Skip to main content

Full text of "The American Journal of Pharmacy 1911-09: Vol 83"

See other formats





[Division of Pharmacology, Hygienic Laboratory, U. S. P. H. and M. H. 
Service, Washington, D. C.] 

During the past few years a great many experiments have been 
made in this laboratory upon the relation between the physiological 
activity of thyroid and its iodine content. These experiments, and 
practically all others that have been described in the literature, 
demonstrate this parallelism; it may therefore be concluded that at 
present the most satisfactory way to standardize thyroid is by 
means of the determination of the organically combined iodine which 
it contains. From the standpoint of the Pharmacopeeia the question 
resolves itself simply into the selection of the most satisfactory 
method for the iodine estimation and the adoption of the most 
reasonable percentage content of iodine as the standard. 

Of the methods which may be used for the determination of 
the iodine there are only two which need to be considered, viz., 
the older Baumann method which consists of fusion with caustic 
alkali, liberating the iodine by suitable means from the aqueous 
solution of the fused residue, extracting it with an immiscible 
solvent, and estimating its quantity colorimetrically, and the recently 
proposed Hunter method, which differs from the above in sub- 
stituting alkali carbonates for the fusion, conversion of the iodine 
to the iodic state, and estimating its amount by a volumetric 
procedure. Of these two methods the latter has been found by 
us to possess advantages both in reliability of the results, and 

1Read at the Boston Meeting of the American Pharmaceutical Asso- 
ciation, August, I9II. 

(407 ) 



408 Standard for Desiccated Thyroid Glands {4% Jon. Pham. 

September, 1911, 

convenience of execution. Furthermore, from the point of view 
of the Pharmacopeeia it possesses the advantage over the Baumann 
method that no analytical procedures, volumetric solutions, or 
reagents, new to the present edition of the Pharmacopceia, are 

In his original paper’ Dr. Hunter gives very clear and explicit 
descriptions of all the details of the process, and there is conse- 
quently little opportunity for uncertainty in regard to any part 
of the method. It is the rule, however, in Pharmacopeeial descrip- 
tions of analytical processes, that only the essential features be 
included, consequently it appears desirable that a concise description 
of the Hunter method, in what may be called Pharmacopceial 
language, be given. Such an outline would be as follows: 

Determination of Iodine (Hunter Method).—One gram of 
Desiccated Thyroid Gland is mixed in a nickel crucible of about 
125 c.c. capacity, with 15 grams of a mixture composed of 138 
parts by weight of anhydrous K,CO,, 106 parts anhydrous Na,CO, 
and 75 parts KNO,, and an additional 5 grams of this fusion 
mixture spread evenly over the surface. The crucible is then heated 
over a free Bunsen flame until no further carbonization is observed, 
it is cooled and the friable residue dissolved in about 150 c.c. of 
distilled H,O. To this solution contained in an Erlenmeyer flask 
of about 500 c.c. capacity, is added approximately 50 c.c., or its 
equivalent, of fresh liquor sod chlorinate U. S. P. (containing 
2.4 wt. per cent. Cl). The mixture is then treated with enough 
phosphoric acid (1 volume of the 85 per cent. syrup and 1 volume 
of H,O), to produce a marked yellow tint of free chlorine, and an 
additional 10 c.c. of the phosphoric acid is then added and the con- 
tents of the flask boiled for about one-half hour or until the volume 
has been reduced to about 150 c.c. The liquid is cooled, 10 c.c. 
of I per cent. aqueous KI solution is added and the liberated 
iodine titrated with N/200 sodium thiosulphate, adding starch paste 
as the indicator just before the end of the reaction. The N/200 
thiosulphate may be made by diluting 25 c.c. of exactly N/1o 
thiosulphate to 500 c.c.; it changes strength rapidly and should 
be prepared fresh at each time determinations are made. One c.c. 
of N/200 thiosulphate corresponds to 0.0001058 gm. iodine derived 
from the sample of thyroid used. 

This method has been tested in this laboratory in comparison 

*Hunter: Jour. Biol. Chem., 7, 321-349, 1910. 

| “| 
| ij cal 

Am. Jour. Standard for Desiccated Thyroid Glands 409 

with the Baumann meéthod, upon quite a large number of samples 
of commercial desiccated thyroid glands. The agreements in 
duplicate determination by the Hunter methcd were found to be 
considerably more uniform than those by the Baumann method, 
and the results in practically every case were from 10 to I5 per 
cent. higher. Since there is a reasonable source of loss at one step: 
of the Baumann method, viz., the acidification of the aqueous 
solution of the fusion residue, and this particular cause of loss has 
been obviated by Hunter in his method, there can be little doubt 
that the higher results are the nearer correct. 

Of the commercial samples which we have so far examined, 
some were purchased on the market during 1907, and the others 
recently received direct from two American firms which prepare 
thyroid glands for medicinal use. For these latter we herewith 
acknowledge our indebtedness to Armour and Co., and Parke, Davis 
and Co. The samples received direct are portions of the several lots 
prepared at the particular dates shown in the table. 


Source. Per cent. I. Source. Per cent. 1. 
99 P. D. & Co. (1907) 0.185 104 Armour & Co. (1907) 0.138 
‘g9(a) P.D.&Co. (1907) 0.185 107 Armour & Co. (1907) 0.145 
100 P. D. & Co. (1907) 0.188 108 Armour & Co. (1907) 0.138 
101 P. D. & Co. (1907) 0.153 109 Armour & Co. (1907) 0.141 
102 P. D. & Co. (1907) 0.162 109(a) Armour & Co. (1907) 0.142 
103 P. D. & Co. (1907) 0.219 119 Armour & Co. (1907) 0.135 
105 P. D. & Co. (1907) 0.138 120 Armour & Co. (1907) ——0.129 
106 P. D. & Co. (1907) 0.218 121 Armour & Co. (1907) 0.140 
106(b) P.D.& Co. (1907) 0.212 
116 P. D. & Co. (1907) 0.118 Average 0.138 
117 P. D. & Co. (1907) 0.117 345 Armour & Co. Dec. 16, ’09 0.279 
118 P. D. & Co. (1907) 0.158 346 Armour & Co. Jan. 23, ’10 0.095 
Average 0.171 347 Armour & Co. Feb. 15, ’10 0.212 
348 Armour & Co. April, ’10 0.162 
358 P.D.& Co. (1911) 0.206 349 Armour & Co. May, "10 0.146 
359 P.D.& Co. (1911) 0.206 350 Armour & Co. June, ’10 0.271 
360 P.D.& Co. (1911) 0.154 351 Armour & Co. July, ‘10 0.202 
361 P.D.& Co. (1911) 0.214 352 Armour & Co. August, "10 0.231 

Average 0.195 353 Armour & Co. Sept., ’10 0.215 
354 Armour & Co. October, ’10 0.144 
355 Armour & Co. Nov., "10 0.252 
356 Armour & Co. Jan. 16, ’It 0.219 

