pills with the foil. We have 
found two porcelain capsules fitted to each other, the opening 
at the lips being covered by the thumb, to serve a very good 
purpose ; but there is a decided saving in the use of an appara- 
tus as above figured, any portion of the foil not adhering to one 
-charge of pills will be ready for the next, besides the advantage 
which is gained by the leverage of the handle. 


In what is here said, we have ventured no opinion! upon the 
effect of this treatment upon the solubility and consequent 
activity of pills. We learn from a physician who has prescribed 
them, that the conclusion often hastily drawn against their 
eligibility is not borne out by experience. Another remark 
needs to be made; not only is the quality of the foil important 
with reference to the lustre of the coating, but Dutch metal, 
which is so often substituted for gold foil, is quite unsuitable 
from containing copper and zine. 

For sugar-coating, our apparatus offers facilities over some 
other contrivances ; the sugar being triturated with gum arabic 
into a dust-fine powder, and introduced into the spheres, can be 
readily transferred to the moistened pills, but we believe there 
is no good way of giving the desirable surface to these 
« dragees’’ without the application of carefully regulated heat. 


The mode of dispensing pills has sometimes an importance 
which is overlooked by pharmaceutists. In England, the prac- 
tice obtains among those who cater to the taste of the wealthy, 
of sending out pills in vials, which are regularly made and sold 
by the dealers in Druggists’ Sundries, of the proper sizes for one, 
two, or three dozen pills ; these have cork stoppers capped with 
turned tops of satin or box-wood, and are certainly well adapt- 
ed to the purpose, especially where.pills are deliquescent, or have 
a special tendency to become dry and hard. The construction 
of pill boxes has especially engaged our attention of late, 
from observing the rather unsightly, though otherwise superior 
description imported from Germany. Improving upon them in 
style, we have adopted the same mode of construction, and have 

produced a very superior pill box, such as is shown in the 
oY) drawing. Instead of the top and bottom 
piece being as in the common kind, cut out of 
such size as to fit into the cylinder, constitu- 
ting the sides of the box, they are so large as to extend over 
its edge, on which they are secured by a margin of fancy paper 
covering the projecting ridge. Every pharmaceutist of experi- 
ence must have noticed how often pill boxes are returned with 


the bottom or top, or both, loosened and sometimes lost, to the 
great annoyance of the purchaser, and requiring a new box 
with every renewal of the prescription; this is obviated by the 
use of the box now described. A flat shape is not without ad- 
vantage, being convenient for the waistcoat pocket, and allow- 
ing ample space on the top for labelling, which the somewhat 
lengthy directions occasionally required. 


Jellies made of fixed oils, have the advantage of diminishing the 
adhesion of these to the mouth, which is the most disagreeable 
property of this class of remedies. Cod-liver and castor oil jellies, 
as patented by Queru, of New York, enjoy a large sale, and 
are much prescribed by physicians ; without interfering with this 
patent, the physician may prescribe jellies of any of the fixed 
oils or of copaiva, by a recipe somewhat like the following : 

Take of The fixed oil, an ounce. 
Honey, ‘ 
Syrup, of each, half a fluid ounce. 
Powdered gum arabic, two drachms. 
Russian isinglass, forty grains. 
Orange flower water, six fluid drachms. 

Dissolve the isinglass by the aid of heat, in half an ounce of 
the orange flower water, replacing the water as it evaporates. 
Triturate the other ingredients with the remainder of the orange 
flower water, into a homogeneous mass in a warmed mortar, 
then form an emulsion by adding the solution of isinglass, stir 
as it cools and set aside to gelatinize. 

This is an opaque emulsion, but possesses all the advantages 
of this form of preparation. The flavoring ingredient may be 
changed to suit the taste, bearing in mind the ascertained fact 
that the bitter almond flavor most completely disguises that of 
cod liver, and perhaps of most other oils. 


The wafer is a preparation rarely used in this country, but 
much employed abroad for enveloping doses of medicine, espe- 


cially in the form of powder. We have met with no recipe for 
its preparation in any of the works on pharmacy, and have 
heretofore obtained only those imported from France. 

In the absence of any directions in the books, we have 
adopted the following process with complete success : 

Two sad-irons are warmed to a temperature at which they may 
be touched without burning the fingers, not so hot as to occasion 
a globule of water to run off when thrown on the level surface. 
One of the irons is maintained at a slightly increased temperature 
by inverting it over the gas furnace; a very little oil of almonds 
or butter, on a fragment of cotton cloth, is now rubbed over the 
surface of each iron. A portion of the finest wheaten flour, 
mixed with water into a smooth batter or thin paste, is now 
poured on the inverted iron, and the other iron is immediately 
pressed firmly upon it. After a minute or two the wafer is re- 
moved and trimmed into shape. The French wafers are cut 
into circular disks of about 24 inches diameter, which appears to 
be done by the use of annular steel punches. We think the 
square wafer possesses some advantage for enveloping powders 
and pills, by folding the corners into the centre. In using the 

wafer, it is to be moistened by dipping into a tumbler of water, 
laid on the palm of the hand, the powder or pill dropped in the 
centre, the edges folded over it, when it may be swallowed like 
an oyster, without tasting its contents. 


‘«« Machine-made Suppositories,” of elegant quality and finish, 
made of cocoa butter, with a variety of medicinal ingredients, 
have lately been introduced in this city, and have led to enquiries 
among our pharmaceutists as to the best arrangements for pro- 
ducing them. 

To what has been already published by A. B. Taylor, vol. xxiv. 
p- 211 of this Journal, and in Parrish’s Pharmacy, second edit. 
p- 611, we mayeadd a few practical suggestions, the result of 
recent experience in this manipulation. The consistence of cocoa 
butter alone is not well adapted to the preparation of an elegant 
and firm suppository. It is a good basis when combined with a 
harder and rather less fusible material. We have found wax, in 


the proportion of one part to five of the cocoa butter, to answer 
a very good purpose. 

The use of metallic moulds for making suppositories, though 
no doubt convenient and readily obtained at moderate expense 
from syringe makers, is quite unnecessary, as the paper cone is 
convenient, always accessible, and may be adapted to any size 
_ required. Perhaps the most suitable weight for a suppository is 
25 grains, and there seems no advantage in departing from this 
standard for ordinary purposes. They are readily introduced 
when much larger, as indicated in the prescriptions of Drs. Pan- 
coast and S. W. Mitchell, published in the paper already referred 
to; but on the other hand, they are perhaps equally efficacious 
when still smaller, the butter of cocoa being merely used as a 
vehicle, to be increased or diminished at pleasure. The object 
in having this preparation of an uniform size is to facilitate the 
construction of the paper moulds, which, when a suppository of 
25 grains is prescribed, may be made as follows: 

A piece of very stout glazed paper is cut up into oblong pieces, 
2} inches long by 14 wide, and rolled into a cone, which should 
be 1§ inches long and half an inch at the base; the free end 
of the paper is secured by a tip of sealing wax, and at the ex- 
treme point of the cone an eighth of an inch is clipped off, and 
the opening sealed up. The object is next to arrange these 
cones with the open end in a proper position to be filled with 
ingredients; this is conveniently done in a shallow vessel of 
flaxseed— sand is objectionable from its liability, if accidentally 
thrown into the cone, to produce irritation when the supposi- 
tory is applied. The butter of cocoa and wax should be melted 
by a gentle heat, and then the active ingredients added and con- 
stantly stirred until it begins to chill, then poured into the paper 
cones and set aside to harden. The paper should not be removed 
from the suppository until it has become thoroughly hardened, 
and by this means it will acquire a clear, polished surface. The 
time required to prepare a dozen or more suppositories is from 
half an hour to an hour; the physician should be reminded in 
advance that they cannot be furnished without some little 

a | 
| | 


By Joun M. 

It may be considered the duty of the American pharmaceu. 
tist and physician to explore the bountiful flora of our continent, 
and among the numberless plants indigenous to this hemisphere, 
to search for new remedies, which may tend to fill a place 
hitherto vacant, or which may answer as a substitute for more 
costly exotics. In this connection we shall have to turn our 
attention likewise to those plants which, though indigenous to 
foreign countries, have gradually become naturalized to our soil 
and climate, and grow to perfection without any cultivating 
care being bestowed upon them. The great variety of soil in 
a country, stretching from the coast of the Mexican Gulf where 
the very word of cold is scarcely known, far to the Northern 
boundaries, where winter reigns supreme for nearly one half of 
every year, ought to enable us to procure a home for most of 
the valuable trees, shrubs and plants, no matter whether they 
require a barren or rich, a dry or moist, a low or hilly or rocky 
ground. If more general attention had been paid to this matter, 
we might doubtless now count among our naturalized plants 
many which are of indispensable necessity. 

It cannot be denied, that besides, or probably with, such plants 
as are used for food or in the arts, for culinary or ornamental 
purposes, a number of weeds have been introduced, which in 
some instances have become a nuisance to farms and gardens, 
and cannot now be extirpated. If possible, we ought to turn 
such weeds to some use, and it is with this object in view I now 
desire to call attention to an European plant. 

Chelidonium majus, Lin., (English, celandine ; French, grande 
éclair or chelidoine; German, Schgllkraut, Schwalbenkraut ; 
Spanish, Celidonia mayor) belongs to the natural order Papa- 
veracez, and to the Linnean class and order Polyandria, Mono- 
gynia. It is a perennial plant, indigenous to the southern and 
middle sections of Europe, and extensively naturalized in the 
northern and middle States of the Union, where it grows in 
waste places, among rubbish, along hedges, fences and walls. 

The root consists of a cylindric or conical caudex, about one 
inch to an inch and a half in length, of the thickness of a quill 


to the size of a finger, frequently hollow or channelled by the 
rotting away of one side, when growing in rather moist places ; 
it is but slightly branched, except at the lower end, where it is 
divided into numerous fibres, $ to 2 lines thick, and frequently 
6 to 8 inches in length. When the root has been dried, it is 
fragile, longitudinally rugose, the caudex of a dirty brown, in- 
ternally bright red and white, the fibres of a brownish orange, 
and internally of a whitish color. It is inodorous, and possesses 
a taste, which is at first bitter and slightly mucilaginous, after- 
wards persistently acrid and biting. The stem is erect, about 
two feet high, dichotomously branched above, somewhat pilose. 
The alternate leaves grow from four to five inches in length, are 
glaucous beneath, slightly pilose, and pseudopinnate ; the late- 
ral segments—usually four in number—are ovate, obtuse, un- 
equally and obtusely incised-serrate, and mostly confluent at the 
principal midrib; the terminal segment is cuneate-obovate and 
frequently three-lobed, with the lobes obtusely incised. The 
flowers occur in umbels of 4 to &, terminating the solitary 
peduncles, which grow in the axils of, or opposite to the leaves ; 
the pedicels are bracteate at the base. The calyx consists of 
two caducous sepals, which are nearly ovate and pilose exter- 
nally. The four petals are elliptic, entire and yellow. The 
capsule resembles a pod, is about an inch long and one-tenth of 
an inch broad, sublinear, swelling somewhat into ridges, one- 
celled, and opens at maturity by two valves from the base. The 
numerous roundish-oblong seeds are of a brown or brownish 
black color, shining, bear an elevated ridge and are affixed to 
two marginal placente. 

Celandine begins to tlower in May and to ripen the first fruit 
about July, but continues to bear fruit and flowers until October. 
The whole plant abounds in an orange colored juice, which 
exudes from it when wounded. The herb requires some careful 
attention while drying, to prevent it from turning black; when 
fresh it possesses a nauseous odor, but is inodorous after drying ; 
it resembles the root in taste, which is first bitterish and some- 
what mucilaginous, afterwards acrid and biting. The seeds pos- 
sess an oily taste, free from acrimony. 

In this plant we meet with some of the same constituents that 
are found in one of our own American plants, which is held in con- 


siderable repute in regular and domestic practice, and which 
belong to the same natural order as celandine. The following 
comprises the chemical history of the latter plant : 

Chevallier and Lassaigne subjected, in 1817, the juice to 
chemical analysis, but although they supposed the presence of 
an alkaloid, they were unable to isolate it; among the inorganic 
constituents they found organic limesalts, phosphate of lime, 
nitrate of potassa and chloride of potassium; also albumen. 
No better results were obtained by Godefroy in 1824, who sup- 
posed the acrid principle to be volatilized on distilling with 
water. The analysis of Dr. Probst, of Heidelberg, published 
in 1838, is still the most complete one which we possess of the 
various parts of celandine. 

He proved the presence of chelidonina, chelerythrina, cheli- 
donic acid, and a yellow coloring matter, chelidoxanthin. The 
largest amount of the first three bodies he found in the root. 
40 pounds of the fresh herb yielded him but one grain of cheli- 
donina, which is the bitter alkaloid, and crystallizes best in a 
free state from a solution in acetic acid. Chelidonic acid re- 
sembles citric acid in its behaviour to limesalts. Chelerythrina 
is the acrid alkaloid of celandine, and was discovered by the 
same chemist in 1840, likewise in the root of Glaucium luteum, 
another p{paveraceous plant, and announced by him as identical 
with sanguinarina, discovered by Dana. The identity of these 
two alkaloids was proven by elementary analysis, by Dr. James 
Schiel, of St. Louis, in 1855. 

Chelidoxanthin is precipitated by acetate of lead together 
with chelidonic acid, and after decomposition by sulphuretted 
hydrogen the latter is dissolved by water, the former extracted 
from the sulphide of lead by hot alcohol; it has a very bitter 
taste, and, according to Probst, probably imparts to the flowers 
- their yellow color. 

Other analyses by Leo Meyer, John, Polex.and Reuling agree 
in their main results withthe above, though they were generally 
not so successful. Lerch found free malic acid and the largest 
proportion of chelidonic acid at the time of flowering. He as- 
certained in 1847 that it is a tribasic acid, of the composition 
3HO, C,, H, O,, + 2Aq; the monobasic salts are of a lemon 
yellow color, only those with the alkalies are readily soluble in 
water and crystallizable. 


Of the various analyses of chelerythrina or sanguinarina, the 
latest is by Dr. Schiel, and probably the most correct one; he 
found C,, H,, NO,. The composition of chelidonina has been 
given as C,, H,, N, O,. 

The latest discovery of a new constituent has been made 
by Zwenger, who isolated a new strong organic acid, chelidoninic 
acid, of the composition C,, H,, 0, The plant it appears, 
therefore, has the following composition: Chelidonina, chelery- 
thrina (sanguinarina), chelidonic, chelidoninic and malic acid, 
chelidoxanthin, albumen, phosphate of lime, nitrate of potassa, 
chloride of potassium ; probably, also, an acrid volatile principle, 
which is dissipated by drying. 

To judge from the composition, celandine ought to possess 
some valuable remedial properties, and indeed it has been held 
in high repute in Europe for many centuries, and is officinal in 
most of the European Pharmacopeias. Although the root ap- 
pears to contain the largest proportion of the alkaloids and some 
of the acids, and though the root and flowers have been occa- 
sionally employed, still the flowering herb is the part usually 
ordered by the Pharmacopeias. It is gathered during the 
months of May and June and carefully dried. 

According to Orfila’s experiments on animals, celandine be- 
longs to the acrid poisons, while in its fresh state, but is more 
harmless after drying. It is then regarded to contain resolvent, 
diuretic, diaphoretic and laxative properties, to possess a pecu- 
liar action on the liver, the uterine and hemorrhoidal vessels, 
and in larger doses to exert the influence of the pure acrid 
remedies in general. It has, therefore, been highly recommended 
in jaundice and other chronic diseases of the liver, in uterine 
and hemorrhoidal disorders, and in certain dropsical, scrofulous 
and venereal affections. Externally it has been employed in some 
diseases of the eye, in various swellings and pussy gatherings, 
and the fresh juice against warts, after they have been previ- 
ously somewhat cut off. 

Only the extract has been admitted as an officinal preparation 
in the various Pharmacopeias. Most of them prepare it of the 
consistence of a stiff extract ; that of Bavaria gives the follow- 
ing directions: The fresh herb is bruised in a stone mortar 
with a wooden pestle, and expressed ; the residue is digested 



with some water, at a temperature ranging between 70 and 75° 
C. (158 to 167° F.) for half an hour or an hour, and then ex- 
pressed. The mixed liquor is evaporated in a steam bath to a 
syrupy consistence, then mixed with an equal weight of alcohol, 
and after 24 hours strained. The residue is again macerated 
with one fourth of alcohol of -900 spec. grav. and expressed. 

‘After filtration, the liquor is evaporated with constant stir- 
ring to the consistency of a pill mass. Thus prepared it is of 
dark brown color, and yields with water or diluted alcohol an 
almost clear solution; it may be given in doses of from 5 to 15 
grains twice or thrice a day. 

Rademacher employed a tinctura chelidonii, prepared by di- 
gesting the fresh herb with its own weight of alcohol, and 
employed it in doses of from 15 to 30 drops, two, three or four 
times a day. 

It is frequently prescribed with ammonia, assafoetida, tarax- 
ucum, rhubarb, ox-gall, conium, soap, and preparations of anti- 
mony and mercury. A favorite prescription of some physicians 
of my acquaintance has been: Powdered rhubarb and chloride 
of ammonium, of each one drachm, extract of celandine two 
drachms; to be made into 120 pills, of which from 3 to 6 are 
given twice or three times a day. 

Philadelphia, Dee. 4th, 1860. 

By Procter, Jr. 

It is well known that this preparation is now largely employed 
by the public as an external application for bruises, and notwith- 
standing the contempt with which its powers have been spoken 
of by eminent members of the medical profession it has 
gradually gained ground among practitioners of medicine and 
‘may now be considered as among the probable novelties of the 
revised edition of the U. S. Pharmacopceia :— 

In view of this probability it is desirable that a recipe should 
be adopted that will merit in all respects the confidence of the 
physician. Various formulas have been published in which the 
strength varies from two to four ounces to the pint, with men- 
strua ranging from diluted alcohol to alcohol of 95 per cent. 

The points to be accomplished in the successful preparation 
of this tincture are that, being for external application, it should 


bestrong; next that the menstruum used should be the right solvent 
for the principles to be extracted ; and lastly, that it should not 
be so alcoholic as to evaporate too rapidly, or to be too stimula- 
ting. The following recipe which I have used for many years, 
was adopted by the revisional committee of the Philadelphia 
College of Pharmacy, and is worthy of attention. 
Take of Arnica Flowers, six ounces, 


Water, of each a sufficient quantity. 

Mix three parts of alcohol -835, with one of water, and 
having sprinkled the flowers with a small portion to prevent 
dust, bruise them thoroughly until fit for percolation, then pack 
the arnica in a percolator, and pour on the menstruum so that 
it shall pass slowly until two pints of tincture are obtained. 

This tincture has a dark greenish brown hue, quite different 
from that made with alcohol alone, a decided odor of the drug, 
and its activity in full, as I had occasion to learn from the acci- 
dental swallowing of a teaspoonful of it by a lady, who took it 
instead of Warner’s cordial—the symptoms of poisoning (as 
stated by the authorities) being rapidly manifested. 

By Wm. R. Warner. 

It has occurred to me that the pharmaceutist is illy supplied 
with cheap and efficient means of conducting many processes 
and operations which it would appear to be his duty to per- 
form. We rely upon the manufacturer for the supply of prep- 
arations which the pharmaceutist should prepare himself, if not 
as a duty, at least as a matter of pecuniary interest or pastime. 
But the want of appropriate apparatus within our reach, well 
adapted to our purposes, falls greatly in the way of officinal 
manufacturing ; such as may properly belong to the scope of 
ordinary shop duties. While we believe there is a great defi- 
ciency in these aids, there is much room for improvement in pro- 
cesses and the means of conducting them, and proportionably as 
we can avail ourselves of these facilities we are able to perform 
our work better. It certainly detracts from our scientific claims 
if the necessities of the case do not stimulate invention to re- 
lieve our wants, whilst ingenious manufacturers prompted by 
the demand, exert themselves to invent apparatus and discover 






processes to create a supply. I am not prepared to censure the 
manufacturer who thus subserves wants which our own ingenuity 
should supply, because he is prompted only by pecuniary interest, 
as has too often been done. It is true that we do not labor under 
the same necessities as the great Davy, Dalton and others, to 
make use of cups, vials and tobacco pipes, etc., but we must ac- 
knowledge a deficiency of such certain means as I have alluded 
to; we must charge ourselves with a want of ingenuity and ne- 
glect of interest; and if we cannot see our interests involved, or 
are not impelled by the many obvious reasons to do so, we are 
not scientific pharmaceutists, but mere merchants. 

With these preliminary remarks I will claim the attention of 
the reader to two pieces of apparatus which in my hands have 
proved highly efficient and useful. The first is designed for fil- 
tering fixed oils ; the second, for condensing vapors in the distilla- 
tion of watery, alcoholic or ethereal liquids. 

The oil filter consists of an upper cy- 
lindrical tinned iron vessel A, about 22 
inches high and ten inches in diameter, 
with a flanch rim soldered on the bot- 
tom, of rather less diameter, and about 
an inch wide, so as to fit firmly into the 
open top of another cylindrical tin ves- 
sel of the same diameter and eighteen 
inches high. The upper vessel is fur- 
nished with a lid, and with an L shaped 
tube and stop cock ¢ which penetrates 
the side close to the bottom and fits 
into another tube d at e which tube 
opens into the lower vessel close to its 
bottom, and is secured to the side of 
B by a strong tubular stay. 

The filtering medium is a cone of 
hat-felt, projecting upwards from near 
q the bottom of the lower vessel. The 

me manner in which this important part 
St AU of the apparatus is arranged is as fol- 

lows: just above the bottom on the in- 

side a tinned iron ring of the same diameter as the inside of 
the vessel, an inch wide and s quarter of an inch thick, is securely 


soldered to the sides forming a projecting ledge about three quar- 
ters of an inch above the bottom. The ring is penetrated with 
six holes, with threads cut in them, in which fit pointed 
thumb-screws with shoulders. On this ring fits a similar tinned 
iron ring of slightly less diameter furnished with correspond- 
ing holes of such size that the thumb-screws pass easily through 
them as far as the shoulders which thus are capable of binding 
the two rings closely together, when screwed down. The 
felt filter having been cut to the diameter of the vessel, is 
slipped down so as to rest evenly upon the lower ring ; the upper 
ring is then placed upon it carefully so as to avoid any overlap- 
ping of the felt ; and then the points of the thumb-screws being 
pushed through the felt are securely screwed into the lower ring 
which binds the rings so closely as to make a tight joint. The 
lower vessel is also provided with a stop-cock at f to draw off 
the filtered oil when it has accumulated sufficiently. 

The apparatus is used in the following manner. The stop 
cock ¢ being closed, the upper vessel is fitted in its place, 
and the tube joint e rendered tight by wrapping twice around 
it a strip of isinglass plaster well moistened. When this is dry, 
the upper vessel is filled with the crude oil, and the stop-cock e¢ 
opened that the oil may flow into the open space below the filter. 
To facilitate the passage of the oil, the apparatus should be sup- 
ported above a stove, or other source of heat, so that its tem- 
perature may rise to 120 degrees; and in the case of castor oil 
this is really necessary owing to its consistence. As the filtered 
oil accumulates in B, it should be drawn off, as any large amount 
greatly retards the process by decreasing the force of the col- 
umn bearing on the filter. The fact that the filtration occurs 
from below upward is esteemed an advantage as the tendency of 
the impurities is to settle away from the filtering surface and not 
to accumulate upon and clog it. 

An instrument of this size properly attended should filter a 
barrel of oil in a day with ease, and the whole arrangement is 
so symmetrical that it may stand in the shop without offending 
the sight or interfering with other operations. The oil may 
be drawn from the vessel B directly into bottles if desired, or by 
means of a gum tube drawn over the mouth of the cock it may 
be conveyed into any large receptacle placed near it. 