Average 0.202 

oe 357 Thyroid Proteid (Armour) 0.607 

410 Standard for Desiccated Thyroid Glands {4™. Jour. Pharm, 

. September, 191], 

From the above results it is found that the average of the 12 
P. D. & Co. samples received in 1907 is 0.171 per cent. I, while 
that for the Armour samples is 0.138 per cent. On the other hand 
the average per cents. for the recent samples are respectively 0.195 
and 0.202, thus showing that in both cases products with higher 
iodine contents are being prepared. On the whole these results 
show a very commendable degree of regularity in the percentage of 
iodine in thyroid at present on the market. With very few ex- 
ceptions none of these samples might be expected to produce a 
noticeable variation in physiological effect. There can be no doubt, 
however, that the interests of both the producer and consumer 
would be safeguarded by the establishment of a reasonable Pharma- 
copeeial standard of iodine content. Judging from the results upon 
the samples supplied by the manufacturers themselves, such a limit 
could be fixed at approximately 0.2 per cent. I. without causing an 
undue hardship. This per cent. has already been adopted by an 
English firm. Of course sufficient latitude, of say 0.03 per cent. 
above or below this figure, should be permitted, thus making the 
extreme limits 0.17 to 0.23 per cent. iodine. 

The remaining Pharmacopeeial description which is necessary 
is that limiting the source of the raw material to certain animals 
and prescribing a reasonable limit of moisture and ash, which from 
our experiments might be placed at not exceeding 6 per cent. for 
the former and 5 per cent. for the latter, and finally the prohibition 
of all iodine in inorganic or any other form of combination than 
that peculiar to the thyroid. 

In regard to the ash content it should be mentioned that in 
general those samples with the higher percentage of iodine contain 
the lower percentage of ash, and vice versa. Thus for instance, 
of 12 samples containing more than 0.2 per cent. iodine the variation 
in the ash content was from only 3 to 4 per cent., while 6 samples 
containing approximately 0.15 per cent. iodine contained more than 
4 per cent. ash, and one sample with only 0.095 per cent. iodine 
contained more than 5 per cent. of ash. 

It has recently been suggested by certain investigators that the 
iodine of thyroid may not all be present in an equally physiologically 
active form, and consequently that it was possible by certain 
manipulative processes to remove the less active forms and retain 
the more active portion in a product which is therefore supposed to 

contain iodine in a super active condition as compared with that 



i | hi 

q of 



am. Colorimetric Test for Caramel. 

of the untreated material. A number of experiments which we 
have recently made with one of these products, designated as Thy- 
roid Proteid, have failed to confirm this hypothesis. These recent ex- 
periments indicate even more conclusively than our previous work, 
the constant behavior of the thyroid-iodine substance and the close 
relation between the iodine content and the physiological activity 
of both the desiccated thyroids and the new Thyroid Proteid. 


By F. A. UpsHer SMITH, Pharmaceutical Chemist. 

Within the past year the question of standardizing the color of 
Caramel has been engaging the attention of pharmaceutical workers. 

Dr. George A. Menge recently suggested the preparation of a 
standard solution of Caramel by boiling on a water bath for five 
minutes one-half gram of Sugar with 5 c.c. of a mixture of Sul- 
phuric Acid 2 c.c. and water 10 c.c. The resulting mixture, 
partially cooled by the addition of 25 c.c. cold water, neutralized 
with Potassium Hydroxide Solution and finally diluted to 100 c.c. 
forms the standard color with which to compare commercial samples 
of Caramel. 

The standard that I have used for several years seems to me 
to be one that is more readily applicable, as the materials are always 
on hand and the method is a simple and quick one. The method 
consists in matching a given sample of Caramel against a standard 
color consisting of a Nesslerized solution of Ammonia. For carry- 
ing out the test, make a stock solution of Ammonium Oxalate by 
dissolving .0417 gm. of Monohydrated Ammonium Oxalate, in 
crystals, in 1 litre of distilled water. Prepare the standard color 
by taking 10 c.c. of this stock solution, adding 38 c.c. of water and 
2 cc. of Nessler’s Solution. 

Match the standard color with the Caramel prepared as follows: 
Dissolve 1 gm. of the Caramel in water and make up to 1 litre. 
Run the solution from a burette into a Nessler glass until, on dilution 
with distilled water to 50 c.c., it exactly matches the standard color. 

*Read before the annual Convention of the Minnesota State Pharma- 
ceutical Association, Duluth, Minn., July 12, 1911. 

for | 
ce, | 
les | | 
an | 
ine | 
he | | 
lly ff 
1in — 
lat | 

412 The Fixation of Sulphide. { 

As an arbitrary standard, consider the standard Caramel as one 
of which 0.01 gramme (represented by 10 c.c. of the diluted solu. 
tion made up to 50 c.c. with water) is required to match 50 cc, 
of the color standard. Call this standard Caramel 100 per cent, 
Caramel as found on the market will usually test around this figure. 

To obtain the Colorimetric value of any other Caramel divide 
100 x 10 by the number of c.c. of the diluted Caramel Solution 
required. For example, in a particular test, 20 c.c. of the solution 
of the sample of Caramel were required to match the color standard, 

Then the Colorimetric value of the Caramel sample equals mex ee 

50 per cent. In other words, this particular sample was one-half 
strength. This strength is a convenient one for making elixirs. 

Among the advantages of this method I might mention that 
the tints of the Ammonia Solution and diluted Caramel Solution 
are practically identical. The materials for making the test are to 
be found in every laboratory and the apparatus required consists 
simply of a burette, pipettes, and two Nessler glasses. The two 
vials of liquid before you show how similar these solutions are in 
tint and illustrate the practicability of the method. This method 
is particularly valuable from the fact that it enables the operator 
to give a numerical value to any given sample of Caramel, a point 
of importance in making purchases, as well as in the manufacturing 
laboratory. | 

Laboratory of Noyes Bros. & Curver, Saint Paul, Minn. 


By J. L. Strncet. 
From the Cleveland School of Pharmacy, Cleveland, O. 

In a letter to the J. .4. M. A. (July 16, 1910, Vol. 55, p. 236), — 
Dr. Hulse describes his experience with the so-called creams, milks 
or magmas of bismuth, in the treatment of infantile disorders, par- 
ticularly calling attention to the fact that the characteristic brown 
or black color of the stools was absent. 

At the suggestion of Prof. Sollmann, of the Western Reserve 
University Medical College, the writer made a number of experi- 





ee tal. The Fixation of Sulphide. 413 
ments in order to determine if there were any chemical basis for 
such a difference, in other words, whether the various basic bismuth 
salts really differ in their behavior toward sulphides. 

In the first series of experiments the sulphides were applied 
directly to suspensions of bismuth salts (0.5 gm. with water q.s. —25 
cc.). The reaction of the suspension to litmus paper was noted, 
through one set of samples a current of H,S was passed to saturation. 
To the other Ammonium Sulphide (NH,).S sol (5 cc.) was added. 