Believing that the utility of an efficient and convenient ap- 



paratus to facilitate the filtration of fixed oils, syrups and viscid 
solutions would be readily acknowledged, and would fill a desider- 
atum arising from the necessity for such an arrangement, has led 
me to this effort to supply it. We have had hitherto no arrange- 
ments or apparatus well adapted to our wants in this respect, and 
the simple filter bag or Hippocrates’ sleeve, though good enough for 
some purposes, is as primitive as the name might suggest, and 
has been mostly the only means employed by wholesale dealers 
and others, some of whom have several apartments for the filter- 
ing of castor oil, and extensive arrangements for heating in order 
to render more fluid the oils which are filtering in these apartments. 

The invention which I have endeavored to illustrate embraces 
the essential ideas of filtration upwards, the employment of 
the law of liquid pressure, and the application of heat to increase 
fluidity of substances filtering, the importance of all of which 
I think is apparent and requires no comment. 

Some eight years since Prof. Procter invented an apparatus, 
as he informs me, for filtering oils, which embraced the principle 
of upward filtration, of this arrangement, but none of its other 

The entire exclusion of dust, which the exposed oils so 
readily catch, is effected, and the oxidation of them from pro- 
tracted and tedious filtering by the ordinary method, are all 
prevented by this apparatus. 

The Condenser (or ‘jack in 
the box,” as our smith calls it) 
¥ is especially applicable to the 
condensation of alcoholic va- 
pors. It consists of a square 
tinned iron box of twice the 
height of its diameter with a 
canister like flanch and lid at 
the top. A few inches below 
the top is a diaphragm of tinned 
iron soldered in diagonally so 
as to be lower at one corner 
than at the other three. At 
this lowest corner a vertical 
tube is eoldered in the dia- 
phragm which descends in that 



corner of the box nearly to a lower diaphragm. Between this 
diaphragm and the upper one the space is separated into two 
equal parts by a series of transverse, partial partitions or plates, 
meeting alternately at acute angles within an inch of the oppo- 
site sides of the box, so as to separate the water for condensing, 
which passes down through the tube and gradually fills one side, 
from the condensing surface and space for the vapor which en- 
ters at a conical neck ¢ just below the upper diaphragm. The 
condensed liquid escapes below the lower diaphragm at the side 
opposite from the neck. As the number of zigzag plates may 
be increased, the amount of condensing surface may — be 
greatly increased, and to render the action of the apparatus 
yet more efficient, a series of plates are soldered to the side pene- 
trated by the neck so as to extend into the condensing spaces, 
but not to reach the partitions, and thus compel the vapor to 
take a zigzag course from a to 6 as indicated by the arrows, in 
which it is brought into contact with every part of the conden- 
sing surface. As the cold water reaches the lower surfaces first, 
and the water in contact with the upper surfaces gets heated 
most, it follows that in its descent the vapor will meet with sur- 
faces increasingly cold until they are effectively reduced to the 
liquid state and run out at the exit d. The hot water escapes 
at c, and by admitting a strong current of cold water at f the 
amount of condensing power is really surprising. 

This apparatus is not unsightly, occupies but a small space, 
and may be lacquered or painted, which to some extent will pro- 
mote radiation of heat from outer surfaces. The thin conduct- 
ing material of which it is constructed admits of rapid trans- 
mission of heat from surface to surface. Its essential merit is 
its condensing power, which I will illustrate as follows: 

If this condenser be 24 inches high, and 12 by 18 in diameters, 
with twenty four 12 inch partitions, (occupying in all slightly 
more than two cubic feet), it will give a condensing surface of 
28 square feet ; or 4032 square inches. Now compare this with 
the ordinary worm condenser of one inch diameter, and 72 feet 
long, 6 feet coil and 4 inches fall; filling a space 3 by 5 feet will 
give but 2592 square inches. It is therefore apparent that this 
apparatus, occupying slightly more than two cubic feet, is capa- 
ble of doing the work of a worm 112 feet long. In conclusion 

i 4 


I will state, that by attaching the apparatus to a hydrant by a 
caoutchouc tube, and the opening d to a large receptacle, a large 
operation may be performed without any attention to the conden- 
sing arrangement after it is set fairly at work. 

Philad. Dec. 10th, 1860. 

By J. M. Maiscu. 

That adulterators are everywhere busily engaged in the 
sophistication of many articles of daily use, is well known, and 
this business will continue to be a profitable one so long as the 
purchaser prefers to rely on other people’s assertions, instead 
of examining for himself,and thus becoming convinced of the 
purity of the article which he may wish to buy. This nefari- 
ous business is not confined to America, as will be admitted by 
all who are in some measure acquainted with the commerce in 
foreign countries ; and if a proof was demanded, we may simply 
point to the journals, whose columns occasionally take notice of 
some gross fraud. The object of these publications is obvious, 
to put the buyer on his guard, and make him acquainted with 
the various substances used for adulteration. If every one 
would spend a few moments in chemically investigating a 
newly bought article, return the same if adulterated, and re- 
port to some influential journal the results, a more effectual 
stop would be put to sophistication than could be effected by 
the most stringent laws. 

The paper by J. Attfield, copied on page 361 of the Ameri- 
Journal of Pharmacy, 1860, is a very interesting one. I 
was, indeed, surprised at the extent of the sophistication of 
carmine by chrome red and vermillion, carried on or counte- 
- nanced by leading drug establishments of London; though it 
cannot be justified, it is possible that the specimens examined 
were the low-priced commercial varieties. 

Within the last ten years, I have examined a number of 
finer qualities of carmine occurring in our commerce ; the test 
employed by me was treatment with cold liquor ammonia, 
which will dissolve pure carmine. This test I believe to be 
sufficient for all practical purposes, In most instances I found 




the carmine to be perfectly soluble ; but as I do not know from 
what manufacturers the article had been obtained at different 
times, I cannot say to what extent its sophistication is practised 
among us. 

Lately, the residue from two ounces of carmine No. 40, left 
after treatment with ammonia, was handed me for examination. 
It settled upon the filter to a stiff mass, which, with great diffi- 
culty, was deprived of nearly all its color and weighed, after 
drying, 500 grs. It was free of lead and mercury, insoluble in 
cold water, soluble in hot water and gelatinized on cooling. A 
solution of iodine produced a deep blue color, and when incin- 
erated in a crucible, it left a charcoal which burned with diffi- 
culty leaving 4 per cent. of ashes. The carmine was adulter- 
ated with about 57-14 per cent. of starch. 

It appears from this, that our sophisticators understand their 
business better than their London brethren; the latter employ 
some coloring matter which is at least worth some trifle per 
ounce, while the former manufacture for the same amount of 
money from } to 4 Ibs. of carmine. 

Philadelphia, Dee. 10, 1860. 

By Wittram Procter, JR. 

Under this caption a preparation was introduced into use in 
this city many years ago, by the late Dr. Physic, which was 
made from cider, iron filings, orange peel, and ginger, and is 
yet kept by several apothecaries : 

If we are rightly informed, this preparation was first made 
by Frederick Brown of this city. The kind of cider proper for 
this purpose, is that known as hard cider, a strong cider deci- 
dedly acid from the presence of malic acid. 

The following is the recipe: 

Take of Iron filings, three ounces. 

Ginger, bruised, 

Gentian bruised, each an ounce. 
Orange peel bruised, half an ounce. 
Strong old cider, a pint. 






Macerate in a bottle loosely corked, for two weeks or longer, 
then express and filter for use. 

A reaction occurs between the iron filings and the acid of the 
cider, resulting in the formation of malate, and perhaps some 
acetate of protoxide of iron, with the evolution of hydrogen 
gas, which swells up the ingredients, and requires that the mas- 
ceration should be conducted in a bottle of twice the capacity 
of the ingredients. 

This preparation has a dark almost black color, very bitter 
aromatic taste, and is a good, though not an elegant chalybeate, 
in the dose of a teaspoonful. 


(Hubbell’s Recipe.) 

For some time past, Mr. O. S. Hubbell, of Philad., has pre- 
pared a « Bitter Wine of Iron,”’ which has been much prescribed 
by several physicians. The peculiarity of this preparation is, 
that it consists of iron and cinchona, and yet is free from any 
inky taste or appearance, is perfectly transparent, of a light 
brown color, not very different from that of sherry wine, and a 

bitter, not disagreeable taste. 

The label claims for it the presence of citrate of the mag- 
netic oxide of iron, as the ferruginous ingredient. 

On applying to Mr. Hubbell for the recipe for publication, he 
freely gave me sufficient data with which to make the following 
formula : 

Take Citrate (of magnetic oxide) of Iron, 128 grains. 
Precipitated éxtract of Calisaya bark, 256 grains. 
White wine (sherry), a pint, 

Curagao (the best), five fluid ounces and a third. 

Dissolve the precipitated extract of bark in the wine by aid 
of a sufficient quantity of citric acid, then add the citrate of 
iron, filter the solution, and add to it the Curacao and mix. 

The precipitated extract of bark employed by Mr. Hubbell 
is not the commercial extract, or yet that of Wetherill, or of 
Ellis, but is made by himself, by a process based on that of 
Mr. Herring, of London, for the manufacture of quinine. 

Any quantity of Calisaya bark is treated with a solution of 


caustic soda, (2 parts to 100 of water,) until it has removed the 
coloring matter, kinic and tannic acids and extractive matters. 
The residue is washed with water, dried, and extracted with al- 
cohol till exhausted, and the alcohol distilled off so as to obtain 
an extract. The extract consists almost wholly of quinia and 
cinchonia, and is free from tannin, and though not soluble in 
wine alone, becomes so by aid of citric acid. 

The dose of this preparation is a teaspoonful. 

Now it must be apparent to any one who reflects on what 
occurs in the preparation of this extract, that there is nothing 
medicinal in it except quinia and cinchona. If so, why not use 
the officinal salts of these bases in the proportion that they 
occur on the average in Calisaya bark, which is about five of 
quinia to one of cinchonia, making a due allowance for -inert 
matter present ? 

As regards the quantity of these salts that should be em- 
ployed in such a substitution, it could only be determined by an 
analytical examination of the Extractitself. If Ellis’s Precip- 
itated Extract of Calisaya will not blacken the persalts of 
Iron it may very properly be used instead of the Extract of 
Mr. Hubbell by Herring’s process, but of its quality in this re- 
spect I am not aware. 

A wine of citrate of iron and quinia, made by dissolving 16 
to 24 grains of citrate of iron and quinia, in a fluid ounce 
of sherry wine, has been prepared by several apothecaries ; 
and in the last edition of Parrish’s Pharmacy a formula for 
Bitter Wine of Iron is found, analogous to that of Hubbell’s, 
Ellis’s Precipitated Extract of Calisaya being employed. 

By Jno. M. Marsca. 

The superiority of iron reduced by hydrogen consists in its 
fine division, its ready solubility even in weak acids and its 
purity, particularly in the absence of sulphur and carbon, which 
evolve sulphuretted or carburetted hydrogen, when the prepara- 
tion is submitted to the influence of diluted acids. These gases 
are of course likewise evolved on the introduction of the iron 



into the stomach, and cause unpleasant eructations accompanied 
by the disagreeable odor of the gaseous compounds. For the 
above reasons, iron reduced by hydrogen has been admitted into 
various Pharmacopeeias, and the iron filings and iron powdered 
by mechanical means, is now with us, for internal exhibition, 
entirely discontinued. 

It would appear to be of great importance to have this 
powder in a pure state; the difficulties which are connecied 
with its preparation are such as to prevent nearly all our 
pharmaceutists from making it for their own use, and to rely on 
the products as furnished by the manufacturing chemists, 
Magnus’ test for this reduced iron (Am. Jour. Pharm. 1859, 
255) to apply a lighted match, when it should readily burn to 
the sesquioxide, is sufficient to distinguish it from ordinary 
powdered iron, and it may likewise be considered a test for its 
entire reduction, if it ignites readily and burns rapidly, until 
the whole mass is converted to the oxide of a uniform reddish 
brown color. But even this behaviour will not prove its abso- 
late purity, as will be shown below. . 

A sample of reduced iron of a rather black color induced me 
to procure various samples of this preparation, none of which 
were entirely soluble in diluted hydrochloric acid, some even re- 
quiring prolonged digestion in nitromuriatic acid ; but all ignited 
by a match more or less readily, and burned partly or wholly to 
products from a brownish black to a reddish brown color. Of the 
eight samples which I thus examined, the origin of three could 
be ascertained, and I concluded to ascertain their purity by 
analysis. They were all free from lead, copper, zinc and 
similar metals. 

No. 1 was of American manufacture, possessed a rather black 
color, which appeared brownish gray when a small quantity 
_was rubbed upon white paper ; it ignited with some difficulty 
by a lighted match, and burned slowly and incompietely, 
yielding a product, a portion of which had a reddish black 
color, while the remainder was apparently unaltered and could 
not be ignited. It dissolved partly in cold and heated muria- 
tic and nitric acid, entirely in cold nitromuriatic acid by pro- 
longed contact, but instantly when heated; another portion 
from the same bottle, however, dissolved with less facility in 


the heated acid; the evolved hydrogen had the odor of sul- 
phuretted hydrogen and turned sugar of lead paper black. 

No. 2 of American make had a blackish grey color, some- 
what lighter when rubbed on white paper; it ignited with 
great facility and burned rapidly, yielding a product of a pur- 
plish black, with a small portion of the original color, the 
latter. igniting as soon as touched with the match. Cold and 
boiling nitric and hydrochloric acids dissolved a portion ; nitro- 
muriatic acid when cold, did not dissolve all, but after some 
boiling yielded a perfectly clear solution. The gas evolved from 
digesting it with diluted sulphuric acid had a slight odor of 
carburetted hydrogen and was free from sulphhydric acid. 

No. 8 of French origin had a grey color, lighter than No. 
2, and appeared similar to'it when rubbed or paper ; it ignited 
very readily and burned rapidiy and entirely to a dull reddish 
brown oxide. It was but partly soluble in cold or boiling 
muriatic, nitric and nitro-muriatic acid, but dissolved in the 
latter by repeated boiling with fresh portions. The gas, 
evolved by diluted sulphuric acid, had a strong odor of car- 
buretted hydrogen and likewise contained some sulphuretted 

Ten grs. of each of the three specimens were dissolved in ni- 
tromuriatic acid, evaporated to near dryness, redissolved in 
water and precipitated by ammonia ; the precipitate was well 
washed, dried, incinerated and weighed, after deducting the 
ashes of the filter. Ten grs. of each specimen were subjected 
to red heat, repeatedly moistened with nitric acid and heated, 
until they ceased to gain weight. The results were as follows : 

No. 1. No. 2. No. 3. 
Weight of Fe, O, by precipitation 11-8 12-75 12-8 grains. 

“ heating 11-55 126 12:9 « 

The sesquioxide of iron obtained from 10 grs. of pure iron, 
ought to have weighed 14-286 grs. whereby a deficiency of 
2-486, 1-586 and 1-486 grs. respectively is shown. The pre- 
cipitated and incinerated oxide of iron as obtained above, is 
equivalent to 8-26, 8-89 and 8-96 grs. of pure iron; if the small 
percentage of carbon and sulphur be neglected, or rather caleu- 
lated as oxygen not entirely removed, the specimens would con- 
tain 1-74, 1-11 and 1-04 grs. O. If this oxygen was retained 



as the magnetic oxide FeO + Fe, O,, the specimens contain of 
this compound 6-3075, 4-024 and 3-77 grs. consequently an 
available amount of uncombined iron of 3-6925, 5-976 and 6-23 
grs. These last calculations are not quite exact, because the 
sulphur and carbon, although their amount is small, ought to 
have been deducted from the oxygen, whereby the magnetic ox- 
ide would have been lessened and the iron slightly increased. 
Taking everything together, No. 2 is to be preferred, as yielding 
the least odorous gas on dissolving, and nearly the largest per- 
centage of pure iron. 

But it will be seen, that if the above samples fairly represent 
the reduced iron in our market, we are far from having it as 
pure as it ought to be. The sulphur is easily accounted for by 
negligent washing of the precipitated oxide of iron; but where 
does the carbon come from? Professor Weehler states that the 
hydrogen evolved from iron and sulphuric acid, may be employ- 
ed for deoxidation without disadvantage, it yielding a product 
quite as pure as when evolved from zine; the carbon, therefore, 
could scarcely have any other origin but the dust, which cannot 
probably be effectually excluded from the oxide during the pro- 
cess of washing, when made on the large scale. 

The presence of sulphur, however, is more objectionable even 
than a small percentage of carbon, and the manufacturers will 
therefore have to turn their attention to the careful washing out 
of the sulphates, or else prepare the oxide in a manner where 
such a contamination is impossible. 

In this connection, it may be well to again direct atten- 
tion to the researches of Weehler, as published in the Amer. 
Jour. Pharm. 1856, 139. His method for obtaining a pure 
sesquioxide is unobjectionable, at least so far as the result 
is concerned ; and as the oxalate of iron yields pure iron ina 
current of hydrogen at a lower temperature than any other pre- 
_ paration, this may be of special usefulness. The quantity of the 
ferrous oxalate will be increased, if, instead of oxalic acid, the ox- 
alate of soda is employed for precipitation, but a careful washing 
willthen be indispensable. The increase of cost by the use of 
oxalic acid or an oxalate, I should suppose, ought to be counter- 
balanced by the less trouble and the easier reduction, conse- 
quentlyby a purer preparation and an increased yield. 

Philadelphia, Dec. 1860. 

By Dr. G. C. Wirtstern. 
The following eight alkaloids have until the present time been 
found in opium : | 

Formula. Equiv. 

H,, 285 

Morphia Cs, 

Narcotina C,, 427 

Thebaina (Paramorphia) NO, 3il 

Narceina C,,.H,,NO, be 463 

Pseudomorphia C,,H,NO, 241 
Opiania Cue N,0,, 628 
Papaverina C.H,,NO, 339 

I have obtained from opium an organic body of basic proper- 
ties, differing from the eight just named, and which is there- 
fore the ninth alkaloid. Being in its behaviour nearest allied to 
morphia, I propose for it the name of metamorphia, which would 
be even more justified, if it could be proved, that the alkaloid is 
a product of decomposition of morphia. 

Mr. Scharf, pharmaceutist in Munich, attempted to prepare 
morphia by Mohr’s method with lime from the residue of 
laudanum, but hesitated to dispense the product, as it was not 
precipitated by ammonia from its solution in acids. The dirty 
yellow needles, rather less than a drachm, were handed to me 
about two years ago, but not until last summer did I find time 
for investigation. By recrystallization and drying, 35 grs. of 
fine white silky needles, resembling wavellite, were obtained ; 
they were free of lime and consisted of the hydrochlorate. 

They were dissolved by two parts of boiling water, 25 p. water 
at ordinary temperature ; the solution is neutral, and has a strong 
and purely bitter taste. 90 per cent. alcohol dissolves at 
ordinary temperature wat the boiling point half of the salt, 

which is insoluble in ether. The salt is rapidly and completely 
dissolved by alkalies and their carbonates, colored blue, some- 
what greyish, by sesquichloride of iron, and dirty red when 
heated with concentrated sulphuric acid. The solution produces 
a reddish yellow flocculent precipitate with terchloride of gold, 
a light yellow flocculent precipitate with bichloride of platinum, 

| | 


both soluble in water, a white flocculent precipitate with bi- 
chloride of mercury, and a yellowish white turbidity with 
tannic acid. 

5 grs. of the air dry salt, after heating to 100° C. weighed 
4-422 grs. and yielded 2-125 grs. AgCl, equivalent to -525 grs. 
Cl and to -540 grs. HCl, or 12-211 per cent. Supposing the 
salt to be anhydrous, its equivalent weight must be 262, or, with 
the exception of pseudomorphia, lower than any other opium- 

The alkaloid cannot be separated by macerating the hydro- 
chlorate with an excess of carbonate of silver; but it was ob- 
tained free by precipitating exactly with sulphate of silver, and 
macerating the precipitate with carbonate of baryta; the aque- 
ous mother-liquor contained traces of the alkaloid with some 
baryta, apparently a combination of both. The alkaloid was 
extracted from the residue by alcohol, and after evaporation 
obtained in hard, flat prisms, aggregated in star-like groups. 
15 grs. of the air-dry salt yielded nearly 8 grs. 

Rapidly heated, the crystals fuse to a colorless liquid, which 
turns brown and black, and evolves alkaline vapors ; when slowly 
heated, the crystals become opaque at 100° ©. (212° F.), 
greyish-brown at about 130° ©. (266° F.) and are blackish-brown 
at 225° C. (437° F.), and fusion takes place at a still higher tem- 
perature. The alkaloid dissolves in about 6000 parts of cold, 
and 70 parts of boiling water, in 9 parts of boiling and 330 parts 
of cold 90 per cent. alcohol; this latter solution possesses a 
sharp bitter taste and a slight alkaline reaction. It is insolu- 
ble in ether, rapidly soluble in potassa, somewhat less in am- 
monia ; also in alkaline carbonates, particularly when aided by 

Concentrated sulphuric acid produces a faint and transient 
coloration, and a. solution possessing a faint greyish-brown 
tint. Nitric acid of 1-33 sp. gr. instantly colors the alkaloid 
orange red, and dissolves it with a yellow color. A concen- 
trated solution of iodic acid added to the aqueous solution of 
the alkaloid, gradually causes a yellowish color and a purplish 
color to starchpaper suspealed above it. The aqueous solution 
is not disturbed by sesquichloride of iron, is soon rendered tur- 
bid and greyish-black by nitrate of silver, and produces with 



terchloride of gold gradually a yellowish turbidity (not a blue 
solution like the aqueous solution of morphia) increasing to a 
brownish flocculent precipitate. 

It will be seen that the new alkaloid has some reactions in 
common with morphia, codeina and pseudemorphia. An ele- 
mentary analysis could not be made, owing to the insufficiency 
of the remaining pure salt.— Wittst. V. Schr. ix. 481-489. 

J. M. M. 

By Dr. 

From the inaugural dissertation of the author, as published 
in Buchner’s N. Repert. 1860, 289-299, we make the following 
extracts : 

The non-reduction by mannite of an alkaline solution of 
oxide of copper, is the best test for the purity of the former; 
this has been observed by Berthelot, who, however, does not 
mention the behaviour of mannitan to such a solution. Mannitan 
was prepared by passing dry hydrochloric acid into mannite 
suspended in alcohol, until a brown solution had been effected ; 
it was heated, neutralized with carbonate of lead, evaporated, 
exhausted with strong alcohol, re-evaporated, and after redissolv 
ing in alcohol, treated with animal charcoal, filtered and evapo- 
rated to a syrupy consistence. Diluted and concentrated solu- 
tions of this mannitan deoxidize the copper solution. 

100 grms. chemically pure mannite, dissolved in 250 grms. 
water and heated slightly with 250 grms. nitric acid of 1-32 sp. 
gr., did not separate any mucic acid on cooling, which will be 
formed if the mannite has not been entirely purified from the 
mucilaginous body of manna. By diluting with water and 
digesting for twenty-four hours at 60° C. (140° F.), the sac- 
charic acid is destroyed, and after half neutralizing with potassa 
and evaporating, only nitrate and binoxalate together with some 
acid saccharate of potassa, crystallized out, but no bitartrate. 
Experiments with 300 and 500 grms. had the same result. 

But inasmuch as tartaric acid, according to Liebig, appears 
to be formed from saccharic acid, it is possible to obtain the 
former by operating on a large quantity of mannite. 



If platina-black is made into a paste with a concentrated 
solution of mannite, the mixture assumes at a moderate heat, 
after several days, a peculiar odor, resembling valerianic acid ; 
in oxygen, carbonic and acetic acids are formed; but by active 
oxygen, a fixed acid is produced which yields a precipitate 
with acetate of lead, and was isolated as a brown amorphous 

One part of mannite was distilled with 30 p. water, 1 p. sul- 
phuric acid and 1 p. binoxide of manganese; the distillate con- 
tained acroleine and formic acid; carbonic acid is likewise 

The mucilage of manna was obtained by repeatedly dissolv- 
ing it in water and precipitating by strong alcohol ; the precipi- 
tate with acetate of lead has the composition 3PbO, C,,H,,0,, ; 
the formula of the mucilage agrees with Leuchtweiss’s results, 
who calculated C,H,O;. By diluted nitric acid, mucic acid 
was obtained which has the same composition as that analyzed 
by Liebig, which was obtained from gum arabic. Bouillon- 
Lagrange obtained the mucic acid from the mucilage of manna 
as early as 1819, (Ann. de Chim. et de Phys. iv. 10); but it is 
interesting that it may be obtained also from other compounds 
than carbohydrates. 

The sugar which remains in the alcoholic mother liquids 
cannot readily be obtained free from mannite ; but it seems to 
be identical with grape-sugar, for it is crystalline ; its solution 
deviates polarized light to the right, is readily fermentable by 
yeast, reduces alkaline solution of copper in the cold, and turns 
to a yellowish-brown color, when heated with caustic soda. 

J. M. M. 


Canella alba, Murr., growing in the West Indies, is supposed to 
be the origin of the Canella alba of commerce, and Wintera 
aromatica, Murr. s. Drymis winteri, Forst., of Patagonia, the 
plant yielding the commercial Winter’s bark. On account of 
their similarity, the former has been sometimes called Cortex 
Winteranus spurius, and both have been frequently mistaken 
for one another. 


Weissbecker (N. Jahrb. f. Ph. xiii. 224), has investigated 
the anatomy of both barks as occurring in commerce, and found, 
that if they are not parts of the same plant, they must be derived 
from very similar plants belonging to the same natural order. 
He likewise subjected to microscopic investigation the bark of a 
branch, from four to six years old, with the leaves and flowers of 
Drymis winteri, and found its structure to be entirely different 
from that of the commercial Winter’s bark. 

Professor Schenk, of Wiirzburg, examined the bark of a 
stem of Canella alba, Murr., and ascertained that it has no re- 
semblance with the bark of Drymis winteri examined by 
Weissbecker. From these investigations, it is to be concluded, 
that the commercial Canella alba and Cortex winteranus are 
neither derived from Canella alba, Murr., or Drymis winteri, 
Forst., but that the plant yielding them is yet to be discovered. 
— Wittst. V. Sehr. ix. 576, 577. J. M. M. 

By P. L. Stumonps, F.S.S. 7 

The principal article of export from the Ottoman Archipelago 
is sponge. Within the last few years the number of boats em- 
ployed in the fishery has increased a third, while the number of 
men has nearly doubled. Average number of -boats employed 
by each island in the sponge fishery :— 

Islands. Formerly. 

As there are seven men to each boat, the number of men 
employed now is 4200, against 2960 formerly. Of the 600 
boats employed in 1858, 70 fished on the coasts of Rhodes, 150 
on the coasts of Candia, 180 on the coasts of Syria, and 200 on 
the coasts of Barbary. 

In 1858. 
Total. 380 600 


The island of Calymnos is the chief of the sponge-fishing 
islands in the Ottoman Archipelago. The sponge-fishing grounds 
are on the coasts of Candia, Syria, and Barbary. The average 
depth at which sponges are found is thirty fathoms; those of an 
inferior quality are found at lesser depths. The sponge-fishing 
boats in the island of Calymnos amount to 260, employing 1600 
men and boys. These boats, called scafi, are on an average six 
tons each, carrying from six to seven, and sometimes eight men, 
of whom two are rowers. 

The proceeds of the sponge are divided into shares, the divers 
receiving a whole share, and the rowers two-thirds of a share. 
The diver, who goes head-foremost into the water, takes with 
him a triangular-shaped stone, to which a strong line is tied to 
a hole in one of its corners, to assist him in his descent, and to 
direct him, like a rudder, to any particular spot. 

On reaching the bottom, he tears off a number of sponges 
from the rock, gives a pull at the line, when he and the sponges 
in his arms are drawn up by the rowers. A good diver will 
make from eight to ten dives during the day. 

The sponge is covered with a thin, tough, black cuticle, in- 
side of which there is a white liquid like milk, and of the same 
consistence. The sponge in this state presents a very different 
appearance to what it does when freed from these extraneous 
substances. The annual value of the sponges taken by the 
Calymniotes amounts to about £25,000. The finest are sent to 
Great Britain, the common and coarser to France, Austria, and 

There are nineteen boats, employing 120 divers, engaged in 
the fishery from Castel Rosso. But the sponge-fishery there is 
declining, as the natives find it more profitable to engage them. 
selves as seamen in the regular trading vessels. The amount 
derived from sponges is calculated at about £2500 a year, the 
half of what it was a few years ago. 

The only article of export from the island of Astropalia is 
sponge, to the value of about £1500 a year. There are twelve 
sponge-fishing boats, with 100 divers. During the months of 
May to September, only very old men, women and children, are 
to be found on the island of Symi; all the able-bodied part of 
the male population being at this season at the sponge-fishery. 


One hundred and ninety boats are employed in it, with nearly 
1500 men. The merchants of the island usually go themselves 
to Marseilles, or Trieste, in their own vessels, of which they 
now possess eighteen, of from 100 to 300 tons, to sell the 
sponges fished by their countrymen, to the value of about 
£15,000 a year, bringing back from those places various ar- 
ticles, part of which they send to the neighboring islands. 

The sponge-fishing on the coast of Latakia is carried on 
during three or four months, according to the weather. A small 
fleet of sponge-fishing-boats, of from fifteen to twenty tons, 
manned each by six or ten hands, including the divers, are daily 
occupied in this severe but successful commercial pursuit. 

Sponges exported from the port of Rhodes :— 

1856. 1857. 


Quantity. | Value. Quantity. | Value. 

ewts. £ cwts. £ 
302 34,872 294 51,282 
1100 25,385 1195 24,974 
333 4,487 393 479 , 

The sponge-fishery on the coast of Rhodes, which had gra- 
dually diminished to a few boats, was actively resumed in 1858, 
seventy boats having gone there for the purpose, when the 
Governor-General immediately established a duty of twenty per 

cent. on all sponges taken on the coast; but, upon the divers 
threatening to go elsewhere, the duty was commuted for a fixed 
sum of £3 on each boat. 

A duty of twenty per cent. is levied on all sponges taken on 
the coasts of Candia; but the divers are gradually leaving that 
island for the coasts of Barbary, where no duty is exacted, 
although their boats have to be carried there in vessels, and 
brought back in them to their respective islands, at a great 
expense; whereas, they could proceed to Candia in their boats 
themselves. It is not so much of the duty itself that these 
poor people complain, as of its irregular and rapacious manner 
of exaction. 

The inhabitants of the island of Halki, who are active, hardy 
and enterprising, occupy themselves almost entirely in the 
sponge-fishery, which was doubled within the last ten years. 

| | 
i | 


They send out annually sixty boats to it, manned with 450 
divers. The export of sponges is calculated to reach about 
£8000 annually. They pay an export duty of one per cent. 
The Tiliotes, (island of Piskopi,) who only began a few years 
ago to fish for sponges, have already four boats for the purpose, 
with thirty divers. From the active, enterprising character of 
these people, there is no doubt that this branch of commerce 
will increase, 

About 9000 okes of fine sponges are annually exported to 
Great Britain from the different islands. The sponges are of 
three qualities,—viz., fine, common and coarse. In the fine 
sponges there is but one in ten of the first or superior quality ; 
the rest are of a second or inferior fine quality. In the common 
sponges there is one in four of a first quality ; the rest are of a 
second common quality. In the coarse, one-half are of a first 
quality, and the other half of a second coarse quality. Thus 
it will be seen that the fine, common and coarse kinds of sponges 
may be divided into two qualities each. Formerly the divers 
used to sell their spomges by weight, to increase which they put 
sand in them, a practice which they still continue, though now 
sold by quantity. 

The following are the market prices, and the value, in round 
numbers, of the sponges sold during five years :— 

Prices per Oke of 2s |b. Value of each quality sold. 
Fine. |Common.} Coarse. Fine. |Common.} Coarse. | Total. 

Piastres.| Piastres.| Piastres. £ £ £ £ 

1854 200 40 28 30,000 | 20,000 4000 54,000 
1855 220 40 40 33,000 | 22,000 5000 60,000 
1856 300 60 35 35.000 | 25,500 4500 65,000 
1857 300 65 35 51,000 | 25,000 5000 81,000 
1858 325 100 30 35,000 | 50,000 5000 90,000 

Of the sponges purchased in these islands, about two-thirds 
of the fine, one-quarter of the common, and one-quarter of the 
coarse (all of the first qualities), are sent to London ; half of 
the best common quality to France (none of the other qualities 
are imported to that country); one eighth of the fine, and one- 
eight of the common, and many of the coarse (all second quali- 
ty), to Trieste. The refuse of the fine, common, and coarse 




sponges are sent to Constantinople. Lately, a few good fine 
sponges have been sent to the United States of America. 

The prices of the fine sponges were from twenty-five to thirty 
per cent., and those of the common thirty to thirty-five per cent. 
cent. dearer in 1858 than in former years. This increase was 
owing to the competition of the many European sponge mer- 
chants, who had come there latterly, in person, to make their 
purchases. 2745 cases and sacks of sponge, valued at 4,105,600 
piastres, were shipped from Smyrna in 1857. 

The fisheries of the Gulf of Volo (Thessaly) form a source of 
local wealth. Sponges of the best quality are annually taken 
to the value of £2000. 

The following figures from the official returns show the total 
quantities and value of Turkey sponge imported during six 

years. It is received principally through the four channels of 

France, Greece, Turkey Proper, and Austrian Italy, and some- 
times from Malta and Egypt. We shall take another oppor- 
tunity to speak of the more common Bahamas and American 
sponge. It may be added that the average computed or official 
value is no fair criterion of price. There has, however, been a 
steady advance in price of late years. In 1854 the computed 
or official value was 68. 3d. per pound ; in 1858, 11s. 3d.; but 
the selling price of the best is 21s. per pound. 
Imports of sponge into the United Kingdom :— 
Quantity lbs. Value £ 

London Pharm. Journ. Dec. 1860, from the Technologist. 


Professor Malapert, of Poitiers, places in the midst of his 
filters, in the pulp of the paper, a disc of cloth which increases 
its solidity. The operation of filtering is slower but more sure. 
The new filter is approved by the Society of Pharmacy of Paris, 
and is considered to fulfil all the conditions required for delicate 
chemical experiments. It contains no lime or iron, and only a 
trace of chlorine.—London Pharm. Jour. Dec. 1, 1860. 




For some years past, great anxiety has been experienced in 
this country and other parts of Europe, in consequence of the 
enormous demand for Cinchona barks, and the increasing diffi- 
culty of supplying that demand. It was feared, from the little 
consideration shown by the natives of the bark districts of Peru 
and Bolivia in felling the trees without taking any measures to 
plant others to supply the place of those thus destroyed by 
them, that a time must arrive, and that at no very distant 
period, when the supply of Cinchona bark would altogether fail. 
Hence, it became very desirable that the European Govern- 
ments possessing colonies with climates adapted for the growth 
of the Cinchonas, should endeavor to obtain supplies of seeds and 
plants of the best species, and establish them in their own pos- 

Some years since, Dr. Weddell, a most experienced botanist 
and enterprising traveller, proceeded to the Cinchona districts, 
and succeeded, by means of great energy and hardihood, in 
elucidating much that had been hitherto obscure as to the 
botanical origin of many of the barks in common use in Europe. 
At the same time he succeeded in obtaining some seeds, which 
he brought to Paris in 1848. From these seeds plants were 
afterwards raised, both in Paris and at the Horticultural So- 
ciety’s garden at Chiswick, but no attempt, to any extent at 
least, was made by Dr. Weddell or the French Government to 
acclimatize the Cinchonas in any part of the French possessions. 

A few years after Dr. Weddell’s return to Europe, the atten- 
tion of the Dutch government was directed to this important 
subject, and M. Pahud, the governor of the Dutch East Indies, 
sent a very intelligent gardener, M. Hasskarl, to Peru and 
Bolivia, for the express purpose of obtaining a supply of plants 
and seeds of the Cinchonas, for transportation to the Island of 
Java, where it is believed that a favorable soil and climate might 
be found for their successful growth. After a residence of two 
years and a half in Peru, M. Hasskar] succeeded (through the 
agency, it is said, of one Henriquez, who was imprisoned in 
Bolivia for having supplied him) in procuring about 400 plants 



of Cinchona Calisaya in a flourishing condition. These were 
forwarded from the port of Islay to Java, where they arrived 
safely in 1853, and were at once planted in the mountainous 
districts near Bandong in that island. By referring to a note 
«Cultivation of the Cinchona Trees in Java” in the present 
number of this Journal, it will be seen that the plants have now 
become firmly established there, and already begin to yield bark 
of good quality. (See page 47.) This expedition of Hasskarl’s, 
therefore, must be regarded as having becn eminently successful 
in every respect, and to the Dutch Government accordingly 
belongs the merit of having been the first to succeed, on a large 
scale, in acclimatizing the Cinchonas. 

The successful expeditions of the French and Dutch would 
appear to have forced the attention of the English East India 
Company to the importance of obtaining plants and seeds of the 
best species of Cinchona for transportation to India, where such 
could, without doubt, be readily acclimatized over extensive 
areas. Dr. Royle’s death, and the uncertainty attending even 
the existence of the Company, appear to have been the principal 
reasons why an expedition for such a purpose was not at once 
despatched from this country. Ultimately, however, in 1859, 
Mr. Clements R. Markham, one of the clerks in the India office, 
was appointed to direct such an expedition, and that gentleman 
also procured the services of Mr. Wier, a gardener, to assist him 
in his labors. 

In noticing Mr. Markham’s appointment to our readers in the 
Pharmaceutical Journal last year, we stated that he had been 
selected for that office principally on account of his knowledge 
of the country to be visited, and of his acquaintance with the 
Spanish and the language of the Indians inhabiting it. Mr. 
Markham was also admitted to be a gentleman possessing much 
courage and energy of character. With such qualifications, if 
combined, we said, with a competent knowledge of botany, he 
could scarcely fail in being successful in his endeavors. Mr. 
Markham, however, made no claim to be considered as a botan- 
ist or scientific man, and considering the importance of such a 
knowledge in the expedition in which he was about to be en- 

gaged, it certainly did strike us as somewhat remarkable that 
-he should have been selected by the English Government as the 


most suitable man to take the command of such an undertaking. 
We do not, however, blame Mr. Markham in this matter, the 
responsibility of such an appointment rests entirely with the 
Government who commissioned him. Moreover, after his ap- 
pointment, Mr. Markham applied himself for some months before 
starting to qualify himself botanically for the work in which he 
was about to be engaged. With a knowledge of all these facts 
before us, we had great hopes that the expedition would prove in 
some degree at least successful, notwithstanding the admitted 
deficiency of Mr. Markham’s botanical knowledge and skill, and 
in this we have not been disappointed, as will presently appear. 

After a time, Mr. Markham, accompanied by Mr. Weir, pro- 
ceeded on his journey, and returned from thence in June last, 
when he reported its result to the India Board. The following 
notice of this report, and extracts therefrom, are derived from 
the Gardeners’ Chronicle of August 11th, and will supply our 
readers with a short summary of the route taken by Messrs. 
Markham and Weir, and of some of the difficulties and dangers 
they had to contend with:— 

On the 12th of March of the present year Mr. Markham left 
Arequipa, a town in Southern Peru, with Mr. Weir, a gardener, 
and travelling inland arrived at the city of Puno, on the banks 
of Lake Titicaca, on the 27th, a very painful journey, over 
snowy heights 15,500 feet above the level of the sea, in the worst 
season of the year, the rigors, of which were increased by the 
debility brought on by an illness from which he had suffered at 
Arequipa, and by the sorochi, or violent headaches and sickness, 
occasioned by the great elevation of this region above the sea. 
The loftiest part of the road is several hundred feet above Mont 
Blanc. This route was taken with a view to entering from the 
north the republic of Bolivia, the head-quarters of that sort of Cin- 
chona called Calisaya ; a project which was prevented by weather 
and the unsettled state of the country. Moreover, he heard that 
the government and people were so jealous of preserving a mo- 
nopoly of the bark trade as to render it impossible for him to 
make a collection personally. These obstacles, be it observed, 
were no hindrance to either Weddell or Hasskarl. Foiled in his 
attempt to get into Bolivia, Mr. Markham struck across the 
country to a place called Sandia, on the eastern slope of the 



Cordillera, within the Peruvian frontier, which seems to have 
been his temporary head-quarters. Of the agrémens of his jour- 
ney we have such accounts as the following: 

«¢ On the road from Puno to Caravaya there were four broad and 
very rapid rivers to cross on balsas, or long bundles of reed 
stitched together, while the mules swam. The plains and moun- 
tain ranges over which the way passed averaged a height of 
12,000 to 13,000 feet above the level of the sea, and one snowy 
pass attained a height of nearly 17,000 feet. The season was 
one of violent storms, with hail and snow and constant rains. 

« Beyond the river Challuma, a tributary of the Tambopata, 
and the extreme point reached by Dr. Weddell, there is no path 
of any kind, the trees are of great height, and the ground is 
entirely choked up with creepers, fallen masses of trees and 
bushes, and tangled bamboos. In many places, the way led 
along the verge of a precipice overhanging the river, which boiled 
and surged many hundreds of feet below. Our encampments 
were made each night on any stony beach we could find where 
there was space to light a fire and pitch the tent, and all day we 
toiled and struggled through the closely-woven jungle. 

«Qn the 4th, I made a toilsome and dangerous forest jour- 
ney, along the most giddy precipices, overhanging the river, 
with no foothold but decaying leaves, nothing to grasp but 
rotten branches, every motion a drenching bath from the wet 
branches, every other step a painful and dangerous slip or fall. 

«Since leaving Sandia on April 24th up to May 15th we had 
walked over 174 miles, which may not, at first sight, appear very 
much ; but when it is considered that it was chiefly not walking, 
but scrambling on hands and knees up precipices or through 
dense forests, and that there was not one day given up to rest, 
while the supply of food was exceedingly small and precarious, 
I think it will be considered tolerably good work. 

«On the 17th of May, I left Sandia, with one Indian and 
two mules carrying the plants, and halted under a splendid 
range of frowning black cliffs, near the summit of the sn owy 
Caravaya range. On the 18th I reached the summit of the 
range, and commenced the journey over vast grass-covered plains 
covered with stiff white frost. After being 11 hours in the 
saddle, I stopped at an abandoned shepherd’s hut built of loose 



stones. The plants, well covered with the tent and blankets, 
were placed by my side during the night with the thermometer 
between us, which, at 6 A. M., was at 20°. The days and nights 
bitterly cold, but very fine, and generally cloudless. On the 

19th I was 10 hours in the saddle, and passed the night again in 
an abandoned hut with the plants beside me, where the minimum 
of the thermometer was 30°. Two more journeys of similar 
length, when the minimum’ during the night of the 21st was 
21°, and of the 22d, 16°, brought me to Vilque, where I pro- 

cured an arriero and mules to convey me to Arequipa. The 
sufferings during my six days’ journey over the lofty plains from 
Sandia to Vilque were very great. The cold was intense, the 
work I had with the vicious, unmanageable mules was a constant 
source of anxiety, and I had no food whatever beyond a little 
parched maize. Every day I was upwards of 10 hours in the 

It will be seen by the above extracts from Mr. Markham’s 
report, that he had to contend with great difficulties and dangers in 
his journey, and that he surmounted them with much energy and 
courage. Every one must admit the truth of this. Ultimately, 
he succeeded in obtaining, and conveying to Islay, 529 plants 
of Cinchonas, chiefly, he states, of that species called Calisaya. 
Of these plants, however, 73 perished by cold, or were broken, 
or otherwise injured in their passage across the region of the 
Andes; and when we consider the intense cold of that region, 
the extent of country through which the plants were conveyed 
(upwards of 300 miles,) and the otherwise difficult nature of the 
district traversed, this must be regarded as a very fair result. 
The remaining 456 plants were forwarded in Wardian cases to 
this country. These cases reached Southampton in safety, and 
it is stated that 216 plants had, on their arrival, already begun 
- to throw out shoots, while over 60 more were still alive. The 
remaining 180 plants we suppose perished on their way from 
Islay to Southampton ; and when we inform our readers that the 
cases of plants, instead of being carried directly from Islay by a 
steamer to India, which would have been by far the best mode 
of transit, were taken first to Panama, and then across the 
Isthmus, and then by way of the West Indies to England, we 
can only express our surprise that so many plants survived the 


dangers of the journey and the vicissitudes of climate, &c., to 
which they were exposed by such an indirect route. 

The plants are now on their way to India, where, should they 
arrive in a suitable condition, they will, we believe, be planted 
in the Neilgherry Hills, as this district is considered to be a 
very favorable one for the growth of the Cinchonas. Mr. Mark- 
ham has also proceeded to India for the purpose of superintend- 
ing the plants in their transit, and subsequent establishment. 
He proposes to return to this country next spring, to which 
period he has deferred the publication of his observations upon 
the Cinchona regions which he traversed, and all other particu- 
lars respecting the expedition in which he has been engaged. 

No seeds were obtained by Mr. Markham in the late expe- 
dition, as the season for collecting them had not arrived when 
he was in the bark country. Before leaving South America, 
however, he commissioned a Mr. Pritchett to look out for seeds 
for him in the more northern bark districts, and forward such 
to him ; these he hoped would reach him by the present month. 

Such being the result of Mr. Markham’s expedition, upon a 
full and impartial consideration of it in all its bearings, we can- 
not agree in the opinion which has heen expressed in some 
quarters—that it has proved almost a failure, that is, taking for 
granted that the plants obtained are chiefly those of the true 
Calisaya, which Mr. Markham states to be the case, and of the 
correctness of which we have no means of judging, and have no 
right, therefore, to call in question. 

Some errors of judgment were, no doubt, committed in the 
late expedition ; thus, we believe (and-in this belief we know. 
that we are supported by some eminent authorities), that it would 
have been better if Mr. Markham, instead of endeavoring at:the 
commencement of his journey to penetrate into Bolivia, the bark 
districts of which are jealously guarded by the Government, had 
at first explored other more accessible regions farther north, 
and then, after having succeeded in obtaining supplies of plants 
or seeds, or both, from such regions, and forwarded them to a 
safe spot, or at once home, he could have attempted to make his 
way into Bolivia to the head-quarters of the Calisayan district. 
By such a course of proceeding, Mr. Markham, would, we think, 
have saved hinself much unnecessary fatigue and danger, and 



would have succeeded more completely in his expedition. Should 
Mr. Markham, however, have taken his late route in the direc- 
tion he pursued by the advice of Dr. Weddell, which we have 
heard was the case, it must be admitted that he could not have 
gone to higher quarters for advice, and acting on such sugges- 
tions, no blame can attach to him. 

The greatest mistake of the expedition, however, was un- 
doubtedly that of the English Government, and for which Mr. 
Markham was not responsible. This was, in not directly 
chartering a steamer from Islay across the Pacific to India for 
the conveyance of the plants collected, instead of forwarding 
them at first to Panama, thence across the Isthmus, and then by 
way of the West Indies to Southampton, then, after allowing 
them to remain there for some time, to ship them to Egypt, to be 
from thence conveyed across the burning regions of the Desert 
and the Red Sea, &c., to one of the ports on the western shores 
of India. Whatever success might have attended Mr. Markham’s 
labors, such could not but be seriously imperilled by adopting such 
an indirect and dangerous route for the transportation of the plants. 