Suspensions | Reaction H:S (NH,4)2S 
Bismuth Magma (dried) old.....| Neutral | Positive | Positive 
Bismuth Magma (dried) new.. | Neutral Positive Positive 
Bismuth Subcarbonate .........' Neutral | Positive , Positive 
Bismuth Subgallate............. | Neutral _— Positive Positive 
Bismuth Subnitrate ............ _ Neutral Positive Positive 
Bismuth Subsalicylate.......... Neutral Positive Positive 

Two samples of finished Creams of Bismuth, one made by the N. F. 
process, the other by Raubenheimer’s modification, were tested with 
(NH,).S; both gave dark ash colored ppts. 

It will be seen that the sulphide is formed in all, but somewhat 
less readily in the old magma. 

A second series of experiments was made to determine whether 
any bismuth goes into sol. in water. 0.5 gm. of the Bismuth subsalt 
in water q.s. 25 c.c. was allowed to stand 24-48 hrs., frequently 
agitated, filtered and filtrate brought up to 25 cc. These filtrates were 
tested the same as the first series. 

Filtrates Reaction H2S | (NH 
Bismuth Magma (dried) old..... Neutral Negative | Negative 
Bismuth Magma (dried) new... .. Neutral Negative Negative 
Bismuth Subcarbonate.......... Neutral Negative Negative 
Bismuth Subgallate............. Neutral Positive Positive 
Bismuth Subnitrate............., Neutral __— Positive Positive 

Bismuth Subsalicylate.......... Neutral | Negative Negative 

Conclusions The suspensions of the various basic bismuth salts 
are practically, equally effective in binding H,S but in old magma 
this property is impaired. 

Water left in contact with the basic bismuth salts dissolves 
some bismuth from the subnitrate and subgallate but none from the 

rd. | 
ion | 
‘ing | 

| 414 Standard Surgical Dressings. 
| By Freperick B. Kitmer. 
{ {| The subject of standardization of surgical dressings was a pro- , in 
HH lific theme of discussion during a period beginning in 1893. A 10 
, reference to the journals of that time will disclose the questions 
|| then at issue, and need not be here entered into. To understand of 
, the present day situation, it will be necessary to review somewhat the di 
, history and technic of surgical practice. i0 
ij | A recent writer, Dr. Robert T. Morris, tersely sums up the th 
i situation as follows: di 
atl “Surgery is now in the dawn of the fourth era. In the days 
Wl of Hippocrates surgery was heroic. That represents the first era. be 
q Then came Vesalius and the anatomists, and we had the second or th 
lm anatomic era. Pasteur and Lister introduced the third, or the patho- th 
i| logic era. While this third, or pathologic era, is now prevailing 
. to a great extent, it is rapidly passing to what this authority named th 
| as the fourth or physiological era.” th 
q | The dominant idea of this fourth era is to prevent the develop- th 
Hl ment of bacteria in wounds, and to remove the products of infection cc 
, by means of the art. The present day surgical dressing has been I- 
i evolved out of the Listerian era. Peculiar to the Listerian era, tc 
i especially in its opening period, was the use of antiseptics, which de 
were applied in the form of sprays, irrigation, washing and the like. 
Lister devised a series of dressings made by combining an anti- 0 
septic, chiefly carbolic acid, with resins and paraffin, somewhat u 
resembling a cerate or plaster mass; this was poured while hot into st 
meshes of lint, afterwards upon gauze cloth. The intention of this ce 
dressing was that the gauze should adhere to the flesh and that 0 
the vehicle or cloth should prevent the volatilization of the carbolic b 
acid. Very quickly it was found more convenient to take a piece of a 
gauze or cotton and dip it into antiseptic solutions such as were then o 
in use. 
The National Formulary of this period contained a formula g 
for carbolized gauze, essentially an adhesive mass containing carbolic a 
acid. The Formulary at this time adopted as a standard of fabric, . 
a market gauze known as Lehigh E. Is 
It is perhaps interesting to note that the amount and strength 
*Read at the meeting of the New Jersey Pharmaceutical Association, 
June 14, 



An. ee Standard Surgical Dressings. 415 

of the antiseptics used -at this time were markedly different from 
these in use to-day. For example, we find at this time acid used 
in a strength of I in 12, 1 in 20; corrosive sublimate 1-200, and 
jodoform 20 per cent. 

The method of preparing iodoform gauze in the practice of the 
originators may be mentioned: Iodoform was first used by dusting 
directly over the wound. Bilroth afterwards stated that when the 
ijodoform was dusted over the fibre of cloth it was less irritating 
than when applied directly to the wound, and he later adopted a 
dressing containing 20 per cent. iodoform. 

A feature of this period was the English practice of using 
boracic acid in a strength as high as 40 per cent. It is stated that 
this was fostered by the producers because the dressings were sold by 
the pound, and boracic acid was much cheaper than the fabric. 

This was only two decades ago. Now we find that carbolic acid, 
the agent which helped in the revolution of the world of surgery in 
the time of Lister, has passed into disuse in surgical technic; that 
the strength of corrosive sublimate, and its preparations, has be- 
come weaker and weaker until there is now demanded a strength of 
I-10,000; that iodoform has shrunk from a strength of 40 per cent. 
to 2 per cent.; and that many antiseptics once in very large 
demand and for which much was claimed have been forgotten. 

In the later days of the third era of surgery and in the opening 
of the fourth era, antiseptic surgical dressings have been but little 
used. The demand is now for sterilized cotton, sterilized gauze, 
sterilized bandages. If antiseptics are used they are applied in 
certain classes of cases and as an adjunct—not as an important part 
of the technic. The surgeons are learning the value of procedures 
briefly characterized as “ skilful neglect”’; they are learning that 
antiseptics even in a weak solution are damaging to the growth 
of new tissue; that sterilized water produces untoward results; 
and that the much lauded hydrogen peroxide is destructive. Some 
go so far as to claim that cotton or gauze placed ever so gently 
upon a surface undergoing cell repair is harmful, because new 
cells are caught in the fibrous mesh and torn away when the dressing 
is changed. 

All that is necessary, is a protection medium. At best in the 
present day practice we have to consider only plain absorbent gauze 
cloth in its various forms, such as bandages, tapes, etc., and ab- 
sorbent cotton. These two substances represent almost entirely the © 
surgical dressing of the period. 


416 Standard Surgical Dressings. poe 

In view of the facts cited, and for other reasons which might 
be urged, it would seem to me to be a useless proceeding for either 
the Pharmacopeeia or the National Formulary to attempt to standard- 
ize surgical dressings, especially those of the antiseptic or medicated 

It will readily be seen that in the period covered by the Eighth 
Revision of the Pharmacopeeia, this type of dressings has radically 
changed, and for the most part has gone out of existence, and unless 
the Pharmacopeeia and the National Formulary are revised much 
more rapidly than has been the case in the past, any such standard- 
ization would become obsolete soon after its publication. Antiseptic 
dressings are the relics of a rapidly changing practice—an era of 
surgery which has passed, and thus for the druggist, belong to a 
declining trade. 