We trust, however, that notwithstanding all the difficulties 
and dangers to which the Cinchona plants have been, and will 
be, exposed, that Mr. Markham may ultimately be rewarded for 
his exertions, and the trials which he has undergone; and that 
in a few years we shall find the Cinchonas thoroughly established 
over several extensive regions in India, so that we need no 
longer have to look forward with any apprehension to the day 
when our supplies of Cinchona bark from South America must 
cease. We wish every success to Mr. Markham in his present 
journey to India, and shall be glad to have a favorable report of 
his final exertions upon his return to England.—London 
Pharmaceutical Journal, 1860, 


By M. E. Korr.* 
The dry distillation of organic matters, whether vegetable or 
animal, from the great variety of products to which it gives rise, 

* Abridged from the Moniteur Scientifique. t. ii, liv. 86. 



constitutes one of the most interesting operations of chemistry. 
The reactions to which these products owe their origin are very 
complex, and some of them have been but little studied, as in- 
deed is the case with many of the substances formed. If the 
body submitted to dry distillation could be maintained during 
the operation under uniform conditions of desiccation, tempera- 
ture and pressure, the reactions and the products would be much 
more simple. If, for example, wood be heated very slowly in 
close vessels, first to 100° C. then to 200°, 300°, and so on, 
there is at first disengaged almost pure water, then impure strong 
acetic acid, and afterwards a mixture of acetone and acetate of 
methylene; the maximum of charcoal is left as residue, and the 
least amount of tar and gas is produced, the latter consisting 
only of carbonic acid and carburetted hydrogen. 

In practice, however, when wood is distilled in cylinders of 
iron heated from the outside, the heat only penetrates to the 
interior gradually. The outside layers are therefore the first 
decomposed; they at first lose water, then furnish pyroligneous 
acid and wood-spirit, at the same time giving off carbonic acid 
and a little carburetted hydrogen. The inner layers in turn are 
similarly decomposed ; but the products as they are given off are 
brought into contact with the outer layer, already in a more 
advanced state of decomposition and at a much higher tempera- 
ture, and hence new reactions take place and new products are 
formed. Thus, the vapor of water in contact with red hot char- 
coal is decomposed, and forms carbonic acid and hydrogen ; a 
part of the carbonic acid is again decomposed by the red-hot 
carbon to form some carbonic oxide; a part of the nascent. 
hydrogen combines with carbon to form various hydrocarbons ; 
one part of the acetic acid is decomposed by the high tempera- 
ture to form acetone and carbonic acid; another part reacts on 
the wood-spirit and forms methylic acetate; a fraction of the 
wood-spirit and acetone are also decomposed, producing tarry 
matters, pyroxanthrine, oxyphemic acid, dumasine, &c. To 
these must be added the influence of certain nitrogenised bodies, 
and we can understand how all these compounds, successively 
formed under the most favorable circumstances for acting on 
one another, since they are in the nascent state, and exposed 
to a high temperature, may give rise to the formation of a great 



variety of very different compounds which will be set free either 
in the state of a permanent gas, or a condensible vapor, and 
leave fixed carbon as a residue. The same takes place whether 
wood, coal, bituminous schists, Boghead coal, ashphalte, peat, 
resin, oils or animal matters be distilled; but it is evident that 
the original composition of the material submitted to dry distil- 
lation must powerfully influence the nature and composition of 
the products. In those which like wood are rich in oxygen and 
poor in nitrogen, the pyrogenous products contain much acetic 
acid and but little ammonia, and consequently have an acid re- 
action ; on the contrary the matters containing much nitrogen, 
and but little oxygen, like coal and animal matters, give rise to 
the formation of much ammonia, and the products have an al- 
kaline reaction. 

We intend in this article to confine our attention to the pro- 
ducts obtained by the distillation and rectification of the coal 
tar from gas works. Considerable differences are noticed in the 
composition of the tar procured from different qualities of coal 
and schists, according to the rapidity with which the distillation 
has been conducted. Some tars, for instance, contain but little 
benzole and much naphthaline ; Boghead tar is rich in paraffine ; 
others contain a preponderating quantity of phenol and ben- 

Table of the Products obtained by the Distillation and Rectification of Coal Tar. 
Liquid Products. 

Solid Products. Acids. Neutral. Bases. be 

Carbon. Rosolic. Water. Ammonia. Hydrogen. 
Naphthaline. Brunolic. Essence of tar. Methylamine. Carburetted 
Paranaphtha- Phenic, or Light oiloftar. Ethylamine. hydrogen. 
line, or Phenol. Heavy oil of tar. Aniline. Bicarburetted 
Anthraceine. Acetic, Benzole. Quinoline. hydrogen. 
Paraffine. Butyric. Toluole. Picoline. Various hy- 
Chrysene. Cumole. Toluidine. drocarbides. 
Pyrene. Cymole. Lutidine. Carbonic 
Propyle. Cumidine. oxide. 
Buty le. Pyrrhol. Sulphide of 
Amyle. Petinine. carbon, 
Caproyle. Carbonic acid. 
Hexylene. Hydrosul- 
Heptylene. phuric acid. 

Whatever may be the compesition of the different kinds of tar, 



they are all submitted to distillation in order to isolate the prin- 
ciples capable of industrial application. But first of all it is 
necessary to separate the tar, as far as possible, from the ammo- 
niacal liquor which is found with it. For this purpose it is 
heated for some hours to 80° or 100° C., by which it is rendered 
more liquid, and then the water separates more easily. It is 
then allowed to cool very slowly, and the water is drawn off by 
a tap placed at thé lower part of the boiler. A certain quan- 
tity of tar obstinately.retains the water, constituting a buttery 
matter, which may be allowed to run away with the water, to 
be added afterwards to another quantity of tar, to be dehydrated 
by a fresh operation. 

Experience seems to have demonstrated that the most simple 
process, that is to say, distillation over a naked fire at the ordi- 
nary pressure, is still the most practicable and advantageous. 
As the volatile products have but little latent heat, the height 
of the still should be somewhat less than the diameter; for the 
same reason the head must be carefully protected from cold, 
and it is well to furnish the inside with a circular gutter, in 
which the products condensed in the head may be collected and 
run into the refrigerator. By this means the products are 
prevented from flowing back into the boiling tar and being de- 
composed by coming in contact with the sides of the still, which, 
especially towards the end of the operation, become very hot. 

In condensing the vapors it is necessary to observe certain 
precautions. At the beginning of the operation, when the 
lighter and more volatile oils are passing, the worm must be 
well cooled to make quite sure of the condensation. Later, 
when the heavier and less volatile products are coming over, 
the water in the refrigerator may be allowed to get heated to 
30° or 40°, and at last when the matters capable of solidifying, 
such as naphthaline and paraffine, pass, the temperature of the 
refrigerator should never be under 40°, and it may be allowed 
without inconvenience to rise to 60° or 70°. At this tempera- 
ture the products condense perfectly, but remain liquid and run 
with ease. If the refrigerator were kept quite cold during the 
whole process, it might happen towards the end that the conden- 
sing tube would become blocked up by the solidified products, 
and a dangerous explosion might ensue. 

| | 


At the beginning of the distillation the tar should not be 
allowed to boil too fast. Some distillers at this period pass a 
current of steam at 110° or 120° through the tar, to assist the 
disengagement of the more volatile oils. These in condensing 
form a limpid very fluid liquid, having the density -780, which 
gradually rises to -850; the mean density of all the products 
united is about -830. It is this which constitutes the benzine of 
commerce. It contains a great variety of compounds whose 
boiling points range from 60° to 200°. They belong princi- 
pally to the following series:—CnHn e. g. Amylene C,H; ; 
Hexylene (Oleene, Caproylene), C,H,; Heptylene (Ocnenthy- 
lene), C,H,, &. CnHn-+3 e. g. Propyle C,,H,,; Butyle C,,H,, ; 
Amyle C,,H,,, &. Cn Hn—6 e. g. Benzine, C,,H,, &e. 

When the density of the products exceeds -850°, the current 
of steam is stopped and the heat is increased. As soon as the 
temperature of the tar has risen to 200°—220°, the distillation 
recommences, and the oil condensed is found to have the sp. gr. 
-860—-900, the mean being from -880 to -885. This product 
constitutes the heavy oil of tar, and contains phenol, creosote, 
and aniline. 

Lastly, the ultimate products of the distillation, which on 
cooling become a buttery mass (or crystalline, if they contain 
much naphthaline),are set aside for the preparation of paraffine. 
They are placed in vats, which are covled, in order that the 
solid matters may separate by crystallisation. 

According to Payen, 2000 parts of rough oil or tar obtained 
by the distillation of Boghead coal furnish on rectification :— 
1208 parts light oil, density— -825 
200 « heavy oil, « = 

400 « pitch. 

The loss of 200 parts represents the gases, and the vapors 
and oils which have escaped. 2900 parts of tar from gas works 
using Boghead coal, distilled in a similar manner, yielded :— 

Water, slightly ammoniacal . ; - 168 parts. 

Light hydrocarbons, mean density . -820 480 « 

Heavy hydrocarbons ‘6 . 868 883 « 

Fatty pitch, solid when cold, liquid at 150° 1195 « 

Loss 6 percent. . So. 174 




Before rectification, the oils are agitated for an hour with 
concentrated sulphuric acid, the light with 5 and the heavy with 
10 per cent. They are then allowed to rest for 24 or 36 hours 
for the acid and impurities to deposit. The oil is then separa- 
ted and washed once or twice with water and afterwards with 
a solution of caustic soda sp. gr. 1382. For the lighter, 2 per 
cent. of the soda solution will be enough, but the heavier will 
require 6 per cent: When so purified the light oil is rectified 
by distillation with a current of steam. The condensed product 
having a mean density of -815 to -820, is the benzole of com- 

The heavy oil is distilled without the assistance of a current 
of steam. The condensed product has a mean density of -860, 
is of a clear yellowish color similar to that of Madeira wine, 
and has the disagreeable odor of sulphur compounds, formed 
by the action of the sulphuric acid. This may be destroyed by 
shaking the oil before distillation with a solution of sulphate of 
iron, or after distillation with the addition of some caustic soda 
to the sulphate of iron. A blackish deposit of sulphide of iron 
is formed and the oil loses its bad odor. 

Paraffine and the heavier mineral oils which drain from the 
paraffine are purified in the same way by means of sulphuric 
acid, which is sometimes combined with oxidising agents, such as 
bichromate of potash, peroxide of manganese and manganate of 
potash, &c., and subsequently washing with caustic soda. After 
the action of the acid and alkali, paraffine is sometimes recti- 
fied by a second distillation, but more frequently the purifica- 
tion is completed by a second treatment with sulphuric acid 
followed by a careful washing, after which the paraffine is 
mixed with 1 per cent. of stearic acid and treated with the 
caustic soda. The alkali by saponifying the stearic acid forms 
soapy flocculi which envelope the impurities, and the melted 
paraffine is rendered perfectly limpid. 

The acid and alkaline residues of the above purifying pro- 
cesses are generally thrown away, but in them are found the 
principles which may be utilised for the production of the color- 
ing matters. The sulphuric acid, for example, must combine 
with all the alkaline compounds such as aniline, quinoline, 
toluidine, cumidine, &c.; while the caustic soda must unite with 



the acid principles like phenol, creosote and rosolic acid. Vohl* 

has already proposed to extract phenol and creosote from the 

alkaline solution by supersaturating it with the acid solution, 
decanting the oily layer which separates, and rectifying it over 

a naked fire. A more rational process, according to the author, 

would be the following :—Collect all the acid and alkaline 

liquors, and determine how much of the acid liquor would be 
sufficient to saturate a given volume of the alkaline. This being 
known, mix the alkaline solution with twice the quantity of acid 
liquor necessary to saturate it. If the two be mixed rapidly, 
sufficient heat will be developed to raise the mixture almost to 
the boiling-point, and a concentrated solution of bisulphate of 
soda will-be formed which retains in solution the bisulphates of 
aniline and toluidine, while the phenol and creosote easily sepa- 
rate in form of a brown oil. This oil may be separated while 
the mixture is still warm, and rectified. A light neutral oil 
first passes, and afterwards the phenol and creosote distil almost 

. The solution containing the acid sulphates of soda and the 
organic bases, yields on cooling, crystals of bisulphate of soda, 
which may be collected on a filter. The acid liquor not used to 
saturate the soda solution may then be added from the mother- 
liquor from the crystals, and the whole heated to 60° or 80° C. 
Chalk or milk of lime is then added to partial saturation, the 
sulphate of lime is allowed to deposit, and the liquor is concen- 
trated. Finally the concentrated acid sulphates are introduced 
into an iron still, and an excess of quick lime is added. Sul- 
phate of lime and some sulphate of soda are formed, the organic 
bases are set at liberty, and on heating they pass over and con- 
dense with some water. If the quantity of water be sufficient 
to hold the bases in solution, the distilled aqueous solution must 

’ be saturated with hydrochloric acid and evaporated, first over a 

naked fire and then over a water bath, almost to dryness. The 

residue placed in a retort is mixed with an excess of quick lime 
and distilled, when an oily liquid is obtained which consists 
principally of aniline, toluidine and quinoline, sufficiently pure 
for the preparation of the coloring matters. We shall now 

“Journal fur Prakt. Chem. Bd. Ixv. s. 296. 


notice successively the compounds from which the coloring mat- 
ters may be formed, and the coloring matters themselves, de- 
scribing the most advantageous and best known processes for 
obtaining them. 

1. Aniline.—Unverdorben first discovered aniline among the 
products of the dry distillation of indigo, im 1826. As it formed 
crystallised salts with acids he gave it the name of crystalline. 
In 1840 Fritsche made anthranilic acid by introducing finely 
powdered indigo into a hot and strongly concentrated solution 
of caustic potash. One of the most remarkable properties of 
this acid is its splitting up into carbonic acid and aniline when 

distilled with quick lime. 

Anthranilic acid. Aniline. 

Erdmann first observed that aniline was identical with the 
crystalline of Unverdorben. Hoffman afterwards showed that 
to prepare aniline it was not necessary to make anthranilic acid, 
but that it sufficed to distil indigo directly with hydrated caustic 
potash, the aniline being formed in consequence of a real oxida- 
tion of the indigo. 

Isatine a product of the oxidation of indigo by weak nitric 
acid also furnishes aniline on distillation with caustic potash. 
Runge, 1837, first unnounced the existence of three volatile 
bases in coal tar, which he named respectively kyanol, leukol 
and pyrrhol. Hoffmann subsequently demonstrated that kyanol. 
was identical with aniline, and later he proved that leukol was 
identical with quinoline, a base which Gerhardt had obtained by 
distilling the cinchona alkaloids with mineral alkalies. Another 
very remarkable method of forming aniline is based upon the 
action of reducing bodies on nitrobenzole. Zinin, by saturating 
an alcoholic solution of nitrobenzole with ammonia, and then 
passing sulphuretted hydrogen as long as any deposit of sulphur 
was formed, obtained an organic alkali which he called benzidam, 

but which was afterwards proved to be aniline. 




Bechamp showed that the reduction could be effected equally 
well by means of ferrous acetate or acetic acid and iron. 
C,,H,NO,+6Fe+H,0,+6A =C,,H,N+6 (FeOA.) 

Before this, however, Hoffmann had shown that nitrobenzole 
might be converted into aniline by the action of zinc and hydro- 
chloric acid. 

Lastly, Wohler has discovered that nitrobenzole may be 
reduced and transformed into aniline by digestion and dis- 
tillation with a solution of arsenious acid in an excess of caustic 

Amongst other methods of producing aniline we quote the 
following. Phenol and ammonia placed in a stout tube 
sealed and exposed for a long time to a high temperature form 

C,,H,0.+NH, =C,,.H,N+2HO. 


According to Hoffmann and Muspratt nitrotoluene and sali- 
cyalimide, two bodies isomeric with anthranilic acid, furnish 
aniline when heated to redness. 


Of all the methods, however, two only appear to serve as in- 
dustrial processes : 

1. Extraction from coal tar. 

2. Reduction of nitrobenzole. 

Chem. News, London Sept. ® 1860. 
(To be continued.) 


At a recent meeting of the Society of Pharmacy of Paris, M. 
Schaueffele communicated the following information on this 
important subject, derived from a private letter of M. de Vry, 
Chemical inspector at Bangdong, Java :— 

«+ The cultivation of the Cinchona tree in the island of Java 
is in full prosperity. The young trees already exceed the 
height of five metres (nearly sixteen and a half feet) ; they have 
produced thousands of fruit, the seeds of which have for the 


most part germinated, and thrown out a considerable number of 

«Dr. de Vry is about to publish a first memoir on this sub. 
ject, of which the text, in German, will shortly appear in the 
Bonplandia. This work comprises the cultivation and chemi- 
cal composition of the Cinchona. He has already forwarded 
to his Government some sulphate of quinine, quinoidine, and 
pure cinchonine. He has now obtained four per cent. of alka- 
loids, which promises well for the future. 

«This chemist is about to undertake a work which will have 
for its object the determining the relative richness of the barks, 
according to the different altitudes under which the Cinchona 
trees grow and develop. 

«« When we recollect the isolation of the Cinchona trees in the 
forests of South America, and the difficulties to be overcome in 
the discovery of others, often at great distances; when 
we know with how little consideration the natives fell the Cin- 
chona trees, and when we contemplate the scarcity that must 
arise at some time or other; we cannot too much applaud the 
persevering efforts and great sacrifices of the Dutch Govern- 
ment. In short, everything promises, that in the course of time 
the cultivation of the Cinchona in the mountains of Bandong 
will supply our generation with regular and inexhaustible 

In consequence of this note of Vry, M. Reveil observed, 
that at the last meeting of the Imperial Society of Acclimatiza- 
tion, a prize of 1500 francs had been proposed for a successful 
attemptgto acclimatize the Cinchonas in France or in the moun- 
tains of Southern Europe. This prize will be awarded in 1861. 
—London Pharm. Journ. from Journal de Pharmacie et de 


By Dr. O. Rever.* 

Persian opium, which for many years has heen but seldom met 
with in commerce, is now becoming more abundant; it is important 
therefore to decide on its value as a medicine, and the place 

*Slightly abridged from Journ. de Pharm. et de Chim. Aug. 1860. 

| —— 


which it ought to occupy in therapeutics, as well as the uses 
which may be made of it in pharmacy. 

Persian opium is imported in the form of thin cylindrical 
sticks four or five inches long, which sometimes become flattened 
by pressure one against the other. Each stick is wrapped in 
white or rose-colored paper, and tied with cotton. The weight 
of each stick is about fifteen grammes. Guibourt has remarked 
that the paste, although apparently homogeneous, is seen when 
cut into to be made up of small lumps agglutinated together, the 
lumps being much smaller than those seen in Smyrna opium. It 
is of a reddish-brown or liver color, has a strong smell, a very 
bitter taste, is slightly hygrometric, and is very soluble both in 
water and alcohol. One sample (in sticks), analysed by the 
author, yielded the following results :— 

Matters soluble in water ; . 82-60 per cent. 
“ “ alcohol . 81-60 « 

morphia . 815 « 

The aqueous solution of this opium treated with anhydrous 
alcohol gave a flocculent precipitate. When treated with the 
tartrate of potash and copper the cupric salt was reduced, prov- 
ing the presence of sugar, a fact which was confirmed by the fer- 
mentation test. Estimated by a standard cupro-potassic solution, 
it was found that the sample contained 15 per cent. of glucose. 
The author has never detected sugar in Constantinople opium, 
but has sometimes discovered notable quantities in that imported 
from Smyrna. The presence of this body appears to him an in- 
dication of falsification, for he has never found any in the opium 
made in France. 

Another sample of Persian opium received by the author pre- 
sented quite a different form. It was in the shape of flattened 
ovoid lumps without envelope either of paper of poppy leaves, 
nor did it contain any seeds of the rumex such as is seen in 
Smyrna opium.t The physical characters, apart from the form, 
closely resembled those of the preceding. It was somewhat 

+We have received Persian opium in this form from Mr. Maltass of 
Smyrna, who informs us that the opium is never imported in this state. 
The cylindrical sticks are made into lumps of this shape in France.—Ep. 


softer, however, and perhaps more hygrometric. It mixed easily 
with water and alcohol. The solution blackened with potash, 
and it reduced the cupro-potassic tartrate. In this sample the 
author found 31-6 per cent. of glucose. The results of an an- 
alysis were as follows :— 
Matters soluble in water ‘ . 84-20 per cent. 
“ alcohol ‘ 80-60 « 

Alkeleids 190 - 
narcotine . . 56 

In another specimen the author found 13-9 per cent. of sugar. 
When ammonia was added to a solution of this opium a very 
abundant yellowish white gelatinous precipitate was obtained ; 
absolute alcohol also gave a floccular precipitate. Ordinary 
alcohol almost entirely dissolved this sample, giving a thick 
viscous liquid, which when pressed through a cloth left but a 
small residue: on filtration through paper a more abundant re- 
sidue was obtained. The results of the analysis of this specimen 
were as follows :— 

Matters soluble in cold water . . 76-5 per cent. | 
“ alcohol . 93-7 “ 

Alkaloids 16-15 . . 9.05. « 

Another sample differed essentially from the foregoing. It 
was also in flattened lumps, but enveloped in a leaf which the 
author could not identify. He also remarked some fruits of a 
rumex in it. In color and smell it resembled the others; but it 
mixed less easily with alcohol and water. The solution black- 
ened with potash, and the cupro-potassic test showed the pre- 
sence of 31-6 per cent. of sugar. Analysed like the preceding 
the following results were obtained :-— 

Matter soluble in water : . 79-20 per cent. 
“ alcohol . 75-60 « 

morphia . 510 «& 
Alkaloids 15.0 { narcotine . . 990 « 

All these opiums appear to the author very remarkable for 
their very great purity, or rather for the almost complete absence 
of foreign matters insoluble in alcohol and water. But their 
light color, and the relatively very large proportion of narcotine 



and glucose which they contain incline him to assert that they 
are not natural products, but opium, to which some narcotine 
and the pulp of apricots have been added. He sees no objection 
to the use of Persian opium when opium is prescribed alone, but 
believes it ought not to be substituted in the preparation of ex- 
tract and tincture, because of the smallness of the residue lef t. 
On this account an extract prepared with Persian opium will be 
less rich in alkaloids than one made from Smyrna or Constanti- 
nople opium, even though these latter may only contain 6 per 
cent. of alkaloids. 

In a report presented to the Academy of Medicine of Brussels, 
M. Victor Pasquier makes the following observations :— 

««It is to be remarked that we should greatly err if we laid 
it down as a general and absolute principle that an opium richer 
in morphia than another ought always to be preferred to the 
latter for all pharmaceutical preparations of which it may form 
the base; it may be, on the contrary, not only that an opium 
less rich in morphia ought to deserve the preference, but that 
one more strongly charged with the alkaloid would not even 
serve the same purpose.” 

This passage is made clearer by the following note, which is 
quoted from the Journal de Pharmacie d’ Anvers, April, 1860. 
Suppose, for example :— 

An opium A containing morphia . + 4-50 per cent. 

The opium A gives an ext. containing morphia 6-32 « 

« . A gives extract weighing - 68-00 8 « 

“ . 45-00 “ 
From which it appears that in selecting an opium for some 
pharmaceutical preparations it is necessary to take into account 
-not only the proportion of morphia contained in opium, but also 
the solubility of the various principles of opium in the different 
menstrua with which we act on it. 

In the estimation of morphia, the author recommends the use 
of chloroform to separate the narcotine, and then cautions the 
experimenter against reckoning as morphia all that is soluble in 
alcohol after the separation of the morphia. Without this pre- 
caution, he adds that one is apt to estimate as morphia what is 



merely phosphate of lime, or ammoniaco-magnesian phosphate 
when the precipitate has been effected by ammonia. 

There is no doubt that at the present time opium is manufac- 
tured of opium residues, to which various extractive substances 
and some narcotine is added. Some specimens examined by the 
author, which presented none of the characters of good opium of 
commerce, contained 7-6 per cent. of alkaloids, composed of 2-1 
morphia and 5-5 ‘narcotine.—Chem. News, London, Sept. 1, 



As the cultivation of the Opium Poppy for the purpose of 
obtaining opium, and for its seeds, is now exciting much atten- 
tion in France, we subjoin a summary, from the Journal de 
Chimie Médicale, of the more important conclusions which have 
been arrived at by our neighbors upon this subject. Al- 
though the amount of morphia stated to have been obtained, in 
some cases, from the opium, is, no doubt, over estimated, still 
the experiments which have been for the last few years carried 
on in France, show satisfactorily that opium of excellent quality 
may be commonly obtained from plants there cultivated :— 

««M. Bénard, Professor in the School of Medicine at Amiens, 
and M. Collas, Pharmacien of Paris, have continued the re- 
searches they commenced in 1855, on the production of indige- 
nous opium. Their experiments were made in the department 
of La Somme, where the cultivation of the poppy is pursued 
over a large area. The information there gained may serve as 
‘a guide to the pharmacien in the very numerous localities 
where the poppy is now cultivated. They prove beyond doubt 
that the production of the seed, and of opium, may be carried 
on together without the one injuring the other. 

«It is not necessary to enter into details upon the cultivation 
of the poppy. We note only, that it is found most advisable, 
both to facilitate the keeping of the ground in order, as well as 
for the collection of the opium, that the seed should be 
sown in rows, at intervals of from twenty to thirty centimetres 
(from about eight inches to nearly a foot). 

“In the department of La Somme alone, 12,702 hectares 



(about 31,388 acres) were set apart in 1857 for the cultivation 
of the poppy; and 140,000 hectolitres (about 385,168 bushels) 
of seed were collected. The total value of this seed was 
4,480,000 francs, which gives an average of 352 francs (about 
£14 1s. 6d. per hectare), that is, about £5 13s. 6d. per acre. 

«The value of the opium crop is on the increase. The ex- 
penses of extraction vary from 20 to 30 francs per kilogramme 
for dry and marketable opium. The price of sale varies from 
70 to 75 francs, at a standard of 10 per cent. of morphia.* 
Two kilogrammes (nearly 4} lbs. avoir.) of the milky juice con- 
taining opium yield about one kilogramme of dry opium: two 
to three kilogrammes are obtained from one hectare. The value 
of the opium produced on an average per hectare, would be 150 
francs (£6), that is, about £2 8s. per acre. This, in the depart- 
ment of La Somme alone, would leave the cultivators 1,905,000 
francs. This value would be in addition to that of the seed. 
If this speculation were carried on in all the departments where 
the poppy is cultivated, it would produce a considerable sum, 
and would meet the requirements of French Pharmacy. 

«« The mode of extracting the juice is substantially the same 
as that pursued in the East, and its sale is easy. 

«Upon the whole, it has been now established :-— 

‘1st. That the time for experiments has passed. 

«2nd. That French opium may be placed, as to quality, by 
the side of the best opiums from the Levant; the chances of 
adulteration being much greater for the latter. 

3rd. That its extraction is lucrative and easy. 

‘«By encouraging this new production, Government would 
render service to the country population. Women and children 
are more apt at this work thanmen. The most effectual means 
of encouragement would be to propagate information upon the 
subject, and to show the advantages to be derived from it, by 
every public means, in the departments where the poppy is cul- 
tivated. It would be sufficient to engage instructed teachers to 

* MM. Bénard and Deschamps assert that they have found from 16 to 
22 per cent, of morphia in indigenous opium. 

+. Bénard, at Amiens, and M. Collas, at Paris, have intimated to the 
cultivators of La Somme, that all the opium which they collect will be re- 
ceived by them, at the price of 60 to 80 francs per kilogramme, according 
to its quality. 



practise their pupils some hours for a few days in incising the 
capsules and collecting the juice. This time, otherwise lost by 
so many, would thus be utilized, and rewarded with immediate 
profit. As soon as the incision is made, the juice flows out and 
may be collected. In twenty-four hours it is dry ; two grammes 
alone are worth fifteen centimes. A skilful laborer would col- 
lect from 50 to 100 grammes per day. The stock of tools re- 
quired for the extraction is of the simplest kind: a knife, worth 
60 centimes, and one or two plates, would be all that was neces- 

«« The operation is most easy; it requires no dexterity; and 
it may be trusted, says MM. Bénard and Collas, to the most 
inexperienced hands.”—Lond. Pharm. Journ. Oct. 1860. 

By Dr. Vinke. 

After reporting fourteen cases in which the hemorrhage from 
serious wounds or bleeding ulcers was promptly and permanently 
arrested by the application of penghawar, the author communi- 
cates the experiments made by him with a view to ascertain the 
modus operandi of this remedy. The treatise contains the fol- 
lowing information :— 

1. On the phytography of penghawar (palee cibotit).—The 
specimen examined by the author had been to the greater part 
separated from the stipes of the fern, and consists of delicate 
filaments, half an inch to two inches long, which are very soft, 
flexible, and so light that they keep themselves floating in the 
air fora long time. The shortest ones are thicker, dark grey or 
blackish, and are present in penghawar, but in small quantity. 
The longer filaments are silky, shining, tortuous, very delicate 
and of golden, light-brown color. It weighs so little that six 
grains constitute a considerable mass—sufficient to arrest bleed- 
ing from an artery one line in diameter. It swims on water, 
but falls to the bottom of the vessel after about half a minute, 
as it absorbs water; it gives an empyruematic odor on being 
heated, burns faintly on being brought in contact with the flame 
of a candle, and detonates under complete combustion, diffusing 
an odor like agaric. On microscopic examination, the author 



found that the filaments of penghawar have nothing in common 
with hair. They form band-like, flat processes with articula- 
tions; their breadth surpasses their thickness three times and 
more. The joints are dark brown, resemble those of the shave- 
grass, but have delicate, often ramified processes. The part 
between the articulations is two to four times longer than wide, 
either of uniform width, or, in the dried state, conical, smaller 
at one end, of yellow color, translucent, covered with violet 
granules, which, together with the processes of the joints, fall 
off on applying a weak solution of caustic potassa, but becomes 
more distinct on being soaked in ether. The base of the fila- 
ments is either smaller, with branchy processes, or thicker, sur- 
_ rounded by hairs; their upper end is drawn out into a transpa- 
rent, needle-shaped tubule. Each filament forms a hollow 
sheath which is partitioned by transparent diaphragms at the 
articulations. The cavity of the filament easily fills itself with 
any kind of fluid; fine powders do not penetrate into uninjured 
joints. Ina solution of sulphate of iron the filaments become 
blackish, nearly opaque, and very brittle; if they have been 
previously soaked in ether, they assume a dark-brown color in 
the above solution. By iodine and dilute muriatic acid the 
physical properties of penghawar are not changed. A solution 
of caustic potassa becomes dark, the filaments themselves as- 
sume a bright-yellow color in it, are rendered very smooth and 
soft, in consequence of losing their granular cover and their 
processes. The author does not attach much importance to the 
chemical reaction of penghawar, and only states that it forms 
not a green (v. Bemmelen) but a dark violet, blackish precipitate 
with the salts of iron. 

2. Results of experiments on freshly abstracted blood, and on 
living individuals.—All the experiments show that the hemos- 
tatic effect of penghawar depends upon the capillary attraction 
of the water, which «exceeds the force by which the water in 
living blood is held in combination.” The coagulation of the 
blood (also of that which is freshly drawn) is the immediate 
consequence of the blood being deprived of its watery portion 
—a fact which is confirmed by comparative experiments with 
capillary glass tubes. Penghawar, however, acts with a five- 
times greater rapidity. A circumstance which promotes the 


firm adhesion of the coagulum to the surface of the wound and 
the permanent occlusion of the orifices of the vessels, consists in the 
elasticity and delicacy of the filaments ; on moderate pressure the 
latter penetrate into the finest interstices and apertures on the sur- 
face of the wound, and thus cause coagulation of the blood not only 
on the surface of the wound, but also in the interstices of the 
tissues next toit. But it is particularly by the following quali- 
ties that penghawar excels other hemostatics :— 

(1.) It arrests, quicker than any other pharmaceutical means 
(agaric, sponge, bovista, &c.), parenchymatous, venous, or arte- 
rial hemorrhage, provided the diameter of the artery does not 
exceed one line and a half. [The Indians stop bleeding, also, 
from greater arteries with penghawar.] (2.) It produces a co- . 
agulum even in cases where the blood has changed so much that 
it has lost nearly the property of coagulating, or where the walls 
of the vessels are so diseased that they are incapable of a plastic 
process, as, for instance, in carcinomatous and scorbutic ulcers. 
(3.) Penghawar does not change the vitality of the wound or 
ulcer, and therefore does not exert an injurious influence ~ 
the healing process. 

Penghawar acts better when crumbled than if applied entire. 
It is to be kept in adry place. Five grains are sufficient to 
arrest considerable hemorrhage; more than one scruple was 
never required. It is pressed for two or three minutes directly 
on the bleeding surface, after which, if possible, a compressive 
bandage or strips of adhesive plaster are applied over it, taking 
care not to draw the wound too much together. If the bleeding 
does not proceed from the whole surface of the wound, it is not 
necessary to fill out the entire cavity of the wound or ulcer 
with penghawar. The hemorrhage ceased more rapidly, if the 
author pressed the penghawar (in the form of a pencil) so upon 
the bleeding surface that the filaments were directed perpendic- 
ularly against it. The internal administration of penghawar, 
as recommended by Gaupp and others, is quite useless. —London 
Pharm. Journ. Oct. 1860, from Med. Zeitung Russlands, 1859, 
and Schmidt's Jahr. April, 1860. 
















By Epwarp R. Squiss, M. D., of Brooklyn, New York. 

‘* What are the changes which occur in the officinal Ethereal Oil (U.S. P.) 
by keeping ; and can these changes be retarded ?”’ 

The above inquiry embraces two distinct questions ; and in 
order to answer them separately with a useful degree of accuracy, 
a number of experiments were commenced soon after the last 
session of the Association. The result of these experiments, 
together with deductions from former experiments and observa- 
tions, lead the writer to the conclusions now to be given. 

‘* What are the changes which occur in the officinal Ethereal Oil by keep- 
ing ?”’ 

The sensible changes are a separation into two unequal strata. 
The upper one of these is commonly the smaller,—is of a deep 
brownish straw color,—of an oily character and consistence,— 
much lighter than water, and not miscible with water, having a 
fragrant aromatic odor resembling pennyroyal, and a somewhat 
pungent highly aromatic taste resembling essential oil of penny- 
royal. It is slightly acid to litmus paper at first contact, but 
becomes strongly acid after a short exposure to air upon the 
paper, and is soluble in strong alcohol. 

The lower and commonly the largest stratum is of a dark 
brown color, so dark as to be quite opaque,—is not of an oily 
character,—is much heavier than water, and when dropped into 
water separates into oily globules which sink to the bottom, and 
a soluble portion which dissolves and renders the water acid. It 
has a fruity apple-like odor, and a pungent acid taste. It is acid 
to litmus paper, effervesces with carbonates, precipitates baryta 
and lime salts even in the presence of sulphurous acid, and car- 
bonizes organic matter when heated upon it. It is insoluble in 
strong ether, but is rendered soluble by the addition of a small 
proportion of the upper stratum. | 

Both the upper and lower strata are soluble in the spirit of 
ether used for the compound spirit of ether, whether added in 
succession or together ; and when both are added they appear to 
reunite and form a compound spirit that is not sensibly different 
from that made from freshly prepared oil, except that it is very 
slightly tinged with a brownish color, and is slightly acid to 
litmus paper. 


The character of the chemical changes which occur, are diffi- 
cult to determine, and have not been studied with sufficient experi- 
ment and accuracy to warrant definite and precise statements 
concerning them. Therefore what now follows upon this point is 
to be regarded as the result of a judgment, based upon observa- 
tions in practice, rather than as accurate results obtained by 
direct experiment. 

The writer does not agree with those authorities who regard 
heavy oil of wine as a sulphate, or double sulphate, but rather 
with those who regard it as a sulphovinate of a hydrocarbon 
base, and for this prominent reason, that when pure and recent it 
fails in giving any of the characteristic reactions of sulphuric 
acid or sulphates. 

If it be, as the writer believes it is, a sulphovinate of one or 
more hydrocarbon bases, the chemical! changes which occur by 
keeping are probably, first, that a portion of the salt is decom- 
posed by a simple separation into its proximate elements, just as 
chemically pure chloroform separates by keeping, and that after 
the separation a small proportion of the sulphovinic acid is re- 
duced to sulphuric acid, and that this reproduced sulphuric acid 
reacts upon the more loosely combined hydrocarbons by separa- 
ting and combining with the elements of water and setting the 
carbon free. 

The upper stratum is therefore regarded as mainly composed of 
the hydrocarbon base with a little ether. The lower stratum as 
being mainly sulphovinic acid, or a lower sulphovinate of the 
hydrocarbon base, holding in solution a considerable proportion 
of the original heavy oil of wine, rendered acid by a small portion 
of reproduced sulphuric acid, and colored by free carbon. By 
supplying the matrix to the mixture of these two strata, namely, 
ether, they are made to recombine in the original form and propor- 
tion with the exception of the small portion which was decomposed 
into sulphuric acid water and free carbon, and the chain or cir- 
cuit of the original compound is re-formed, and rendered per- 
manent. If these views be true, the analogy with chloroform is 
very close and perfect in this respect, since, as the writer has else- 
where shown, decomposed chloroform may be regenerated and 
recombined by the similar use of its matrix, namely, alcohol. 

The writer sees no reason to believe that in the changes by 

‘ky ‘ 


keeping, any decomposition into ultimate elements, or any substi- 
tions occur, with the exception of the reproduction of the small 
portion of sulphuric acid, and the well known effects of the pres- 
ence of this acid when free in the presence of loosely combined 

The practical deductions from the views here offered are that 
compound spirit of ether made from the officinal ethereal oil which 
may have undergone this separation is medicinally nearly equiva- 
lent to that made from the freshly prepared oil, the small pro- 
portion decomposed, and the slight acidity of such preparation 
might be safely disregarded in a medicinal point of view, par- 
ticularly in view of the fact that the well made compound spirit 
of ether does itself become slightly acid by long keeping, especi- 
ally when exposed to light and air. It is, nevertheless, much 
better to avoid all such changes whenever it is possible to do so ; 
and this introduces the second question of the inquiry entrusted 
to the writer, namely, 

** Can these changes be retarded ?”’ 

Upon this branch of the subject a number of careful experi- 
ments have been made, with results so definite and satisfactory, 
that it may be stated that, within the limits of the ten months 
allotted to the preparation of this report, an admixture of two 
parts of stronger ether with one part of ethereal oil, altogether 
prevents the separation and decomposition of the oil, although it 
does not prevent its becoming slightly acid to litmus paper. The 
circumstance that the action upon litmus paper is slight upon first 
contact, but increases rapidly on exposure to the air, renders it 
probable that the effect is due to the formation of acetic or some 
other organic acid from the alcohol and ethers present, as in the 
instance of sweet spirit of nitre, rather than to a decomposition 
of the heavy oil of wine. 

Somewhere near the above designated proportion of ether is 
absolutely necessary to effect the purpose of keeping the oil, and 
it does not matter whether this proportion be diluted with alco- 
hol or not, since alcohol has no apparent effect either to hasten 
or retard the separation ofthe ethereal oil. For instance, it was 
proved by experiment that no less than four parts of the spirit 
of ether used in making the compound spirit, was effective in 
preserving one part of the oil from the changes, and the steps of 



this experiment shows that the separation is less as the proportion 
of ether added increases, quite independent of the amount of 
alcohol with which the ether may be previously mixed. This 
experiment proves conclusively that the opinion hitherto enter- 
tained and published by the writer that alcohol was a preserva- 
tive agent was altogether erroneous. This error had, however, - 
been detected in practice before the direct experiment was made. 

It is useless to take up the time of the Association with a 
detail of the experiments made to determine the above points, 
and they were for the most part mere admixtures of the oil with 
different menstrua in different proportions, and were all based 
upon the well known fact that the oil when made at once into the 
compound spirit of ether keeps indefinitely. It is, therefore, 
judged sufficient to exhibit to the Association the various speci- 
mens which lead to these statements, together with specimens of 
the undiluted oil made at various periods during the past eight 


A portion of the space saved by avoiding unnecessary detail 
of experiments may, however, be usefully occupied with some 
statistics of the process and results in preparing the officinal 

ethereal oil. 

Since the last meeting of the Association the writer has used 
in preparing ethereal oil 1664 lbs. of sulphuric acid s. g. 1-845, 
and 686 lbs. or 1003 gallons of alcohols. g. -835. These 
materials yielded 87 fluid ounces, equal to 88-4 troy ounces, or 
97 avoirdupois ounces, of the finished oil. The distillation occu- 
pied twenty-one days, one charge being distilled each day. It 
was performed in seven-gallon French white glass retorts, and the 
charges required from eleven to seventeen hours for working. 
Three retorts were lost in the process ; one breaking in the sand 
pot,—the other two being broken in the difficult and troublesome 
cleaning that is necessary after each charge, to free them from 
the adhering carbonaceous matter and thiomelanic acid. These re- 
torts cost seven dollars each, but prove to be more economical 
than those made in this country, from being less frequently lost in 
thesand bath. The charge lost in the sand bath took fire, of course, 
and was totally lost. Two more of the twenty-one were partially 
lost by frothing over the contents of the retort. The process 
required the almost undivided attention of one person, and a 





| | 


troublesome expensive apparatus, and was not devoid of dan- 
ger. Upon this scale, and with the best management that the 
writer's experience could suggest, the yield is by volume -684 per 
cent. of the alcohol or by weight -884 per cent. 

In this process, as in all others where very large glass retorts 
are used with much handling, the larger the scale of operation 
within certain limits, the greater the loss. In the writer’s experi- 
ence the maximum yield is obtained in working the process with 
24 gallon retorts, as mentioned in a previously published paper 
on this preparation. But for acharge of this size, the tiie, at- 
tention and firing are so nearly the same, that it becomes more 
economical to get a smaller yield at a smaller expense.—Proe. 
American Pharmaceutical Association, 1860. 


The mastic country, or rather that of the plant which pro- 
duces it, the Pistacia Lentiscus, is especially the north of 
Africa, as well as some of the islands of the Grecian Archi- 
pelago, more particularly the island of Chios, which the Turks 
on this account call Sachis Adassina, that is to say, the island 
of mastic. Although this plant is found all about Greece and 
the islands of the Archipelago, and experience has shown that 
mastic may be always obtained from it by incisions, it is neglect- 
ed everywhere, however, except at Chios, from whence comes in 
consequence all our commercial mastic. The villages where the 
inhabitants devote themselves exclusively to the collection of 
this resin are called mastichochora, that is, mastic villages. 

The incisions are made in the month of June with small 
knives especially adapted for the purpose, and towards the end 
of August they collect the mastic, which, having hardened on 
the plant, is readily detached. In order to gather it in a state 
of purity they spread under the shrubs some kind of cloth, as 
also some days before they take care to clean the soil, in order 
that it may not become attached to sand or other earthy impuri- 

The smallest mastic, which is white and transparent, is re- 
served for the seraglio of the Sultan, and for the ladies of the 


harem, who kill time in masticating this resin, and it is from its 
use for this purpose that mastic derives its name from the Greek 
verb, massaomai. The choicest quality is called mastic for the 
seraglio, Fliskart. It costs three or four times as much as 
ordinary mastic, which they use in the preparation of several 
preserves called mastiz glyko. 

In the East they use an infusion of mastic, mastico-nexon 
(mastic water) for infantile cholera, which consists in diarrhea 
and vomiting, a disease of which many childern die during the 
period of dentition, and for which medicines are not often of use. 
The Greeks also use mastic in the form of poultices, made with 
red wine and bread, which they apply over the lower-belly ; 
these poultices are called Krasocéma, from krast, wine, and cémt, 

They only adulterate mastic by mixing it with some that is 
older, and the fraud consists in this, that the last has lost with 
its transparency its odor and flavor. Mastic is always a dear 
article, and at Chios even the oke (2-8326 lbs.) is worth from 
200 to 300 piastres or more. (From about £1 13s. 4d. to 
£2 10s.) 

Mastic chewing being in general use, the poor have recourse 
to another vegetable production, which they call pseudo-mastic. 
This is a gummy secretion which is found between the segments 
of the calyx of Atractylis gummifera, a plant rather common in 
Greece and the East. 

It is remarkable that they always use toothpicks of Lentiscus 
as in the time of the Romans, who called them dentiscalpia or 
euspides lentisci.—London Pharm. Journ. Nov. 1860, from 
Echo Méd. Suisse, July, 1860 ; and Journal de Pharmacie et de 
Chimie, September, 1860. 

By M. C. Cooxe. 
Now that the oil of Aleurites triloba is spoken of so highly 
in France as a purgative oil, a few particulars concerning it may 

not prove uninteresting. 
The plant producing the fruits from whence this oil is extracted, 



belongs to the natural order Euphorbiacee, and is plentiful 
in the Sandwich, Society, and other groups of islands in the 
Southern Seas. It is also to be met with in some parts of 
Jamaica and the East Indies. The oil has been for some time 
known in Jamacia as Spanish walnut oil, and in India as Belgaum 
walnut oil. In Ceylon the oil is called kekune oil, and in the 
Sandwich Islands kukui oil. The tree is known in some parts 
of Polynesia as the candle nut tree. The fruits are nearly as 
large as a walnut, and the kernel is inclosed in a thick hard 
shell. These nuts are often strung together by the natives, and 
burnt, without any other preparation, as torches. In the history 
of the Mutiny of the Bounty, it is stated that the rooms in 
Pitcairn’s Island were lighted up by torches made of « doodoe”’ 
nuts, strung upon the fibres of the palm-leaf, forming a good 
substitute for candles. These nuts are also sostrung and used by 
the San Blas Indians in Central America, and a child is in 
attendance to knock off each nut as it becomes burnt out. 

The following is the method adopted in obtaining the oil in 
Jamaica. Each nut is carefully cracked or broken, and the 
kernel as carefully separated from the hard shell, lest the latter, 
having a brown dye quality, should affect the color of the oil. 
The kernel is then put into a large mortar and pounded as fine 
as possible. It is afterwards thrown into a caldron with plenty 
of water and boiled. It is allowed to simmer for hours, until all 
the oil is well extracted and floats on the surface. Meanwhile, 
and until all is gathered together, the oil is skimmed Off into 
another clean vessel. The oil thus collected is then boiled over 
again in a smaller vessel for a short time, in order to throw off 
any aqueous particles remaining after the first skimming. If the 
oil is not then perfectly pellucid it is run through blotting paper. 
Eight quarts of kernels will yield about three pints of oil. The 
yearly produce of this oil in the Sandwich Islands is about 
10,000 gallons. It has been shipped to the markets of Chili, 
New South Wales, and London, but hitherto without much profit. 
It realized about £20 per imperial ton in London. In 1843, 
about 8620 gallons were shipped from Honolulu, valued at 1s. 
8d. per gallon. 

This oil has been used as an artist’s oil, for which purpose it 
is said to possess valuable qualities, although it cannot be ap- 



plied as a drying oil. It is only lately that attention has been 
called to its medicinal properties. It is purely purging, and, 
not like the croton, jatropha, caper-spurge, sandbox, and other 
euphorbiaceous oils, productive of vomiting at the same time. It 
is affirmed to be as mild as castor oil, and being more fluid, is 
better to take. It is without either taste or smell. 

The nuts have, within the past twelve months, been sold in 
the London market under the name of kukui nuts, and there is 
no doubt that, upon inquiry, some of the oil could be procured, 
and it evidently well merits the attention of the profession. A 
purgative oil which shall possess all the advantages, and none 
of the disadvantages of castor oil, isa desideratum worthy of 
being secured.— London Medical Review, and Pharm. Jour. 


By Cuartes R. C. Ticnporne. 

Since atropia was first brought into notoriety for the above 
application, by Reisinger, it has completely superseded bella- 

donna where introduction into the eye is necessary, but the 
extract is still resorted to for painting the eyebrow and cheek 
in such operations as absorption of a cataract or anything 
similar, where it is indispensable in order to prevent adhesion of 
the iris to render the dilatation permanent; no preparation of 
the alkaloid yet introduced being applicable to the exigencies of 
such cases. A few of the objections to the use of the extract 
may be enumerated as follows :—Liability to produce cutaneous 
irritation ; secondly, its requiring great attention in keeping the 
surface moist with some lotion to prevent its drying ; and thirdly, 
want of cleanliness, as the extraneous matters of the inspissated 
juice are certainly very much out of place when manipulating 
with so delicate an organ as the eye; in some cases complete 
failure results either from the use of a bad preparation or non- 
absorption from harshness of the epidermis. 