As of some slight interest we may here insert a table prepared 
sometime ago by one of thé manufacturers of surgical dressings, 
which was intended to show the consumption of surgical dressings 
made of cotton. It is as follows: 


1878 1886 1898 IgIo0 
1,000 5,000 20,000 25,000 
Absorbent cotton (lb.)............. 5,000 250,000 3,000,000 5,000,000 
10,000 20,000 100,000 200,000 
Miscellaneous dressings (lb.)........ 500 2,000 20,000 35,000 

While the consumption of antiseptic dressings was not enumer- 
ated in the table, it may be stated that in the face of this enormous 
increase in certain types, antiseptic dressings have steadily and 
rapidly declined, until some of them have gone out of existence. 
As an example of these which have almost entirely disappeared we 
may instance salicylated acid cotton, styptic cotton, iodized cotton, 
iodoform cotton, Lister’s cyanide of mercury and zine gauze, and 
salalembroth cotton and gauze. 

Various formulas for antiseptic cottons and gauzes may be 
found in the British Pharmaceutical Codex, the French Codex, and 

* Deitrich’s Pharmazeutisches Manuel, and other works to which the 

Standard Surgical Dressings. 417 

reader is referred. They need not be discussed except briefly to 
call attention to some of the formulas given in the British Pharma- 
ceutical Codex, where, under the head of Carbolized Cotton, attention 
is called to the fact that the preparation soon loses, strength by 
exposure ; it is only of approximate strength when freshly made. 

In certain instances, in capsicum cotton and mercuric iodide cot- 
ton, it is recommended that the cotton be dyed in order that it may 
appear to the eye as of normal strength. In the case of corrosive 
sublimate cotton the statement is made that this soon deteriorates. 
In the case of carbolic acid gauze, cyanide gauze, and iodoform 
gauze—it is noted in the Codex that they undergo rapid change— 
and in the case of corrosive sublimate it is stated that the mercuric 
chloride undergoes decomposition in a month or six weeks. 

These statements from an official authority would indicate that 
it would be difficult to formulate an absolute standard to be embodied 
in a Pharmacopeeia, the legal authority by which preparations named 
therein shall be judged. In other words, a given antiseptic gauze, 
prepared exactly according to the official formula, would not and 
could not retain its conformity to the standard, and were the sug- 
gestions embodied in a most excellent paper by Geo. M. Beringer, 
Jr., AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHARMACcy, April, 1911, where formulas 
for the preparation of antiseptic gauze dressings are given, with 
the further addition of a process for sterilization by steam, dry heat, 
etc., adopted, the difficulty would be greatly increased. Mr. Berin- 
ger evidently fails to take into account the fact that his process of 
sterilization when applied to such preparations as iodoform, thymol, 
carbolic acid, and other volatile substances, would bring about a 
complete change in the product, so that the finished article is not 
what it started to be. 

In the early days of the Listerian or antiseptic era of surgery, 
it was a common custom for the surgeon to prepare his own gauze 
at the operating table or bedside of the patient. This he did by 
simply dipping the gauze or cotton into a solution of a given 
strength and apply it direct to the wound, and this practice applies 
to a certain extent to-day as an emergency practice, except that 
the strength of the antiseptic solutions has been greatly modified. 

It is my judgment that the pharmacist will only be called upon 
to prepare antiseptic dressings in extreme cases. Even in emer- 
gency practice, plain, sterile gauze or cotton is considered adequate. 

When we take up the question of plain dressings, such as cotton 


418 Standard Surgical Dressings. 

or gauze not impregnated with an antiseptic, there is possibly an 
opportunity for the Pharmacopceia or the National Formulary to 
establish certain standards. 

I have discussed this question at some length (Journal of the 
Society of Chemical Industry, October 31, 1904). Here I have 
called attention to the fact that the Pharmacopeeial standards thus 
noted were open for criticism. 

In respect to the standards of the United States Pharmacopeeia, 
among its faults are the tests for absorbency. Absorbent cotton, 
even when heavily charged with impurities, will, when pressed in 
the hand and placed on the surface of water, sink. The Pharmaco- 
poeia is very indefinite as to the amount of water to be used. The 
United States Pharmacopceia has it that, when purified cotton, 
previously pressed in the hand, is placed on the surface of cold water, 
it will absorb the water and sink, and the water should not acquire 
an acid or alkaline reaction. 

The test of sinking in water is a test neither of purity nor absorb- 
ing power. Soap or glycerine will increase the apparent absorbency. 

The following has been suggested by me as a more rational 
Pharmacopeeial standard for purified or absorbent cotton, and these 
standards are those to which the leading brands now on the market 
will be found to comply. In other words, they are standards which 
are attainable, and which will exclude cottons of a low grade or tc 
which foreign substances have been added: 

Purified Cotton. 

Suggested Standard—vThe hairs of the seed of Gossypium 
(Fam. Malvacece) freed from adhering impurities and deprived 
of fatty matter. 

White, soft, fine filaments, appearing under the microscope as 
hollow, flattened and twisted bands, spirally striate, and slightly 
thickened at the edges ; inodorous and tasteless ; insoluble in ordinary 
solvents, but soluble in an ammoniacal solution of cupric oxide. 

When purified cotton, previously compressed in the hand, is 
thrown on the surface of cold water, it should readily absorb the 
latter and sink. 


Purified cotton should contain no more than a very small quan- 
tity, if any, of visible impurities, and on combustion of five grammes 
or more should not leave more than 0.2 per cent. of ash. 

Ten grammes of purified cotton are saturated with 100 c.c. 
neutral distilled water, the water pressed out and divided into two 
portions, each of which is placed in a white porcelain dish. To 
one portion is added 3 drops phenolphthalein T. S., and to the 
other portion one drop methyl orange T. S. Neither portion should 
develop a pink color (absence of acid or alkali). 

If 20 grammes be extracted in a narrow percolator with ether 
until 300 c.c. percolate is secured, the percolate should on evaporation 
to dryness in a tared beaker leave a residue of not more than 
0.5 per cent. of the weight of cotton used (limit of fatty matter). 
A blank test should be made with an equal quantity of the ether used. 

If 20 grammes be extracted in a narrow percolator with alcohol 
until 200 c.c. percolate is secured, the percolate should not be of 
a blue or green tint (absence of dyes) and on evaporation to dryness 
in a tared beaker the residue should amount to not more than 0.5 
per cent. of the cotton used (limit of resins and soap). A blank 
test should be made with an equal quantity of the alcohol used. 