Some time ago glycerine was found to possess great solvent 
properties, particularly as regards the alkalaloids and some of 
the non-nitrogenous organic principles. The author has deter- 
mined its action and solvent power in connection with atropia 





with a view to its use as an elegant and efficient mode of ex- 
hibiting this substance where permanent dilatation of the pupil is 
requisite. A saturated solution in glycerine gave on analysis 
four per cent. (gr. xvijss. ad. gi.) of the vegeto-alkali. It 
does not dissolve readily in the cold, but is soluble almost to any 
extent on applying a gentle heat ; the excess, if it is not great, 
deposits on cooling in fine transparent colorless prisms, but if 
the amount is considerable it becomes when cool a solid mass. 
From this it is evident its solubility in glycerine is much greater 
than in water, it requiring 189 parts of the latter menstruum to 
dissolve it in the cold ;* indeed the atropia is recoverable to a 
considerable extent by precipitation on the addition of water to 
the glycerolic solution. The easiest method of making this 
solution is as follows:—One decigramme (1-548 grains) dis- 
solved in a few drops of alcohol is added to 20 grammes 
(= 368-680 grains) of distilled glycerine ; the mixture is then 
subjected to a gentle heat, viz. about 110° F. for half an hour 
in an evaporating capsule to volatilize the spirit. This will con- 
tain one half per cent. 7. e. 2-187 grains to the ounce, and may be 
labelled « Fortior.”” On smearing the surrounding parts of his 
eye the writer found (without dropping in any solution) the 
dilation of the pupil perceptible in 15 minutes, from which time 
it steadily increased. A weaker solution, 7. ¢. one containing 
one-fourth per cent. made by using one decigramme, to 40 
grammes, may be used to determine the dilatation, by an un- 
occasional application, and also to allow for absorption. A solu- 
tion in glycerine of atropia may be made contain 16 grains to 
the ounce, without any danger of its crystallising out. 

The advantages to be derived from the use of this prepara- 
tion, are, first, the emollient properties of the glycerine, which 
by softening and relaxing the scarfskin, freely allows the ab- 

* The author was induced to enter into the examination of the solu- 
bility in water from observing the non-conformity of works of reference on 
this subject. His experiments gave as a mean result 1 part atropia, to be 
soluble in 189, generally given as soluble in 300 parts, whilst Lowig gives 
it as requiring 2000 ; the writer thinks this must be a typographical error 

and must be intended for 200 parts. This diversity might be accounted 
for insome degree; as an amorphous modification, produced by the action 
of a gentle heat, is apparently much more soluble. This uncrystallisable 
variety is equally efficient with the other in dilating the pupil. 



sorption of the active principle: secondly, the certainty of al- 
ways keeping the alkaloid in the soluble form, and thus ensuring 
equal distribution from the hygrostatic properties of the glyce- 
rine, which could not be obtained from the use of any aqueous 
solution, even in the form of a malate, as in the extract, and 
also its ease of application, freedom from attention, as it always 
remains moist, and lastly, the certainty appertaining to the em- 
ployment ofall medicaments of a definite composition.— Chemical 
News, London, October, 1860. 


By Freperick Srearns, or Derroir. 

In regard to the questions referred to me upon Alcohol I have 
the following statement to make: 

The points in the query relating to the production of alcohol, 
and the statistics of its commercial relations, are evidently the 
most important, the others being already exhausted in reliable 
chemical treatises; hence I directed my inquiries to the former. 
I found the construction of a complete table of statistical in- 
formation was, for various reasons, beyond my power, and that 
to await the results gathered by the decennial U. S. census 
(now recently taken) would give to statistical tables great accu- 
racy. It is evident the region of the Ohio River valley 
contributes the largest share of whisky and its derivatives that 
is produced within the limits of the United States; and the 
following, part fact and part estimate, copied from a letter of a 
reliable correspondent, is all I have to offer this year in relation 
to the matter, : 

The amount of whisky which finds a market annually in Cincin- 
nati is about five hundred thousand barrels, worth on an average, 
one year with another, five millions of dollars. This amount is 
derived from Ohio and the States bordering the Ohio River. 
An estimate of the total U. S. product is one million five 
hundred thousand barrels. This estimate is based upon its 
average production in several States and not upon the receipts 
of the large eastern markets. The present annual manufacture 
of alcohol in Cincinnati will average forty-six thousand barrels, 



worth one million eight hundred thousand dollars, estimated to 
be about one-fourth the whole amount made in the United 
States. This estimate makes the total average product of the 
U.S. to be one hundred and eighty-four thousand barrels, 
worth over seven millions of dollars. This estimate includes 
alcohol made for commercial purposes, for the manufacture of 
burning-fluid, and that purified for making domestic brandy and 
other liquors, and for exportation for the same purposes. 

In Cincinnati the manufacture of alcohol has fallen one-half 
since 1858, when it reached its maximum. This is partly owing 
to the falling off in the foreign demand, which was large in 1858, 
but owing to a protective tariff it has been nothing since. 

Whisky is produced from corn, rye, barley, middlings, (re- 
fuse from wheat in making flour,) and oats, the proportion 
being about eighty per cent. of corn, the remaining twenty per 
cent. equally divided between the others. 

About one million one hundred and twenty thousand dollars 
capital is invested in the stills, fixtures and business of the 
whisky distillers, the product of which finds a market in Cin- 

In the manufacture of alcohol the capital invested in 
Cincinnati is three hundred and fifty thousand dollars. 

The most notable impurity is the grain or fusel oil. 

It has been asked me whether, for the purpose of manufac- 
turing alcohol for burning fluid of high hydrometer-proof and 
yet comparatively low alcoholic strength, it could not by dis. 
tillation in the presence of a small proportion of sulphuric acid, 
be contaminated with enough ether to heighten its proof with- 
out showing by hydrometer its real alcoholic strength. This 
query I cannot answer, but think it one worthy of investigation. 

It is estimated that until the introduction of illuminating 
coal-oils, by far the largest proportion of the common alcohol 
produced was employed in the manufacture of burning fluid. 
Since, however, the largest proportion is employed under the 
name of pure and proof spirit in the manufacture of domestic 
brandy, gin, etc.—Proc. American Pharmaceutical Association, 


By Henry F. Fisu, or Watersury, Conn. 

To the question, « What is the most eligible method of keep- 
ing camphor, in the form of powder,” I am prepared to give 
such an answer only as my own experience prompts; but to 
another question, «« What is the best method of obtaining Cam- 
phor in the form of powder,” I can give a direct answer. 

Take of Refined Camphor, Zxvj. Troy. 
Carbonate of Oxide of Magnesium, 3j. 
Alcohol, sp. gr. -818 Oij. 

Water, Oviij. 

Dissolve the camphor in the alcohol. Triturate the magne- 
sia, in a porcelain mortar, with as much water as will enable 
the mixture to blend freely with the 8 pints of water; agitate 
the whole in a suitable wide-mouthed bottle until the magnesia 
is thoroughly diffused; add to this the spirits of camphor, in a 
thin, slow stream, constantly stirring the fast-thickening mixture. 
A dense, white, curdy separate ensues, which gradually condenses 
and rises to the upper strata of the alcohol and water. This 
may be collected in a paper filter, where it parts readily with 
its moisture. The camphor, now in a state of minute division, 
should not be pressed or muck disturbed, but should be suffered 
to dry gradually ; the mass may be cut into small pieces to 
promote desiccation. 

If the process has been skilfully conducted, and the camphor 
allowed to part with its moisture spontaneously, without com- 
pacting itself, it now appears in the form of a light, dry, 
somewhat spongy mass, yielding to the pressure of the fingers, 
and capable of being reduced to a fine powder readily and 
rapidly. Ihave preserved camphor in this condition, for two 
years, simply excluding the light ; if it is exposed to the light, 
it gradually sublimes and condenses to a small extent only. 
All risk of this kind may be entirely obviated by Jeaving the 
camphor rather moist than dry when bottled. In dispensing, I 
have used no other form of camphor for a year or more. 

The magnesia should be of that form known in market as 
S.S. The quantity is so minute, being only one grain in 128, 






as to form no sort of objection, while the diffusion of it in the 
water prevents, to some extent, the camphor from condensing 
in desiccation, and becoming very hard and difficult of reduc. 
tion to powder. The London Pharmaceutical Journal, for July, 
1860, has an article on the reduction of camphor to powder, by 
the addition of cold water, pounding it in a mortar, and sift- 

I have not been able to arrive at any satisfactory results by 
this method.—Proc. American Pharmaceutical Association, 


M. Kosmann has recently published an account of some ex- 
periments, undertaken by him with a view of ascertaining the 
action of certain reagents, principally sulphuric acid, on several 
organic principles. The result of his investigation has been to 
show that the bodies digitalin, santonin, guaicum and resin of 
scammony, have the composition of glucosides—a result which 
might have been expected from analogy, and which, in at least 

one case, has been already indicated. 

Digitalin and the Products of its Decomposition.—The author 
having obtained pure digitalin, first satisfied himself, by the 
usual processes, that no nitrogen entered into its composition. 
He then boiled a given weight of the pure and anhydrous digi- 
talin with diluted sulphuric acid for an hour or an hour and a 
half. After boiling for some time, a white flocculent precipitate 
formed, the liquid at the same time acquiring a yellow color. 
Upon collecting the precipitate upon a filter and weighing, it 
was found to amount on an average to 47 per cent. of the ori- 
ginal substance. The filtered liquid was saturated with car- 
bonate of lime or carbonate of baryta, to remove the sulphuric 
acid, filtered and evaporated down to the consistence of an ex- 
tract. The residue was found to possess all the characters of 
grape sugar. It reduced the potassio-tartrate of copper 
and underwent fermentation, furnishing alcohol and carbonic 
acid. The weight of the residue, dried as far as possible, aver- 
aged between 57 and 58 per cent. of the digitalin employed. 


It thus became evident that digitalin, in common with many 
other substances, is a copulated body, consisting of sugar com- 
bined with a new principle, for which the author proposes the 
name digitaliretin. The digitaliretin, which separated as a 
flocculent precipitate during the boiling, was purified by dis- 
solving it in rectified spirit, filtering, slightly evaporating the 
solution, and allowing it to undergo spontaneous evaporation. 
A deposit took place after some hours, and ultimately a granular 
mass, of a greyish-white color, was obtained, which was redis- 
solved in alcohol and again allowed to deposit. Brilliant grains 
of pure digitaliretin were so obtained. 

This substance is almost insoluble in water, to which, however, 
it imparts a slightly bitter taste. It is only slightly soluble in 
ether and rectified spirit, but hot spirit dissoives it easily. The 
solution is bitter, although much less so than digitalin. It 
slightly reddens blue litmus paper. It is insoluble in the caus- 
tic alkalies. Its alcoholic solution is scarcely troubled by an 
alcoholic solution of acetate of lead, but upon evaporating the 
mixture a granular precipitate is produced, the liquid at the 
same time acquiring an acid reaction. By neutralizing this acid 
with ammonia, a copious flocculent precipitate is formed, which 
dissolves on boiling and reappears on cooling. When an alco- 
holic solution of nitrate of silver is added to a solution of di- 
gitaliretin, a precipitate slowly forms, composed of small brilliant 
prisms of digitaliretate of silver, which, by standing for some 
time, become brown, and on the application of heat undergo 
decomposition, with the deposition of metallic silver on the sides 
of the tube. . 

The author submitted both digitalin and digitaliretin to 
analysis. The composition of anhydrous digitalin accorded 
with the formula C,, H,, O,. Hydrated digitalin contains 
eight atoms of water in addition, the whole of which are driven 
off at 100° C. Anhydrous digitalin is very hygroscopic, and 
readily attracts the above amount of water from the air. The 
analysis of digitaliretin gave numbers according with the formula 
C,, H,, 0,,. By adding four equivalants of water to the for- 
mula of digitalin, the sum of two equivalents of glucose and 
one of digitaliretin are obtained ; the decomposition of digita- 
lin, as above described, is therefore readily accounted for. 



Subtract 2 atoms of glucose C,, H,, 0., 

1 atom of digitaliretin  C,, H,, O,, 

Action of Caustie Soda on Digitalin—The author next 
studied the action of a caustic alkali on digitalin. This prin- 
ciple could only be dissolved in a moderately concentrated solu- 
tion of caustic soda by prolonged ebullition. The solution, when 
effected, had no action on potassio-tartrate of copper; no glu- 
cose, therefore, had been formed. Sulphuric or acetic acid 
was then added, and to the alkaline solution a flocculent pre- 
cipitate obtained. This precipitate was dissolved in boiling 
alcohol, the solution filtered and evaporated to a syrupy consist- 
ence, when a white crystalline mass was obtained, having a 
piquant and slightly bitter taste, and an acid reaction on litmus. 
It consisted of a new acid, which the author has named digita- 
inte acid. The crystals of this acid, examined under the 
microscope, were found to be brilliant, translucid, micaceous 
scales. This acid, when treated with dilute sulphuric acid, 
immediately underwent the same decomposition as the digitalin ; 
it was split up into glucose and digitaliretin. 

Pure digitalinate of soda was prepared by boiling digitalin 
with a considerable excess of a strong solution of caustic soda 
for half an hour or more. A crystalline pellicle formed on the 
surface during ebullition. The solution was afterwards nearly 
neutralized with sulphuric acid, leaving it, however, slightly 
alkaline, so as to avoid the decomposing action of the acid on 
the digitalinic acid. The liquid was then evaporated to dryness, 
and the residue boiled with spirit, filtered, and the solution 
allowed to crystallize. A second crystallization furnished the 
salt in a state of purity. 

These two decompositions of digitalin, the one into glucose 
and digitaliretin under the influence of a dilute acid, the other 
into digitalinic acid by the action of a strong alkali, show the 
great necessity for caution in the process adopted for its pre- 
paration and purification.—Lond. Pharm. Journ, Sept. 1860, 
From Journ. de Pharm. 


By Dr. Hormann. 

One morning (I think it was in the summer of 1858), when 
entering my laboratory, which I had left in perfect order on the 
previous evening, I was surprised to find the room in the greatest 
confusion. Broken bottles and fragments of apparatus lay 
about, several window-panes were smashed, and all the tables and 
shelves were covered with a dense layer of white dust. The 
latter was soon found to be chloride of lime, and furnished with- 
out difficulty the explanation of this strange appearance. 

At the conclusion of the Great Exhibition of 1851, M. Kuhl- 
mann, of Lille, had made me a present of the splendid collection 
of chemical preparations which he had contributed. The beau- 
tiful large bottles were for a long time kept as a collection ; 
gradually, however, their contents proved too great a temptation, 
and in the course of time all the substances had been consumed. 
Only one large bottle, of about 10 litres capacity, and filled 
with chloride of lime, had resisted all attacks ; the stopper had 
stuck so fast that nobody could get it out ; and after many un- 
successful efforts—no one venturing to indulge in strong 
measures with the handsome vessel—the bottle had at last found 
a place on one of the highest shelves of the laboratory, where 
for years it had remained lost in dust and oblivion, until it had 
forced itself back on our recollection by so energetic an appeal. 
The explosion had been so violent that the neck of the bottle 
was projected into the area, where it was found with the stopper 
still firmly cemented into it. 

I have not been able to learn whether similar cases of the 
spontaneous decomposition of chloride of lime have been already 
observed.—Lond. Pharm. Journ. Sept. 1860. 

By Cuar.Es T. Carney, or Boston. 

In reply to No. 13 on this subject, I submit the following re- 
marks, which are necessarily very brief, not having had the op- 
portunity of testing the question by actual experiment as to 
whether any therapeutic objections exist as to its use :— 

i 4 


I have made several experiments to test the availability of 
paraffin as a substitute for wax and also spermaceti in cerates, 
and am led to form the opinion that it is, to a eertain degree, 
valuable as a substitute. The temperature at which paraffin soli- 
difies after being melted, isso much greater than some other 
substances used in the manufacture of cerates and ointments, 
that this substance cannot be substituted in all cases for both 
wax and spermaceti, when those two are combined in ointments 
or cerates, but in many of these preparations that are compara- 
tively solid at ordinary temperatures, my experiments would 
lead me to form the opinion that it may be used very conve- 
niently and to advantage. 

I submit herewith a sample of the Officinal Ung. Simplex, with 
an entire substitution of paraffin for white wax. 

It will be seen that it forms quite a fair looking ointment. 

For preparations of this kind, or those ointments that are 
colored by reason of their peculiar constituents, I should judge 
paraffin could readily take the place of wax. 

I also submit specimens of Ung. Aqua Ros made with cer- 
tain amounts of paraffin in the place of wax or spermaceti. All 
these specimens differ from the officinal formula in containing 
glycerin in place of one half the quantity ordered of Aqua 
Rosz ; but a formula of precise composition accompanies each 
specimen, as to other ingredients. 

Specimen No. 1.—Contains paraffin in place of wax and 

Specimen No. 2.—Contains paraffin in place of spermaceti, 
with regular amount of wax. 

Specimen No. 3.—Contains an increased amount of paraffin 
and decreased amount of Oil of Almonds. 

Specimen No. 4.—Contains a large increase of paraffin, 
and Oil of Almonds decreased one half. 

It will be seen that No. 1 forms a fair ointment; No. 2, in 
which white wax forms a part, is perhaps rather better ; No. 3, 
containing a larger proportion of paraffin, with the regular 
amount of white wax, gives a very fair ointment, and I do not 
think the paraffin would be noticed, or be objected to, even when 
present in this quantity; an ointment made in this way would 



be, in my judgment, very permanent, and keep a long time 
without becoming “rancid” or “ropy.” No. 4 is made with a 
still larger amount of paraffin, and here the peculiarity of the 
cooling point is an objection. 

You will notice the ointment is «« granulated,” and cannot be 
considered a good pharmaceutical preparation. 

I have noticed that the presence of a small amount of white 
wax tends to make the paraffin much more « tractable,” if such 
an expression is applicable; it seems to destroy in a measure 
the tendency to « granulate,” and renders the paraffin much 
more tenacious. 

In conclusion, I would offer as my opinion that paraffin may 
be used as a substitute for either wax or spermaceti in cerates, 
and that in an ointment containing a certain amount of water 
it is better to have a portion of wax retained as rendering the 
paraffin more available. As to the therapeutic objections to 
paraffin I can only say, that judging from the peculiar character- 
istics of this substance, I should suppose there would be no rea- 
son for any whatever.—Proc. American Pharmaceutical Asso- 
ctation, 1860. 


By Aveustus P. Meuzar, or Boston. 

“To what extent is Carrageen collected on the coast of New England for the 
supply of Commerce?” 

The red-colored alge being abundant in the deeper and 
darker parts of the sea, the characteristics of the coast of New 
England naturally lead one to suppose that it may be found in 
this vicinity in great quantities and of the purest quality. 

The Carrageen, or «Irish Moss,” is gathered to a consider- 
able extent in Massachusetts, but not to any amount in other 
parts of New England. 

Along the south shore of Massachusetts, eitains upon the 
bay, the moss-gatherers during four months of the year collect 
the moss from the rocks, and from the beach, (where it is often 
landed after being torn from the rocks by the action of the sea,) 
and spread it high up on the beach to dry and bleach in the sun, 
thus preparing it for the market. 


In the town of Scituate, Plymouth county, this business is 
carried on by natives of Ireland, who are located upon the cliffs, 
at the base of which is a bold rocky beach, where the moss is 
gathered in greater quantity than in any other part of New 

It is estimated that in the town of Scituate, from three to 
four thousand barrels are yearly sent to the Boston and New 
York markets; from Cohassett and other towns in the immedi- 
ate vicinity, one or two thousand barrels more; the total num- 
ber of pounds being estimated at about five hundred thousand. 

While the Carrageen is no doubt of the first quality, its mar- 
ket value depends upon the care with which it is prepared ; thus 
its price varies according to the uses for which it is intended 
and by whom prepared. 

The collecting of «‘moss’’ in New England for commercial 
purposes is of comparatively recent date, it being obtained al- 
most wholly by Irish emigrants, who during a period of fifteen 
or twenty years, have landed upon our shores to pursue an occu- 
pation familiar to them in their native island.— Proc. American 
Pharmaceutical Association, 1860. 


This metal was discovered in 1817, by Arfwedson, in the 
mineral petalite. It exists also in spodumen, and lepidolite, 
and as a carbonate in many of the continental medicinal springs, 
viz., Carlsbad, Marienbad, Kreuznach, Aix-la-Chapelle, Kiss. 
ingen, Ems, Tiplitz, Bilin, Vichy, &. Though so long known 
it was not introduced as a remedy for any specific diseases until 
Dr. Garrod wrote his elaborate treatise on gout, &c., in which 
complaint he attributes to carbonate of lithia wonderful and 
marvellous properties. 

Lithium may be obtained, by galvanic action, from hydrated 
oxide, Li0+HO. 

Davy ascribes to this metal properties analogous to sodium, 
and recent experiments tend to verify that assertion. In ap- 
pearance it closely resembles silver, being of a beautiful white 
color. On exposure to the atmosphere it becomes converted 
into oxide. Its specific gravity is less than that of water, and 


its atomic, or uniting proportion does not exceed seven on the 
hydrogen scale. 

Oxide of Lithia.—Lithia is separated from powdered tri- 
phyllin, the most abundant mineral containing it, by digestion 
to solution in hydrochloric acid, and peroxidizing the iron 
with a little nitric acid. Dilute the liquid with water, and then 
add an excess of ammonia to precipitate the phosphoric acid 
and sesquioxide of iron. Through the ammoniacal solution 
pass sulphuretted hydrogen, to separate magnesia, filter, evap- 
orate to dryness, calcine the residue to expel ammoniacal salts, 
and dissolve the chloride of lithium in alcohol. Upon the 
addition of an excess of carbonate of ammonia, a carbonate of 
lithia precipitates after a time, and must be collected on a filter, 
and washed with alcohol of 0.80 per cent. This carbonate, 
when finally powdered and boiled in a large quantity of water, 
becomes dissolved, and upon the addition of lime is decarbon- 
ated. The filtered solution, upon evaporation, yields hydrated 
oxide of lithia.—( Booth.) 

This preparation is insoluble, or, at least, nearly so, and re- 
mains unaltered by all external actions. It possesses a dis- 
agreeable caustic taste; it is reactionary alkali, and readily 
attacks platinum. 

Chloride of Lithium appears in crystallized cakes, and is 
soluble in alcohol and water. Unlike oxide of lithia, it is de- 
liquescent on exposure. 

Sulphuret of Lithium is soluble in water and alcohol, and 
eminently pyrophoric. 

Sulphate of Lithia exists as a susnitiient body, and remains 
unalterable by exposure. Its formula is LiO,SO,. It is 
soluble in water, and nearly insoluble in alcohol. With sul. 
phate of soda it forms a double salt, NaO,SO,+-Li0,SO,+6,HO. 

Phosphate of Lithia.—The neutral phosphate of this base, 
2Li0,PO, is almost insoluble. The bi-phosphate, Li0,PO, 
is very soluble in water, and crystallizable. With phosphate of 
soda it forms a double salt, soluble in 1400 parts of water at 
59°, and in 950 parts at 210°. It is insoluble in all liquids 
containing phosphate. It is a white powder and has for its 
formule 2Na0,P0,+2Li0,PO,. 



Oxalate of Lithia.—2C,0,,Li0+4-HO, is a neutral crystalli- 
zable substance, soluble in water, unchanged on exposure, but 
decomposed by heat. The binoxalate is also a crystalline body, 
but less soluble than the former. 

Nitrate of Lithia.—A powder, anhydrous, deliquescent, fusible, 
and soluble. 

All the salts of lithia impart a red color to flame, and dis. 
tinguish them from the salts of strontia in this respect. Chapman 
heats the suspected substance in a microcosm of chloride of 
barium, which prevents chloride of strontium from tinging the 
flame. If, while at the point of the inner flame, no redness is 
apparent lithia is absent, and the red first obtained from the 
mineral per se is due to strontia.—London Pharm. Journal, 
from Dublin Hospital Gazette. 

By Cartes A. Turts, or Dover, N. H. 

“Tt has been asserted that hops that have been used in obtaining the lupulin 
of commerce are afterwards sold as hops. Is the assertion true, and if so, to 
what extent is it carried on, and where ; and what are the means of detecting 
the fraud ?” 

I have not been able to obtain such definite information as I 
could wish, in regard to this subject, and I do not think it would 
beeasy to doso. Sofar as I can ascertain, it is not the practice 
with the hop growers and sellers in New England, and I cannot 
find with certainty that it is practised elsewhere. 

I find there is an impression that it may be done, but I cannot 
learn where it is done, or by whom the fraud is committed. I have 
conversed with different hop-growers and dealers, and they have 
disclaimed all knowledge personally of such practice. 

- Hops, after being picked, are kiln-dried on frames, generally 
now by steam heat. The green hops are placed about a foot in 
thickness on the frames, and are often stirred to make them 
dry evenly. The lupulin was formerly wasted, but now most 
curers of hops suspend cloth under the frames, and save the lu- 
pulin which falls through. 

In drying a bale of two hundred pounds weight, from one to 
two pounds of lupulin can be collected; to obtain more than 



this, it would be necessary to pass the hops a second time 
through the kiln. In this way four to five pounds more could 
be obtained. The hops would be greatly injured by this process, 
not only by being deprived of the lupulin, or, as hop-growers 
term it, «the condition,” but they would be very brittle, and 
would be so broken as to be unsaleable. One hop-grower told 
me, he did not believe this was practised, as he thought the 
amount of lupulin would not compensate for the labor and ex- 
pense of this second drying. 

There is a difference in hops raised by the same grower, for 
this reason. As the hops are dried, they are placed in a pile 
in the store or curing room, till all the crop has been dried: 
they remain here for several weeks, as the curers say to toughen ; 
they are then pressed and bagged. 

The hops at the bottom of the heap will thus have much more 
lupulin than those at the top, and be stronger and more valuable ; 
considerable lupulin will be collected from the floor of the curing 
room, and the lupulin thus collected will be of the best quality. 

I have heard that quantities of lupulin are separated spe- 
cially for the supply of commerce, by threshing the hops after 
they are a year old, and then sifting the powder from the broken 

The hops thus treated are said to be put up in bags, and then 
sent to auction, and sold for what they will bring, without any 
explanation as to their inferiority. It may be these threshed 
hops are again damped and pressed into pound or half pound 

, The best way of detecting the fraud would be to remove the 
contents of a package or bale, in small quantities ; if there was 
little or no lupulin left, and the strobiles were much broken, it 
would show they had been exposed to the above treatment. 

To determine the quality of good hops, not only the color 
should be examined, but the powder should be rubbed between 
the fingers; if the lupulin is abundant and feels clammy and 
unctuous, and is not too dark colored, the hops may be pro- 
nounced of good. quality.—Proc. American Pharmaceutical 
Association. 1860. 



The French Academy of Sciences has received a communica- 
tion from M. G. Grimaud, on the manner in which the Vene- 
tians construct their cisterns, a plan which he thinks might be 
advantageously introduced on the heights which overlook Paris, 
and are occupied by large establishments and a numerous popu- 
lation, and which would greatly benefit by them. Venice occu- 
pies a surface of 5,200,000 square metres (1300 acres), exclu- 
sive of all the great and small canals which intersect it. The 
annual average of rain is 31 inches, the greater part of which 
is collected in 2077 cisterns, 177 of which are public. The rain 
is sufficiently abundant to fill the cisterns five times in the course 
of the year, so that the distribution of water is at the rate of 
16 litres (33 gallons) per head. To construct a cistern after 
the Venetion fashion, a large hole is dug in the ground to the 
depth of about 9 feet, the infiltration of the lagoons preventing 
their going any deeper. The sides of the excavation are sup- 
ported by a frame-work made of good oak timber, and the cis- 
tern thus has the appearance of a square truncated pyramid 
with the wider base turned upwards. A coating of pure and 
compact clay, 1 foot thick, is now applied on the wooden frame 
with great care; this opposes an invincible obstacle to the 
progress of the roots of any plants growing in the vicinity, and 
also to the pressure of the water in contact with it. Nocrevices 
are left which might allow the air to penetrate. This prelimi- 
nary work being done, a large circular stone, partly hollowed 
out like the bottom of a kettle, is deposited in the pyramid with 
the cavity upwards; and on the foundation a cylinder of well 
baked bricks is constructed, having no interstices whatever, ex- 
cept a number of conical holes in the bottom row. The large 
vacant space remaining between the sides of the pyramid and 
cylinder is filled with well scoured sea sand. At the four cor- 
ners of the pyramid, they place a kind of stone trough covered 
with a stone lid pierced with holes. These troughs communicate 
with each other by means of a small rill, made of bricks, and 
resting on the sand, and the whole is then paved over. The 


rain water coming from the roofs runs into the troughs, pene. 
trates into the sand through the rills, and is thus filtered into 
the cylinder or well-hole by the conical holes already described. 
The water thus supplied is perfectly limpid, sweet, and cool.— 
Franklin Journal, from Journal of the Society of Arts. 


M. Cloez, of Paris, has recently made known the result of 
some experiments relative to the Yellow Horned Poppy, @lau- 
cium luteum, Scop., which I found on some parts of our shores. 
It is common all round the Mediterranean, and up the Western 
Coast of Europe to Scandinavia. It expands its handsome 
yellow flowers during July and August, which are succeeded by 
elongated capsules, containing a large number of minute seeds, 
These seeds lose only 8 per cent. water when dried in an oven ; 
and, after drying, contain 42 per cent. of a siccative oil, which can 
be used as an aliment, or for burning. In its ordinary state the 
seed yields by pressure 82 per cent. of this oil. The mare, or 
residue, constitutes a valuable manure, giving, on analysis, six 
per cent. of nitrogen, andan ash, amounting to 143 per cent., 
rich in phosphate of lime. This oil, without doubt, resembles 
greatly the poppy-seed oil, obtained from Papaver somniferum, 

‘and the plant might be cultivated for the sake of its seed on our 
sandy shores, where nothing else remunerative can be produced, 
but we question whether it would yield anything like as much seed 
per acre asthe opium poppy, and, therefore, whether it would pay 
to cultivate it for that purpose. M. Cloez’s results, however, are 
worthy of being recorded.— London Pharm. Journ. Nov. 1860. 

from The Technologist 


Orioli recommends hypochlorite of alumina to be used as a 
bleaching and disinfecting agent, instead of the hypochlorite of 
lime and soda. It destroys more promptly, he says, organic 
coloring matter and gaseous matters of a mephitic nature.— 

Chem. News, London, Oct. 18, 1860. 


By Freperick Rocuteper, M. D. 


The medicinal action which many plants, or parts of plants, possess, 
may have been principally the earliest occasion of the examination of 
plants. It is probable that the analysis of plants, and particularly of their 
sap, was the first original labor in relation to analytical chemistry, when 
the term analysis could be scarcely employed in the sense which we at- 
tach to this word at the present time. Indeed, some derive the word 
‘« Chemistry” from x42: (the sap), because the sap of plants had been the 
object of the earliest chemical research. The applicability of many plants 
to technical purposes was the later and profitable occasion for the analy- 
sis of plants and their parts. It is, therefore, evident why the earliest 
labors were not directed to discover all the constituents of a plant or of its 
parts, but had for their object the isolation of one or the other of its con- 
stituents.. Chemists endeavored to isolate the medicinally active sub- 
stance, or the poison of medicinal or poisonous plants, and the substances, 
as coloring matters, tannin, &c., of plants, used for industrial purposes, and 
on these accounts employed. Nevertheless, we very seldom find analyses 
of all parts of a plant; mostly, analyses were preferred of those parts of 
plants which were employed in medicine or in the arts. All analyses 
were undertaken from views which must remain foreign to chemistry as 
a science, which proceeds without regard to medical or technical objects. 
Another period commenced first in more recent times in the investigation 
of plants, in which the former predominating views were more and more 
thrown into the background ; chemists became sensible that one constitu- 
ent of a plant possessed for the plant the same degree of importance as 
any other, quite independently of its applicability to different objects. 
They perceived that all the constituents of a plant must stand in the closest 
relations to one another ; that one is formed from the other, that the exist- 
ence of one constituent could not be regarded independently of the exist- 
ence of the others, and that all constituents are links of one chain. The 
principal result of these new views was an alteration in the method of 
investigating plants; it could no longer be said to be a one-sided endea- 
vor for the isolation of a substance with a disregard to all other simultane- 
ously existing constituents. It became necessary to search for all the con- 
stituents of a vegetable substance by analysis, and to study them closely. 
The inquiries concerning the process by which one constituent is formed 
from others, and, according to the nature of the affinities, is converted 



into other substances, have rendered requisite more correct analyses with 
reference to all the constituents. 

The first efforts of chemists in the analysis of plants and their parts were 
limited to the separation of their constituents from one another, as far as 
it was possible, by their different behaviour to solvents. The substances 
thus separated, often still a mixture of several bodies, had a peculiar 
name conferred on them, but their composition, their relation to other 
bodies, with the exception of some observations concerning their color, or 
the precipitates produced by the addition of reagents, were not further in- 
vestigated. From a resemblance in the properties of individual constitu- 
ents with bodies already known, their identity with the same was decided 
upon. While some chemists rather predicted than were able to detect an 
unlimited quantity of different bodies in various plants by a great number 
of analyses in the highest degree imperfect, others proceeded to examine 
more closely the detected constituents individually. It was quite in 
the nature of things to be expected that for the investigation of the 
composition and constitution of their individual constituents, those 
bodies in particular should be selected which from their properties ap- 
peared to give a guarantee of their purity by reason of the facility with 
which they could be isolated and purified. For example: volatile oils, by 
the facility with which they are volatilized undecomposed, and are sep- 
arated at certain boiling points from other volatile substances with some 
precision ; also crystallizable bodies of some permanence which may be 
easily separated from other amorphous substances by their disposition to 
assume the crystalline form. These were the objects of attention to those 
men of science who expected more benefit to chemistry from a fundamen- 
tal study of some substances than by the discovery of many. Thus, then, 
it happens that besides some few well-conducted analyses of vegetable sub- 
stances, we possess a great mass of imperfect analyses, and sometimes an 
exact chemical investigation of one or the other constituent of a vegetable 
substance, in which the remaining constituents Lave received no considera- 
tion. There exists, at the present day, no investigation of the various 
parts of a plant which has been completed so that, uniting the details of 
each investigation of all the constituents to a whole, it could give us a rep: 
resentation of the constitution of the plant. 

The investigation of an incividual constituent of a vegetable often re- 
quires a long time, and a great expenditure of patience and sagaci- 
ty, not to speak of the pecuniary sacrifice combined with it. For 
these reasons few of the substances have been at present examined in com- 
parison with the number whose existence is already known. But an exact 
and complete analysis is endlessly troublesome when the nature of the 
constituents are notknown. To this is to be ascribed the few analyses we 
possess which correspond to the acquirements of science. For an analysis 

which informs us what constituents a plant contains im its various parts. 



and in what quantity they are present therein, we seek in vain in chemi- 
cal works. 

As we find only some analyses of plants which possess a value, when we 
examine the long series of such analyses, so also we search vainly for a 
definite method according to which they could be arranged. There is no 
difficulty in explaining why no method is given for the analysis of plants 
such as we possess in mineral chemistry. Inorganic analysis is, in gen- 
eral, the analysis of defined compounds, the properties of whose elements 
are, for the most part, correctly known, and likewise the properties of their 
most important combinations with one another. When the analysis of 
plants treats of the analysis of mixtures which cannot be separated me- 
chanically, then terminates the precision and certainty of inorganic chem- 
istry, which we only can boast of in its relation to elementary analysis. 
The investigations of the various minerals, as phonolithe, &c., show how 
little we know of the means of separating the individual constituents, 
Every part of a plant is a mixture of many constituents not mechanically 
separable, the number of contemporaneously existing constituents of such 
a mixture being infinitely greater than in the most complex fossils. If it 
be difficult in this case to find out a method of separation, how much more 
difficult will it be with plants, whose principal constituents are so readily 
decomposable and changeable that they may be altered not only by the re- 
agents employed for their separation, but act reciprocally on one another, 
producing bodies which were not originally present. 

When we have to deal, in the analysis of plants, with known compounds, 
as is mostly the case in mineral chemistry, still the investigation is not 
easy. In the analysis of a vegetable substance heretofore unexamined, we 
can reckon almost with certainty on meeting with one or more quite un- 
known bodies. The intimation which has been already often expressed, 
that a rational method for the analysis of plants is quite impossible until 
at least we are correctly acquainted with the majority of vegetable bodies, 
is, consequently, not without some foundation, for only when we know the 
properties of the constituents of plants and their combinations, can a 
method be established which will be available for all time. Consequent- 
ly, both for the presentand the nextcentury we must renounce the hope of a 
permanent and rational methodof vegetable analysis, as it is scarcely 
possible, in a shorter space of time for chemists to study correctly 
and copiously enough the majority of the constituents of plants. The num- 
ber of plants is great, and increases yearly by fresh discoveries, and with the 
number of plants the number of peculiar vegetable substances also increases. 
Therefore, if we would wait for the establishment of a method of vege- 
table analysis until we are acquainted with the majority of all vegetable 
bodies, we should never arrive at one, because we can only learn the proper- 
ties of these bodies by organic analysis, and toinvestigate plants without some 
such method of analysis tends to aimless researches. However, this is clear, 



that every method of vegetable analysis which is arranged for the present, 
must be only a provisional one, to be made more comprehensive as 
soon as the knowledge of the constituents of plants has been extended by 
its aid—in other words, the provisional method is the means to arrive at 
better methods. 

With the majority of the older analyses of vegetables the foundation of 
the process was the application of different solvents in succession. Ether, 
alcohol and water were the solvents most commonly employed. In many 
cases, the residues were brought into contact with dilute acids and alkalies, 
generally with the assistance of heat, after having been more or less ex- 
hausted with the three fluids mentioned. In consequence of the facility with 
which many substances are transformed into others by the action of 
acids and alkalies in the heat, these latter methods of treatment often gave 
rise to incorrect views of the composition of the plants, or those parts 
under examination. The treatment of the substance to be examined in 
succession with ether, alcohol, and water, would have afforded much bet- 
ter results, as in fact was mostly the case when two conditions which did 
not prevent a complete separation in this way, were not sufficiently attend- 
ed to and calculated upon. These conditions are the following: the ex- 
haustion of the substance under examination with one fluid must always be 
imperfectly effected before the second is allowed to act thereon. We 
cannot so prepare the material that each individual cell and its contents 
are exposed to the action of the solvent, because the material reduced to 
an impalpably fine powder, and exhausted with a solvent, affords again to 
the same solvent substances after it has been freshly triturated. Thus it 
happens that there are always bodies retained in the substance under exam- 
ination after its treatment with a solvent which are soluble therein. If 
we now bring the substance in contact with the second solvent, the bodies 
not only will dissolve that we intend therewith to extract, but often also 
the remainder of the bodies which the first solvent left behind. The same 
holds good with regard to the third solyent. A solution of certain bodies 
by a solvent will afford thereby no means in many cases for the separation 
of other bodies which are insoluble in this solvent, because frequently sub- 
stances which are per se insoluble in a liquid, are not insoluble in a solu- 
tion of other substances in the same liquid. In this way we obtain, in a 
watery or alcoholic extract of a vegetable substance, bodies which per se 
are insoluble in water or alcohol, but which, by the agency of other bodies, 
are dissolved therein. Independently of these detrimental circumstances, 
which are produced by an incomplete exhaustion with one liquid before 
the application of a second solvent, there is associated the condition that the 
exhaustion with a liquid, at the same time, produces a solution of bodies 
which should not dissolve, because they are held to be insoluble therein. 
But what is termed insoluble are, in the majority of cases, only very diffi- 
cultly soluble substances, that is, such substances as require a large 

| | 


quantity of the liquid when a little shall be dissolved therein. How- 
ever, when it is desired to exhaust as much as possible a substance by 
means of a liquid, it is necessary to employ a large quantity of the 
liquid, as it is essential to effect the extraction with renewed portions 
ofthe solvent. In so great a quantity of liquid, a quantity not inconsidera- 
ble of the very difficultly soluble bodies dissolve, which, by the concentra- 
tion of the liquid, are often prevented from being separated by other con- 
stituents, thus rendering impure, in a serious degree, the substance which 
we wish to extract free from the other constituents. 

The method for the analysis of plants, given in the following pages, de- 
pends on the treatment of materials with various solvents. Every result- 
ing solution then undergoes a further appropriate treatment therein. It 
must be here mentioned that the preparation of some of these sulutions, and 
their further investigation, promise no certainty, and that only by a com- 
parison of the results which are obtained by the investigation of all the in- 
dividual constituents, separately and collectively, can we deduce a correct 
conclusion on the constitution of a vegetable product. 

It would have been, as every competent judge will concede, a perfectly 
unfruitful, useless labor, to publish, as far as it is known, the behaviour of all 
known constituents of plants with reagents; and more so, because we would 
but deceive ourselves vr others if from the apparently identical behaviour 
of two analogous bodies with some reagents a conclusion with regard to their 
identity should be drawn. Only by identical composition, surely established 
by elementary analysis, the identity of reactions proves something ; through 
the attempts at recognizing and detecting in a mixture of bodies the indi- 
vidual constituents by their behaviour with reagents without further corrob- 
oration, have arisen numberless false statements. Malic acid, gum, &c., 
are stated to have been found as constituents in numerous plants. Who- 
ever has carefully tested these statements will find, by a repetition of the 
analysis, no mulic acid, and convince himself thatethe supposed gum is a 
salt of an organic acid with an inorganic base, which possesses no remark- 
able taste, dries to a gum-like mass, dissolves in water, and is precipitated 
by alcohol therefrom in white flocks, &c. To prove that a body, which has 
been obtained by analysis, is identical with an already known substance, 
the elementary analysis of this body, or one of its suitable combinations, 
must be undertaken. Only the reactions of substances rendered pure, de- 
serve in this respect consideration, not the reactions of mixtures. With- 
out elementary analysis, in regard to identity, only a high degree of pro- 
bability ean be arrived at, but no certainty. But an error, in a high de- 
gree probable, is more dangerous than a palpable mistake. Elementary 
analyses, which alone bestow a value on the identity of reactions, are, 
besides, the least difficult and tedious part of the labor. They require no 
great amount of ability. This is only — for the preparation of the 
substance to be analyzed. 






Section 1.—Mechanical treatment of the material preliminary to its 

When we desire to be able to learn the composition of a vegetable sub- 
stance, the first requisite is to simplify and facilitate the subsequent chemi- 
cal operations by a suitable mechanical preparation of the substance to be 

If we were in a position so to dismember a plant that only its equally 
similar ceils were separated and subjected to a chemical investigation, not 
only would the analysis be thereby greatly simplified, but a source of error 
would be quite removed—the formation of bodies not originally present,by the 
action of the constituents of dissimilar cells on one another. But such an 
anatomical preparation of the material for the subsequent chemical investiga- 
tion is an impossibility. Now, as the separation of the individual tissues of a 
plant, at least of such a large quantity of the material as we require for a 
chemical investigation, belongs to the limits of the impossible, we must 
aecomplish at least the possible in this respect by the mechanical separation 
of the parts as completely as practicable. How far this can be effected in 
certain cases depends on the structure and anatomical relations of the sub- 
stance to be examined. 

To render the substance intended for examination suitable for treatment 
with liquids, it must be comminuted. The more points of contact pre- 
sented by the material to the liquid, the better it is. The comminution 
cannot easily be carried too far with materials which cannot be penetrated 
with the liquid which is intended for their extraction. In this case merely 
moistening of the surface of the smallest portions takes place. The smaller 
these portions, the greater the surface, the more completely the extraction 
with the solvent is accomplished. With a material which is readily pene- 
trated with the solvent employed, a careful comminution is superfluous. In 
so far as a substance swells up by means of the fluid used for its extraction, 
its minute division is objectionable. Under such circumstances a gela- 
tinous mass results, which absorbs and rétains much fluid, the solvent can- 
not be separated, and when pressure is employed for this purpose, the 
pasty mass escapes through all the pores of the press-cloth. 

Frequently a very fine powder of the substance cannot be prepared on 
account of the peculiar tenacious property of the material. Nevertheless, 
if it be desirable to divide such a substance as much as possible, it may be 
often readily effected after the removal of the greatest part of several con- 

Often a certain degree of moisture, the presence of water, renders the 
substance tenacious and elastic, so that it is difficult to pulverize it. A 
careful drying suffices in such cases to deprive the material of its tenacity, 
and to render it pulverizable. For example, it is extremely difficult to beat 
to a fine powder coffee beans in the condition in which they exist in com- 
merce. However, this is easily effected when they are exposed for several 

3s ct 


days to a temperature between 140° and 150° Fahr., and thereby rendered 
free from a portion of their hygroscopic water. The presence of a fatty 
oil oftentimes makes the substance to be examined tenacious; after the 
expression of the oil from the coarsely powdered material, the residue can 
then be finely divided. 

When resins or fats in smaller quantities are the cause of the tenacity 
and elasticity, the comminution of substance may be effected by first re- 
moving, by a suitable solvent, the objectionable portion of the constituents 
from the coarsely powdered substance, then drying it, when it can be 
tinely divided. 

The pulverization is always facilitated when it is accomplished by stamp- 
ing or rubbing, by separating the coarser from the finer particles by means 
of a sieve, and repeating the operation on the coarser portion. 

Whether a substance is. to be reduced to a fine state of division by 
stamping, rubbing, rasping, cutting, ot crushing between rollers, depends 

mn its properties, and no instructions can be previously given here in this 
respect. The apparatus required for these operations are so well described 
in various works, and rendered intelligible by the aid of engravings that it 
appears superfluous to enter more closely into this matter. 

Before the pulverized material is treated with appropriate solvents, it is 
idvisable in all cases to observe whether it is not possible by expression to 
»ompletely separate certain constituents. In the investigation of vegetable 
substances which contain liquid fats, or fats fusible at a moderate tempera- 
ture, a great portion of the fat may be separated by cold expression, or by 
plates heated to 212° Fahr. In the investigation, the advantage is not 

nly thereby gained that a considerable quantity of fat is separated from 
the other constituents, but many other advantages are thus attained in the 
further treatment of the substance—for example, in its extraction with 
water as well as with alcohol, as the presence of a large quantity of fat oc- 
vsasions many inconveniences. The watery decoction, as well as the 
watery residue, which remains behind after the expulsion of the alcohol 
from the extract prepared with spirit, is rendered, with materials rich in 
fat, often turbid, and cannot be obtained clear by filtration. With such 
liquids the filtration proceeds with extreme slowness. This disadvantage 
is everywhere evident when saponin or analogous bodies are present in 
. solutions, which divide the fat so finely and suspend it in the liquid, that 
it passes through a moist filter simultaneously with the liquid. Even 
when the liquid can be obtained clear by filtration, its filtration is very 
much retarded thereby, and the opportunity to decompose is afforded to the 
dissolved substances. When a turbid fluid, containing fat, is mixed with 
a saline solution to produce a precipitate, the precipitate mechanically 
throws down the fat, becomes so pasty in consequence, and difficultly divi- 
sible in water, that its solution in acids, its decomposition by a current of 
gas, and hy other agents, are very difficult to be accomplished, There often 




remains no other means for the separation of the fat than to precipitate a 
portion of the constituents, which are dissolved in the fatty liquid by a re- 
agent, and then to filter the liquid. It is evident that by this method of 
separating the fat a portion of the other constituents are sacrificed. It is 
advisable to avoid such loss when it can be prevented. 