If 20 grammes be extracted in a narrow percolator with hot 
distilled water (80° to go° C.) until 200 percolate is secured, the 
percolate should not be clouded (absence of soap), and on evapora- 
tion to dryness in a tared beaker the residue should amount to not 
more than 0.2 per cent. of the weight of cotton used (limit of soluble 
salts). A blank test should be made with an equal quantity of the 
water used. 

Gauze cloth, otherwise known as surgical gauze, came into use 
as a wound dressing with Listerism. Lister first applied lint, after- 
wards what was known as cheese cloth, which by evolution, was 
converted into surgical gauze, and finally a combination of absorbent 
gauze and cotton. The tendency of modern surgical technic has 
been to simplify dressings. All other substances have to a large 
extent been abandoned and gauze made to constitute almost solely 
the dressing material. 

A good quality gauze has numerous and obvious advantages over 
any other material for this purpose. It is highly absorbent, pliable, 
with an open texture that is firm and strong. It is free from the 
loose fibres and irritating particles found in unspun cotton. It 
is cool, light, and readily shaped into required forms. 


420 Standard Surgical Dressings. 

Surgical gauze in the operating room acts primarily as a cover- 
ing and protective, and if of sufficient thickness filters the external 
air that passes through to the wound. It is firm enough to bring 
together any incised or separated parts. Its fibres act, to a certain 
extent, as plugs or compressors to the smal! blood-vessels which 
may have been severed. The absorptive power of good gauze is 
ample to receive and retain a sufficient quantity of blood to coagu- 
late and coat the injured part and thereby check the flow. 

Gauze is also employed to absorb discharges which would infect 
the surrounding area if not seized upon by an absorbent and re- 
moved. In the early technic antiseptics of disinfectants were used 
to impregnate gauze dressings. In modern surgery a piece of 
sterile gauze is sometimes the only dressing employed. 

Taken altogether surgical gauze may be considered the most 
convenient and the most useful dressing material now known. 

Gauze cloth in the cotton trade is known as ‘“ Cheese Cloth,” 
“Tobacco Cloth,” or unbleached gauze, and it is quite distinct from 
surgical gauze, although large quantities of the former are used for 
surgical purposes. In England and on the Continent gauze is spun 
and woven solely for surgical uses, and there is one such maker 
in the United States, 

The method of preparing cotton fibre for manufacture into sur- 
gical gauze is described in the paper heretofore cited, and consists 
of a long series of mechanical and chemical processes, a description - 
of which lies outside of our present purpose. 

In the surgical gauzes as found on the market there is a marked 
variation in the length of the fibre, the size and weight of the thread, 
yardage per pound, and other physical and chemical characteristics. 
The earlier surgical gauzes were made of Egyptian cotton, carried 
an equal number of threads each way, and were hand-finished. The 
hand-finish process kept the thread straight, the final product was 
less white, but more elastic. 

In some samples of gauze in our market there will be found 
certain dressings or loadings added to improve appearance, to in- 
crease the weight, to assist in holding the gauze out to its full width, 
and the like. 

In the cotton trade, gauze and cloths of this character are 
standardized by taking a square and counting the number of threads 
per square inch. For example, a high-grade gauze carrying forty 
longitudinal and forty-four cross threads per square inch, carried 
eighty-four inches of thread. 


. Jour, Pharm. 
Standard Surgical Dressings. 421 

For the most part the so-called manufacturers of surgical gauze 
purchase their supplies of woven gauze, gray or bleached, from 
the various mills of New England. These mills supply some nine- 
teen grades, beginning with a gauze carrying twenty threads by 
ten, or thirty threads per square inch. 

It should be noted that very little if any surgical gauze in the 
market is fully thirty-six inches in width. This is accounted for 
by the fact that these goods are woven in the gray thirty-six inches 
wide, and it is not practicable to bleach the goods, render them 
absorbent, and retain their full width. The usual variation is 
about one inch per yard; in other words, the average width will be 
found to be about thirty-five inches. _ 

The following table shows the threads per inch, the average 
yardage per pound of the best known grades of surgical gauze: 

SurcicaL GAUZE, 

Threads per inch, Yards per pound. 
44 X 40 
32 x 36 14.81 
28 x 24 16.00 
24 x 20 18.83 
20x 14 23.20 

The National Formulary (First Edition), adopted as a standard 
two brands, Lehigh E. and Stillwater. These grades (now practi- 
‘cally out of market) contained about sixty-four threads per square 
inch, and their weight was a little less than 800 grains to the square 

The nearest approach to a standardization of plain surgical 
gauze is one which I understand has been adopted by the Bureau 
of Municipal Research, which bureau is making an attempt to 
secure uniformity in the supplies for the various departments of 
New York City. 

In respect to gauze the requirements are that the gauze shall 
count in the finished state not less than the total number of threads 
per square inch specified, shall not exceed the yardage per pound 
specified ; it shall be free from loading, and shall be acceptable 
by the bureau as first quality in every respect. Gauze delivered 
under these specifications is required to be made from clean, white, 


422 Standard Surgical Dressings. ‘tenes = 

long cotton fibre, fully bleached and absorbent, of soft finish, and 
upon extraction with acidulated water (two per cent. hydrochloric 
acid) of not more than one per cent residue, and the reaction shall 
show no reaction for starch, soap, dextrin, glue or other filling. \/ 

The object of the foregoing test—extraction with acidulated 
water—is to prevent the addition of starch, soap, dextrin, or glue 
for making weight, increasing the apparent size of thread, etc. 

This requirement would be about as far as any standard 
could be expected to reach ; indeed, the great variation in the require- 
ments of the surgeon and the manifold mechanical household 
uses of gauze create a legitimate demand for a greatly varying 

Mr. Geo. M. Beringer, Jr., in a paper heretofore cited, raises 
the question as to whether the Pharmacopeeial recognition of medi- 
cated gauzes and surgical dressings would be a mistake. He 
states that it has been hinted that the pharmacist has not the facili- 
ties and training necessary for the preparation of surgical dress- 
ings, and he urges that this arraignment is not complimentary to the 
intelligence of the American pharmacist. He calls attention to the 
fact that the pharmacists of Germany, Austria, Sweden, Belgium, 
and elsewhere prepare such preparations from formulas in their 
respective pharmacopceias. 

To my mind there is no question but that the pharmacist has the 
intelligence and perhaps the training necessary for the careful prep- 
aration of surgical dressings. It is not a question of can he, but will 
he take the care to properly prepare these dressings. 

I have discussed this question at some length in a previous paper, 
in which the question was raised as to the relative fitness of the sur- 
geon, the pharmacist and the manufacturer as makers and purveyors 
of surgical material. In this paper I stated that we may well claim 
for the American physician the highest of honors, we should all 
reverence the skill and genius of the American surgeon, yet it 
must be admitted that their offices are not as a rule the most suitable 
spot for the preparation of dressings. Contact with the clothing 
and person of patients carrying contagion of every name and kind, 
together with a thousand and one avenues through which the 
streams of infection may pour into their rooms, is evidence of the 
unfitness of the surroundings of the physician for the preparation 
of surgically clean dressings. 

Likewise in hospitals, many of which are attached to medical 
















y oe Standard Surgical Dressings. 423 

colleges, where students and operators carry infection from hun- 
dreds of sources of contagion, and where the dangers of infection 
can scarcely be avoided. 

When dressings are prepared by the pharmacist the work is of 
necessity performed in the druggist’s back room—a place which 
comes far short of conditions known as surgical cleanliness. The 
pharmacist, though ordinarily clean in person and habits in the 
pursuit of his calling, is far from aseptic. Like the physician, 
he is constantly in contact with infection through the person of his 

In a few terse sentences Mr. Beringer attempts to convert the 
druggist’s work table into a room suitable for the preparation of 
aseptic dressings. I doubt his ability, or the ability of the average 
pharmacist, to take these products into his own back room and 
produce therefrom sterile dressings. In advance, I would acknowl- 
edge my own inability to do so, notwithstanding a generation of 
experience along these lines, and should the necessity arise for an 
important operation in my own case, I certainly would reject dress- 
ings prepared either in a hospital, a physician’s office,or the pharma- 
cist’s back room in favor of these made by a reliable manufacturer. 

The facilities of the manufacturer whose whole organization is 
adapted to the production of surgical dressings are certainly more 
perfect than those of the surgeon to whom such work is only inci- 
dental ; the employment of a room from which pathogenic organisms 
are entirely excluded is superior to the conditions in the hospital 
or doctor’s office. Rooms in which no work is undertaken except the 
handling of aseptic material will certainly be more nearly surgically 
clean than a place where infection has constant access. Persons 
whose only calling is that of preparing surgical material, who have 
been trained in the principles underlying the disinfection of dress- 
ings, are much more competent to handle the same ‘than the doctor's 
assistant to whom such work is of necessity relegated. Further, an 
organization devoted exclusively to the manufacture of dressings, 
once having the table arranged to prepare a yard of dressing, can 
produce any number of yards more perfectly than if done as 
occasion may require. 

To the manufacturer and the dispensing pharmacist is due the 
credit of having made possible the convenient application of the 
principles of modern surgery. 


424 Standard Surgical Dressings. ee 

September, 1911, 


A summary of the thoughts embraced in the foregoing paper 
is as follows: ; 

The rapidly changing conditions of surgical methods would not 
seem to warrant the insertion in the United States Pharmacopeeia or 
in the National Formulary formula for the preparation of antiseptic 
surgical dressings. Any standard adopted for medication for sur- 
gical dressings would be liable to become valueless Icng before 
the next revision. A standard for antiseptic dressings once em- 
bodied in the Pharmacopoeia would become complicated in the 
administration of food and drug laws by the constantly changing 
requirements of surgical practice. 

It might be possible to establish official methods of assay by 
which antiseptic dressings could be judged. The standard for 
absorbent cotton in the eighth revision of the United States Pharma- 
copoeia should be revised, and a standard is suggested herein. It 
would be possible to establish a standard by which surgical gauze 
and dressings made therefrom could be judged. 

The principal requirements for surgical (lressings made of cotton 
or gauze at the present time are purity and sterility; such dressings 
are known as plain aseptic dressings. 

In the author’s opinion, neither the facilities of the practicing 
physician, the hospital, nor those of the ordinary pharmacist are 
adequate for the preparation of dressings to meet modern require- 
ments. The preparation of this class of material, like that of 
serums, toxins, and the like, requires special training and special 
facilities for their manufacture. Until economic conditions shall 
greatly change it is the author’s opinion that the preparation of this 
class of material had best be relegated to those possessing the 
required facilities. 

| 5 

Jour, Pharm. Queries on Alkaloidal Assay. | 425 

By W. A. Pearson, Philadelphia. 

Much good work has been recently presented on alkaloidal 
assay, and it is reasonable to expect that much more satisfactory 
and accurate methods will be inserted in the next Pharmacopoeia 
of the United States. 

There are a few differences of opinion in regard to technic, 
however, that should be agreed upon before uniformity is to be 

Amount of Moisture in Drug.—Crude drugs are not as a rule 
assayed in the exact condition in which they are received. Fre- 
quently they must be dried before they can be ground and this loss 
of water may amount to as much as 30 per cent. Is it advisable 
to compute the results obtained to correspond to the original con- 
dition of the drug or to the moisture free basis? 

Fineness of Powder.—lIt is well known that when a powder is 
ground, all of the particles are not of equal size and that if all the 
drug is ground and only the particles of a certain size are taken 
the sample will not be a representative one. 

Would it therefore be advisable instead of stating that the 
powder should be of a certain fineness to state that it should be 
at least of a certain fineness or between certain limits of fineness? 

Temperature.—In certain alkaloidal determinations the tem- 
perature plays an important part, in the results obtained. For 
example, in the assay of opium, the crystallization flask is directed 
to be set aside in a moderately cool place. No limits are given in 
U. S. P. for “moderately cool” and this temperature has been 
variously interpreted by different analysts. It is certain that much 
larger crystals are obtained near 0° C. than at slightly higher 
temperatures; it therefore seems important to ask what influence 
does temperature have upon the results of an alkaloidal assay? 

Fumes.—Free alkaloids very readily combine with acids, and 
the analytical laboratory usually contains fumes of hydrochloric 
or nitric acids. Before the delicate titration of an alkaloidal residue 
is made there seems to be danger of these fumes combining with 
the alkaloid and lowering the results. To what extent do the 
fumes ordinarily present in the laboratory influence the results of 
an alkaloidal assay? 

Indicators—It has been claimed by the analysts in one lab- 


426 Querics on Alkaloidal Assay. 

oratory that cochineal is the best indicator for all alkaloidal titra- 
tions; the men in another laboratory prefer the general use of 
iodeosin. Does the indiscriminate use of these indicators give con- 
cordant results and would the assay be considered as being made 
according to the U. S. P. if an indicator not specified in the particular 
assay were used in the titration? 

Color of End Point.—lIn all the alkaloidal titrations, the U. S. P, 
specifies that the standard solution should be added until a certain 
color is obtained. Owing to differences in judging the end point 
and the absence of a definite color standard a considerable variation 

is to be expected. 
Ought not the end point of an alkaloidal titration be determined 

_ by matching a certain color of a standard chart under definite 

conditions ? 

Blank Determinations.—To avoid the difficulty of judging the 
color of the end point and to provide a check on the solutions 
being used a blank determination is usually made by the most 
analysts. Even this method is faulty where the alkaloidal residue 
still retains some color. Would it be advisable to specify that a 
blank test be made with every alkaloidal titration ? 

Amount of Solvent.—Most practical analysts who are regularly 
making alkaloidal assays are agreed that insufficient solvents are 
specified for extraction of alkaloids in many of the U. S. P. processes. 