Section 2.—On the nature of the substance to be examined, and on the 
quantity required for its investigation. 

If we desire the investigation of one, several. or all the constituents of a 
plant, by means of analysis, we should endeavor to obtain the material 
for the investigation in the freshest condition possible. I have had ov- 
casion to convince myself that some fresh vegetable substances, even when 
most carefully dried and preserved, did not, after some months, contain 
even a trace of several bodies which were easily detected in their recent 
‘state. It is often impossible to use the material in a fresh state for 
investigation. When plants or their constituents have to be examined, 
which are brought from distant countries, we must be contented to obtain 
them in the best possible state of preservation, as it is not possible to 
draw with full certainty a correct conclusion from the composition of such 
dried materials as to their composition when ina fresh condition. Indeed, 
such investigations are calculated to afford very useful results in 
pharmacological, dietetic, or industrial relations, because the materials are 
employed in the same condition in which they are investigated; but they 
are not suitable for giving a representation of the true composition of the 
living plant. Chemical changes often proceed on keeping the plants with- 
out observable external alterations, and the composition resulting from 
these changes is then often regarded as the original one, Consequently, 
when we are ina position to!select the material for the analysis of a 
plant, and are not compelled to employ for the investigation vegetable sub- 
stances which we cannot procure in a fresh state, it is always most con- 
venient to select such plants or their parts as can be obtained in a 
fresh condition, which enable us to undertake the investigation at places 
not far distant from where they grow. Only in these cases are we sure to 
obtain a correct result from a correct analysis; that is, to be able to learn 
the true composition of the living plant. Results are only obtained in this 
way, which, in vegetable physiology or botany, are truly trustworthy. It 
would appear, from what has been stated, that the field of activity is a cir- 
cumscribed one ; but this is not so. We know the composition of plants 
which grow in our immediate neighborhood, less than that of many others. 
The tree under whose shadow we walk, as well as the vegetable we tread 
upon in our path, are chemically unknown things. We know the salicin 
of the willow and the populin of the poplar, we know the amygdalin of 
the almond and the volatile oils of the chamomile and the sage, but a repre- 
sentation of the composition of those plants we have not. He who knows 
the composition of oil of valerian, knows nothing of the composition of the 

(To be continued.) 

Editorial Department. 

RocHLeper’s Proximate ANatysis oF Piants.—We commence in this 
number the publication of Rochleder’s work on the proximate analysis of 
vegetable substances, which we propose to continue in future numbers 
regularly. We have a manuscript translation of the entire work, by Mr. 
John M, Maisch, which we propose partially to employ, and partially to 
avail ourselves of the translation now being published in the Pharmaceu- 
tical Journal. The work, when completed, will afford a valuable source of 
practical information on this difficult subject, heretofore almost inaccessible 
in English books. (See page 81.) 

New Weicuts or tHe British Paarmacorata.—The subject of Weights 
and Measures is always one of paramount importance to the Pharmaceu- 
tist: without these useful aids we cannot conceive of accuracy or scienti- 
fic precision in our processes ; yet it is so difficult to effect reforms involv- 
ing a change in the general customs of trade, that the greatest inconveni- 
ences are sulimitted to, rather than interfere with them. 

In England and the United States the anomaly exists of using, or pro- 
fessing to use, among Druggists and Apothecaries, one system of weights 
for buying and selling and another for mixing and combining, a custom 
entailed by early English sovereigns tampering with the silver currency, 
which at that time regulated the weights and measures. The greatest evil 
of this anomaly stated in brief is this:—The National Pharmacopceia 
processes all require troy weight. Carelessness or ignorance, or interest, 
induce a large number of Apothecaries and Druggists to use the avoir- 
dupois ounce of 437! grains, and its divisions, in lieu of the troy ounce of 
480 grains. To avoid this evil, the Committee now engaged inrevising the 
British Pharmacopoeia early considered the various remedies which had 
been proposed, and finally adopted the suggestion of Dr. Charles Wilson, 
of Edinburgh, the Secretary of the Scottish branch of that Committee, 
which virtually remedies the difficulty by having but one system of weights 
for use in Pharmacy,—the avoirdupois weight, now universally employed 
in general trade. But the minor divisions of avoirdupois weight are not 
sufficiently minute to replace the Apothecaries weight, and the chief point 
in the proposed change is that the Avoirdupois ounce of 437.5 grains be di- 
vided precisely as the present Apothecaries ounce, into 480 parts to be 
ealled grains, 20 of such grains to make a scruple, 3 scruples to make a 
drachm, and 8 drachms to make an ounce; above which the divisions are 
the same as in the avoirdupois table. 

Now the great merit of this proposition is, that it does not change the 

a ° 


name of asingle division of weight; and only their value to the extent 
of about nine per cent. less than that of the present Apothecaries weight. 
The change to a less value is on the side most favorable to their adoption, 
by a certain class of dispensers, who designedly use the avoirdupois ounce, 
because it is less, and who are not fewin number. ‘The medical profes- 
sion have of latter years shown a tendency to decrease doses; and it is 
believed that they could substitute the new weights in practice without any 
inconvenience to themselves or their patients, even if no allowance be made 
for the difference, but it would soon be seen that the equilibrium would be 
regained. If 10 troy grains of Calomel are necessary to effect a given 
purpose, 11 of the avoirdupois grains could be used as practically equiva- 
lent, and so of other quantities. The language of the Pharmacopoeia need 
not be changed in a single process, except in regard to the word pound, 
which if retained would signify 7000 troy grains instead of 5760 as at pre- 
sent. Now as this present word pound in reference to the Apothecaries 
weight is often the cause of great errors in compounding, its use for the 
next ten years might be dispensed with, expressing all large quantities in 

We now come to the main argument which has been used against this 
innovation, viz., the abandonment of the Troy grain, upon which rests 
both of the present systems of weight. 

In reply to this, we will urge that it is not proposed to change the Troy 
grain, which is really no part of the avoirdupois system, but only to create 
a new grain which will bear a certain fixed relation to the Troy grain, and 
which there is just as much propriety in its possessing, as in its having 
a peculiar drachm or ounce. In fact, the argument against it applies 
with equal force to the centigramme of the Decimal system, which finds 
many advocates, and which is far less approximative in character to the 
Troy weight. It will be asked how will it work in practice? how do you 
propose to effect the practical introduction of the new grain? In reply, 
we say as follows. Down to the eighth of an avoirdupvis ounce we are 
already provided. Let our Colleges of Pharmacy make arrangements with 
any manufacturer of weights to provide the new weight from the drachm 
down to the grain, and its fractions if needed, and supply them at cost to 
all applicants. Every apothecary would desire to retain a set of small 
troy weight for use in the old formule, and the small cost of the minor 
new weights would be so trifling that none could object. ‘These views 
were advocated in the Pharmacopeeia Convention at Washington, and at 
the New York meeting of the Pharmaceutical Association; and ten years 
ago, whilst serving upon the Committee of Revision of 1850, we expressed 
an opinion favorable to the Dublin weights as preferable to the retention 
of two systems in practice. The subject has been revived by the reception 
of a letter from Dr. Charles Wilson, of Edinburgh, manifesting much inte- 
rest in regard to the adoption of the new weights in our Pharmacopeeia, as 


a step highly conducive to uniformity in practice, because the formule of 
the two countries are constantly used by each other, and more particularly 
the British formule by us, owing to the large amount of English medical 
literature in use in the United States. As we are equally anxious that 
this assimilation should take place, we take the liberty of introducing a 
quotation from Dr. Wilson’s letter bearing on the subject. 

“It was in the beginning of March of last year, that I brought before 
the Scottish branch of the National Pharmacopeia Committee, of which 
I am Secretary, what purported to be a a Sng ge to change the grain 
weight for solids in medicine, so as to render it an integral part of the 
Imperial or Avoirdupois weight, and thus assimilate properly and funda- 
mentally. the medicinal weights for solids and fluids, at once with each 
other, and with the ordinary commercial weight. A sub committee was 
immediately appointed to consider it, and the plan was directed to be 
communicated to the two other committees in London and Dublin. The 
opposition was at first strong in all the committees; but in the month of 
April, the Edinburgh committee agreed, on the motion of Prof. Christi- 
son, to recommend the plan for adoption, as the best under the circum- 
stances; and this determination was followed by an expression of full 
concurrence from the Scottish branch of the Pharmaceutical Society. 
The opinions of the other committees rapidly came round; and finally, at 
a convocation of the whole, held in London, in May, my suggestion was 
formally adopted. In an attempt at that time, which I was desired to 
make to convince the Pharmaceutical Society of London, I had the same 
success at the commencement that attended me in all the others; though 
T had at once here the advantage of the support of Dr. Redwood, their 
able Professor of Pharmacy. In June, 1859, this gentleman further 
wrote to me, that the inquiries he had recently made had tended greatly 
to strengthen the opinion he previously entertained, that the use by drug- 
gists of two sorts of weights, agreeing in name but differing in value, leads 
to much inaccuracy in the preparation of medicines, and that he knows 
of no better way to remedy this evil, which he designates as one of great 
magnitude, than that which I had suggested.” 

Our readers will thus see that, in all probability, the new British Phar- 
macopeia, which Dr. Wood writes may be expected at latest in October 
next, will contain these new weights, and in view of that it cannot but be 
manifest that their adoption in the U. S. Pharmacopeeia would be a step 
in the right direction. We know that very able and influential opponents 
of this proposition exist among us, but as yet but little expression has oc- 
curred, and one object of this nutice is to request 'the thinking members of 
the Medical and Pharmaceutical professions to manifest more interest in 
a subject that so vitally concerns them. Our space is so limited in this 
number, that these remarks are necessarily curtailed, but we hope in a 
future number to recur to the subject, and meanwhile ask its consideration 

by our readers. 

Tue Unitep Society or Caemists aND is well known 
to a large number of our readers that, since 1841, an influential Associa- 
tion has grown into existence in Great Britain, called « the Pharmaceutical 



Society,’ consisting originally of the better educated pharmageutists, who 
by association aimed at raising their body to a professional rank by a 
most earnest course of endeavor to encourage education and good practice 
among the dispensers of medicine. The early labors of these men, among 
whom the late Jacob Bell occupied so prominent a position, at last suc- 
ceeded in gaining the recognition of Parliament, who by an Act granted 
certain powers to this Society, which, whilst they were far more limited 
than the applicants desired, yet conferred upon the Association a position 
and influence that have done much to advance the cause of pharmaceutical 
education in that country. Among other rights and privileges granted in 
the Charter, is that of making the name « Pharmaceutical Chemist” a 
title belonging only to members of the Society, no other dispensers 
having the legal right to employ it. Numerous as are the members 
of the Society, it by no means includes all the reputable pharma. 
ceutists, some refusing originally to join the movement from various 
motives, until the period arrived when none could join without sub- 
mitting to an examination, a course very repugnant to many men 
who consider themselves qualified by long service. This feature, and 
the fact that the Pharmaceutical Society is not slow to draw the line 
between its members and the outsiders so distinct as to influence the public. 
has begotten a feeling of union among the « Chemists and Druggists,” as 
they call themselves, which has resulte@in the formation, or rather the 
commencing steps to the formation of a distinct Society, called « The 
United Society of Chemists and Druggists,” to which the annual subscrip- 
tion is but five shillings sterling, about a dollar and a quarter. So far as 
we can learn from the pages of the « Chemist and Druggist,” only the 
initiatory steps have been taken. Mr. C. T. Buott, the Secretary pro tem., 
has been engaged in an active canvass, by letter, among the trade, with 
a view of getting as numerous an adhesion as possible, believing, as did 
the early supporters of the Pharmaceutical Society, that numbers were of 
the first importance in giving force and jnfluence to the movement. In 
pursuance of this idea, Morgan & Brothers, the publishers of the «Chemist 
and Druggist,” and the great druggists’ sundries men of Bow Lane, Lon- 
don, have offered to give the Society five hundred dollars, if by Christmas 
the number of members-reached one thousand. We have not been able 
to meet with a clearly defined view of the modus operandi proposed for 
this new Society, nor are we aware of the exact limits of qualification for 
membership its founders propose,—whether druggists, or manufacturing 
pharmaceutists, properly so called, on the one hand, and druggist grocers 
on the other, will be included or excluded,—but the following, taken from 
‘the preliminary prospectus,” issued in August last, will give some idea of 
their aims :— 

“ United Society of Chemists and Druggisis.” 
«The promoters of this Association, feeling impressed with the fact that 
so numerous and intelligent a body as the Chemists and Druggists of the 



United Kingdom have no organization that fairly represents their interests 
as a trading community, propose that this Society be formed, having for 
its objects— 

lst.—The establishment of a Mutual Benefit Fund, for the assistance 
of members in sickness, old age and death ; formed upon such calculations 
by the most eminent eee as shall combine economy of charges with 
absolute security. 

2d.—To carry out by district meetings and a combined action any im- 
provement that may be deemed necessary for the welfare of the trade, such 
as early and Sunday closing of the hours of business, or any other ar- 
rangement that may at any time be of advantage. 

*3d.—To watch the progress, support or oppose any legislative enactment 
that may affect the interests of the Chemists and Druggists as a trading 

4th.—To enable the members of this Society to have an analysis made 
of any article, at a nominal fixed rate of charges, by an able trade analyst 
or analysts duly appointed. 

5th.—To keep a registry of the transfer of businesses, of required part. 
nerships, and situations for assistants, &c., and to be the general recipient 
and exponent of any trade requirement.” 

Judging from this outline the purposes of the new Society are mainly 
self-protective and benevolent, and must be viewed almost wholly as an 
, association for promoting the business relations of its members, and pro- 
“tecting their «‘trade” from infringement. 

We cull the attention of Professors of Materia Medica, of Pharmacy and 
of Chemistry, to the new books of labels just published by the Philadelphia 
College of Pharmacy. The first and larger book consists of labels for the 
Materia Medica and Pharmaceutical preparations, embracing about 1200 
distinct labels, of uniform size, each label having three lines—first the 
Latin name of the substance ; secondly, either the botanical source, if a 
plant, or the chemical formula if a chemical substance ; third, the ordi- 
nary common name. They are on glazed light straw-colored paper, and 

arranged nearly in alphabetical order. 

_ The second book is strictly chemical in its scope, and consists of two sizes ; 
the first of the more important chemical compounds—the second and smaller 
size, of rare inorganic and organic substances—the whole book embracing 
about 600 labels, and in every instance, where possible, the chemical 
formula of each substance is appended. 

Want or Honesty 1n MakING Preparations.—M. L. 
Leroy, of New York, has sent us a piece of thick porous blotting paper, 
laid off in squares with a pencil ; each square contained a stain made by 


a drop of some pharmaceutical liquid—each column consisted of different 
specimens of the same preparation, and exhibits at a glance the variation 
of compositivn by the difference in the stains. He considers this a good 
way to test for many of those preparations that have an ingredient that is 
liable to vary from its high price—as, fur instance, saffron—in Vinum Opii 
Crocatum, Elixir Proprietatis, and Tinctura Cinchonz Composite. The 
writer then remarks— 

« We apothecaries are often annoyed for our charges, there being no 
regulations in regard to prescriptions or prices. It occurred to me the 
other day that a patient asked for Vinum Opii Crocetum, commonly called 
Sydenham’s Laudanum, a remedy very popular amongst the French, 
Italian and Spanish people, and which is made, according to every Euro- 
pean Pharmacopeeia, of 

Malaga Wine, . a pound, 
Powdered opium, . two ounces. 
Cinnamon and cloves, of each Z one drachm. 

With genuine Spanish saffron at $20 per pound, and opium at present 
prices, the cost of this wine is not less than $3.50 to $4 per pound, and 
for retailing we charge fifty cents per ounce, with vial. The patient ex- 
claimed at the ‘exhorbitance of the price,’ and said that he had paid 
but twenty-five cents for the same at another store.” 

There is much truth in what vur correspondent says in regard to certain 
preparations. It should be remembered, however, that the U. S. Pharma-’ 
copeeia omits the saffron from the Vinum Opii, and unless the prescription 
specially called for V. Opii Crocatum, there was no impropriety in vending 
the other. The difficulty of applying an extemporaneous test to laudanum 
and other Galenical preparations, offerg so great an impediment to judging 
of them without analysis, that Mr. Leroy’s idea of studying the subject 
from this new point of view seems to offer at least encouragement to try 
its availability. Mere color will not do for the decision in all cases, as age 
and light often alter the tint of genuine tinctures; but the application of 
re-agents to the stains produced by normal preparations may be productive, 
in some cases, of a valuable and easy method of recognition. For instance, 
the persalts of iron produce, with the meconic acid in opium, a deep red colo- 
ration. When a drop of laudanum dried on blotting paper is touched with 
a solution of sesquichloride of iron, a dark stain is produced ; if now the 
same laudanum, previously diluted with an equal bulk of water, be tried, 
the stain caused by the iron salt has much less depth of color. How much 
reliance could be placed on this method in other cases it is not easy 
to say, yet it is worthy of trial by some pharmaceutist who has the time 
and inclination. Until, however, we heve one generally recognized Phar- 
macopeeia, it cannot be expected that uniformity in these preparations will 
occur, even among the reputable members of our profession. 



Abernethy, J M. 
Abel, Jacob W. 
Alexander, W. F. Jr. 
Archibald, H. C. 

Baratet, Prosper A. 
Barr, Peter 

Bates, Daniel 8. 
Bell, Henry 

Berger, Christian 
Benson, J. H. 

Blithe, Henry 
Blomer, George D. 
Bower, George C., Jr, 
Brown, Frederick, Jr. 
Buchanan, W. G. 

Carbonell, F. B. 
Chipman, Ed. D. 
Ciothier, Wm. P. 
Collier, James B. 
Craighead, George S. 
Cressler, Charles H. 

Danner, Thomas J. 
Dare, Charles F. 
Davis, G. H. 
Dickson, Robert W. 
Diehl, C. Lewis 
Dobbins, Edward T. 

Evans, Wm. H. 
Everhart, Augustus 

Fetter, Mareus C. 
Fischer, Theophilus 

Gibson, Robert 
Giffard, Wm. H. 
Githens, Wm. H. H. 
Greiner, A. Weldon 
Gristock, C. F. 

Halpin, Wm. J. 
Hambright, George M. 
Hand, Richard T. 
Hansell, George 
Harrison, Wm. D. 
Hayes, George E. 
Hedges, Thomas J. 
Heydenreich, Emile 
Higinbothom, W. Ralph 
Hoffman, C. Ferdinand 
Hornbeck, Molton E. 
Huff, Edmund J. 

















New Jersey. 

New Jersey. 



With a List of their Preceptors and Localities. 





M. P. Miller & Co. 

Geo. D. Wetherill & Co. 
Joseph C. Turppenny & Co. 
Thomas Estlack, Jr. 
French, Richards & Co. 

Hegeman & Co,, N. Y. 
ock & Crenshaw. 

E. D. Lawall. 

T. M. Perot. 

Wetherill & Bro. 
F. Jordan. 

A. D. D. Taylor. 
Jenks & Ogden. 
John ear. 
James T. 

We. Jr. 
H. N. Rittenhouse. 
Po W. R. Warner. 
A. Roidot. 
Ohio. C. J. Geiger, M. D. 
Pennsylvania. C. H. Needles. 
Maryland. 0. 8. Hubbell. 
Pennsylvania. C. Ellis & Co. 
Pennsylvania. Galliard & Marshall. 
Wm. M. Reilly. 
“ Geo. C. Bower. 
| F. Brown, Jr. 
“ Jobn Moffet. 
=. lvania. Richard Warmsley 
J. Scattergood. 
- 4 
Chicago, Illinois. .D. 
Philadelphia, Pennsy!vania. 
= « W. F. Patterson, M. D, 
r Keys, M. D. 
Wm. Evans & Son. 
Cape May, New Jersey. 
Rancocas, “ 
London, England. Blair & 
Athens, Georgia. R. M. Smith. . 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. J. N. Marks. 
Soultz-sous-forets France. Daniel 8. Jones. 
Jacobs, Henry H. = S 
Jordan, C. E. Alabama. 
Cc. Pennsylvania. 
F Keffer, Wm. P. <6 
Kenworthy, James 


Kimball, B. W., M. D. 
Kunkle, 8. A. 

Lackey, Milford F. 
Lancaster, Wm. 
Latta, Wm. J. 
Tetts, Charles 
Lloyd, Franklin 
Long, Jchn C. 

McCarty, R. H. 
Macpherson, W. F. 
Malcom, Granville 
Marple, Enoch W. 
Martin. Thomas J. 
Mason, Wm. E. F. 
Mathieu. Albert 

Mullen, Wesley W. 
Norris, § 

Northrop, J. 

Parry, George R. 
Patterson, James B. 
Frank H. 

. Peck, H. T. 
Pile, Wilson H., Jr. 

Randolph, Wallace §. 
Reeder, Wm D. 
Reel, Joseph 
Reifsnyder, J. Henry 
Rex, A. 

Richards, Clayton F. 
Richardson, Nathaniel 
Rombe: Fred. 

gcheller, T. K. 
Schmi Florenz 
Scholl, Griffith A. 
Sheridan, Richard B. 

onathan T. 

iphraim K. 
Smith, Robert W. 

Webbs ert W. 

Wills, Clayton N, 
Woods, Charles 






Cape Island, 
Saint Paul, 



New Orleans, 








Fort Wayne, 

Montgomery Co., 

Delaware Oo., 







New Brunswick. 


H. T. Cummings, M. D. 

0. Hubbell. 

Hassard & Co. 

Wn. Jr. 

C. Ellis & 

John W. al & Son. 
Powers & Weightman. 
T. 8. Wiegand. 

. Milnor, M. D. 

E. B. Garrigues. 
Charles Shivers. 
Peter T. Wright & Co. 
Bullock & Crenshaw. 
Fred. Rollmann. 
G. Y. Shoemaker. 

L. M. Emanuel. 
Charles Ellis & Co. 

George D. Wetherill & Co. 

E. Dana, Jr. 

Jos. G. Richardson. 
Charles L. Elhern. 
R. S. Christiani. 

C. L. Eberle. 

Wilson H. Pile, M. D. 

John C. Baker & Co. 
J. M, Larkin. 
G. F. Harvey, M. D. 
Wm. Stahler. 

French, Richards & Co. 
Thos. J. Husband. 
Wm. Macpherson. 
Thomas P. James. 

Rank, M. D. 

AY’ & H. Smith. 
H. Mitchell. 
rles = & Co. 

New Jersey. 
bed Ww.H 
8. M. D. 
John C. Savery. 
’ J bed George H. Ashton. 
¢ Robert England. 
t Mecray, James, Jr. New Jersey. 
Mein, E. B. Pennsylvania. 
Mellor, Alfred “« 
Miller, A. W. Minnesota. ; 
Milligan, Decatur 
Nova tia. 
Blair & Wyeth. 
New Jersey. 
4 Pennsylvania. 
f Pennsylvania. Ga. 
D. L. Stackhouse. 
a Siddall, Robert J. « John C. Baker. 
A. H. Yarnall. 
s Geo. K. Smith, & Co. . 
Ohio. Charles A. Junghanns. 
, mith, Wm, Moore Pennsylvania. C. R. Keeney. 
, Sterne, Wm. H. “ A. F. Hazard & Co. 
Stoever,J.Melancthon Robert C. Davis. 
Szabo, Sam. G. Hungary. 
a. Thomas, Chester Pennsylvania. Hughes & Coombe. 
‘Thompson, J. Morris W. M. Wilson. 
Tilge, F. A.- P. Brown, 
Tredenick, Jn. B. | 8. Filbert. 
Trimble, Armon Philadelphia, Crew, & Crew. 
Tuller, Charles “ John irt. 
atson, John P. m. Taylor. 
North Carolina. CC. Ellis & Co. 
Pennsylvania. Haseard & Co. 
; New Jersey. C. Ellis & Co. 
Pennsylvania. E. Parrish