. For example, in the assay of Nux Vomica after oxidation of the 
- Brucine the quantity of chloroform specified will not leave the 

supernate liquid clear nor will twice the specified quantity but by 
repeated extractions with chloroform the supernatant liquid will 
become clear. Is an assay made in accordance with U. S. P. process, 
when excessive quantities are used? If additional quantities of 

-solvents are allowable, should each extraction be made until no 

precipitate is obtained with Mayers’ reagent? 
Identification of Alkaloids——In the determination of alkaloids 

from crude drugs the U. S. P. makes no provision for the identifica- 

tion of alkaloids extracted. Would it be advisable to insert identifica- 
tion tests for the alkaloids after they have been extracted and 
estimated ? 

Physiological Tests——After the alkaloids have been extracted 
and estimated, would it be advisable to insert physiological tests 
and determine the minimum lethal dose and note the characteristic 





Am. Jour. Pharm. } Teaching of Pharmacognosy. 427 

Conclusion.—In presenting the above queries I realize that I 
am presenting problems that can only be settled by extensive 
experimental work. The main practical question is to decide how 
great these various factors probably are and whether the necessary 
co-operative work is to be undertaken. 



By Henry KRAEMER.” 

While it is true in teaching that success depends in large part 
upon the earnestness and personality of the teacher as well as his 
knowledge of the subject, much also depends upon the methods 
that are followed. It was the Agassiz method that developed a 
school of clear-headed and distinguished American zoologists. 
Agassiz’s words, “study nature, not books,” ring true and are 
well worthy to be framed and hung up prominently in all lab- 
oratories. Some teachers feel that they would like to impress 
upon the students the facts which they have acquired or the point 
of view which they have attained. Others use’ some particular text- 
book and it is upon the facts that are to be gleaned from this that 
the student’s efficiency is finally determined. A happier method is 
the one in which after certain fundamental principles have been 
mastered the teacher draws out from the student what he observes 
with the specimen in hand. Of course to the ordinary student 
this may be irksome as it is often difficult for him to discern the 
progress that has been made. It is also harder for the teacher, 
as in nearly every class there will be found some who are keen 
observers and likely to ask questions which require the teacher 
to admit that he does not know it all. It has usually seemed neces- 
sary in order to maintain discipline for the teacher to stick near 
his desk and the student to follow the exercises laid down. Happily 

* This is a continuation of a previous paper presented to this Association 
(see Proceedings, vol. 56, 1908, p. 672). 

*Presented at the Boston Meeting of the American Pharmaceutical 
Association, August 17, IQII. 

























d | 

428 Teaching of Pharmacognosy. 

for all concerned we are approaching a condition when it is 
possible for student and teacher to work together, each receiving 
an inspiration from the other and each contributing to the swmmum 
bonum of knowledge. I have in a previous paper indicated what I 
consider to be the principal object in the study of Pharmacognosy 
as it relates to the training of the pharmacist. I said then that in 
view of the problems that confront us and that are constantly 
arising, the aim first should be the attainment of a knowledge of 
the characters of drugs rather than a general knowledge of them. 
The object of a course in Pharmacognosy is I take it not that a 
student shall examine so many drugs, but that he will be able to 
use his eyes so that he can determine whether a drug corresponds 
to a description, as that of the Pharmacopoeia, whether the specimen 
is all of one kind, the quality of it, and similar practical questions 
when he is in business. We all know that a student usually ex- 
amines but a small sample of the drug. His specimen may differ 
from that of his comrades in certain particulars, as in the case of 
Rhamnus Purshiana and this is confusing. But let him examine, 
say 5 or 10 pounds of this drug, and the characteristics will be so 
impressed upon him that he will be able to recognize even the 
fragments of it. 

While at college a student can not possibly study thoroughly 
all of the drugs of the Pharmacopceia and National Formulary. 
I am beginning to be more and more impressed with the foreign 
method of teaching, in which the study is limited to a number of 
important drugs, or to such drugs as those the study of which has 
a didactic value and in the case of which the work is required to 
be well done. Let the students spend 3 or 4 hours upon each of 
the 22 important official drugs * and he will not only know these 

~ well, but he will find it comparatively easy to acquire a knowledge of 

other drugs under circumstances that will not make him confuse 
so many of them. I have in preceding years, because of the lack 
of time at my disposal considered from 6 to 10 drugs in the course 

* The following are the drugs that I include in the list of the 22 most 
important drugs of the Pharmacopeia: Acacia, Aconitum, Belladonne 
Folia, Cantharis, Capsicum, Cinchona, Cinchona Rubra, Digitalis, Ergota, 
Gentiana, Ipecacuanha, Jalapa, Lycopodium, Nux Vomica, Opium, Podo- 
phyllum, Quassia, Rhamnus Purshiana, Rheum, Senna, Sinapis Nigra, 
Strophanthus, Zingiber. Of course there are a few other drugs that might 
be considered equally as important as some of these by some teachers. 






| | F 

ass. et Teaching of Pharmacognosy. 429 
of a 2-hour period. The result was one of confusion to the student 
as was manifest in subsequent examinations. I find that students 
are better able to recognize crude drugs after they have handled a 
single lot during several hours, including the making of sections 
and the examination of them with the microscope. 

During the session that a particular drug is being studied by 
the students it is a good thing to break up the monotony of the 
work by talking about the plant yielding the drug and if possible 
by having some growing specimens in a prominent place and in 
addition a herbarium specimen of the plant for each student. At 
the same time one can give some facts regarding the distribution 
of the plant, the history of the drug and its important constituents. 
In this way a student is enabled to concentrate himself upon a 
single drug, and thus the facts impress themselves and he acquires 
a knowledge of the drugs in a more natural way. 

Permanent mounts of drugs should be at his command for pur- 
poses of microscopic comparison, The sections should be made 
by the student and these should not only be cross-sections, but 
tangential-longitudinal and radial-longitudinal as well. He should 
keep a record of his observations and make a series of drawings 
illustrating what he has seen, using both the simple microscope and 
the compound microscope. Sufficient assistance should be provided 
so that a student’s questions may be answered and his specimens 
or slides examined, as he should not leave the laboratory without 
all doubtful points being made clear. 

The powdered drug should be examined after the studies on 
the crude drug have been completed. It is surprising to see how 
the student views the whole subject after he has spent an afternoon 
first examining the crude drug with the naked eye and the aid of 
the simple microscope, then making sections and carrying on his 
studies with the compound microscope, and finally working with 
the powdered drug. He finds that the study of powdered drugs 
is not so difficult and furthermore, as in the study of Belladonnz 
Folia an adulteration of poke leaves, is more readily determined 
in a powdered drug than in the crude drug. He finds as a matter 
of fact that one of the simplest methods in the examination of a 
number of drugs that may seem to be of good quality is to take 
5 or 10 grams of the material selected from various portions of 
the lot, powder it in a small mill and examine the powder under 
the compound microscope. I have seen students again and again 




















it | 


430 Teaching of Pharmacognosy. 

find Poke Leaves in a sample of Belladonna Leaves that otherwise 
would have been pronounced of good quality. While we require 
students to make a permanent collection of the specimens of crude 
drugs which are furnished them for study, I feel that the time is 
at hand when we should require them to make a permanent col- 
lection of microscopic slides, illustrating these 22 important official 
drugs. As the compound microscope can be had at such a reason- 
able figure at the present time I think that every thing should be 
done to encourage students to invest in this piece of apparatus, as 
it is indispensable not only in detecting adulteration, but also in 
determining and establishing confidence in reliable jobbing houses. 


After the student has taken up the practical studies of vegetable 
drugs and has concentrated his attention on the most important of 
those that are official the question is What tests shall be applied to 
determine his qualifications to be a safe pharmacist? Of course, the 
professor has the advantage of seeing the student day after day, 
and if he has been faithful in attendance and has conscientiously 
carried on the work, the teacher must know his general ability after 
the entire course of instruction. Usually, however, an examination 
is given for the purpose of testing a candidate’s knowledge of the 
subject. But what is the test of knowledge? What is the nature 
of the questions that are to be asked to test the candidate’s knowl- 
edge in this particular branch? We have all been familiar during 
our college days with men who failed in examinations and who 
really knew more about the subject than some of those who passed 
the examinations. The secret of the latter in passing an examina- 
tion very often consists really in concealing from the examiner 
what they do not know. If this is done discreetly and the student 
can impress upon the examiner what he does know he will probably 
pass the examination. There are some examinations where this 
can be rather easily done and this is particularly true of examina- 
tions in Materia Medica as conducted in most Colleges of Phar- 
macy and by Boards of Pharmacy. 

In these examinations the memory test is largely relied upon. 
So much hinges upon giving the “ Natural Orders,” “ Habitats,” 
etc. The student preparing for these examinations usually uses 
some book in which in a series of parallel columns are given one 
or two words covering the information that is expected of him 



Am. Jour. {or Teaching of Pharmacognosy. 431 

in the examination. Partly because the subject of the examination 
is so lifeless, the student has never been stimulated in his studies. 
Furthermore because the examination is so perfunctory the stu- 
dent’s thoughts are seldom carried beyond these parallel columns, 
and he can truthfully say that the whole subject is dry and unin- 
teresting. Besides on this account the general inference is that the 
subject is of little or minor importance. 

Occasionally we find teachers who dilate upon the subject of 
the history of drugs and the countries in which the plants are 
indigenous, but say practically nothing more of the drug than is 
contained in the Pharmacopoeia. We find students who have had 
a good preparatory education who believe that in this knowledge 
they have valuable information to fit them to become retail pharma- 
cists and usually they are very easily confused when it comes to 
the identification of specimens. Sometime ago I heard a judge of 
one of our city courts make some remarks in the course of an 
after dinner address that impressed me very much. He said: “ The 
fact that you know that a certain drug is gathered in the Himalayas 
is not going to make you either a safe or successful druggist, you 
must know the nature and property of the substances you are 
‘handling and how safely to fill prescriptions and a good many 
other things that you only learn by experience.” Any practical 
pharmacist knows this and yet the burden of most examinations in 
Materia Medica are upon questions that few teachers and examiners 
would pass an excellent examination upon without considerable 
study beforehand. 

While the aim of an examination before a Board of Pharmacy 
appears to be to test a candidate’s knowledge, the college examina- 
tion should be with an additional object, viz., to round out the 
knowledge gained during the course and give the student self- 
reliance and confidence in himself. It should not. be with the object 
of getting him ready to pass the Board of Pharmacy examinations 
as now conducted. 

Now that the Boards of Pharmacy are seriously considering 
improving the methods of examination it seems to me that we 
might well ponder upon the subject and try to look at it from the 
point of view of testing a candidate’s fitness to practice pharmacy. 
In my judgment we must eliminate the idea that because a pro- 
fessor gives an interesting historical lecture upon certain drugs it is 
expected that the student will have all of this information at his 


Am. Jour. P 
432 Teaching of Pharmacognosy. 

fingers’ ends. There are some things taught which make for the 
culture of the pharmacist and happy is the student who can sit 
under a professor that is learned and well balanced. There is 
something deeper and more important to the pharmacist than this 
general knowledge of drugs and that is a knowledge of the char- 
acters of the drugs which he handles in his practice. The history 
of each drug is exceedingly interesting, but this does not become 
a real part of a pharmacist’s knowledge, save after many years 
of experience and reading, which he can do without the aid of a 
teacher, and when his horizon has been broadened. In one sense 
the same may be said of descriptions of plants yielding drugs. As 
in the learning of a foreign language we lay the foundation by first 
taking up the grammar of the subject and later taking up as much 
reading and study of its literature as time and inclination permit, 
so in the study of Pharmacognosy we first take up the specific char- 
acters and properties of a drug and then follow this by as much 
reading and study of a general character as we are able to do. There 
is, however, nothing stimulating and so far as I can see it, nothing 
useful in asking a question like the following: “ Nux Vomica: (a) 
give habitat; (b) origin; (c) part used in medicine; (d) active 
principles; (e¢) official requirement.” Ever since the days when I 
was a quizz master my conviction has been growing that questions 
of this type, which are asked on every hand, do more harm to the 
cause of teaching in pharmacy and to the development of pro- 
fessional pharmacy than is generally realized. Every man’s know]l- 
edge must fit in this groove. There is no individuality to be 
developed, no increase in knowledge expected and no vitalizing 
influence in either the subject as taught or the examination which 

The following is another type of question that is asked in cer- 
tain States by the Boards of Pharmacy and illustrates very forcibly 
the type of questions that should not be asked. The questions for 
the most part being confined to unimportant drugs and specifying 
the reading of certain books makes it obligatory upon the candidate 
to determine before taking the examination the books on which the 
examination is based. The following is a typical example: “ What 
dose is given in Remington’s Pharmacy, fifth edition, of the follow- 
ing: Rhus Glabra, is it considered a poison? (b) What is a 
minimum dose of Quercus, Rubus, Geranium? What is the com- 
mon name of Convallaria? Name 22 incompatibles with mercuric 


Am. Jour. Pharm. } Teaching of Pharmacognosy. 433. 

chloride (Corrosive -Sublimate). There are 33. Name as the. tenth. 
edition of Potter’s Materia Medica gives them. Does Potter's. 
Materia Medica say Mercury is a tonic? Answer Yes or No. Does 
he say it is a poison? A purgative? From where is Veratrum 
obtained? And in action, is it related to Aconite in any form? 
Answer Yes or No. What is the average dose of Eucalyptus as 
given in Potter’s Materia Medica, tenth edition?” 

In addition to the slovenly construction of the questions and 
the veritable hodge-podge manner of associating the subjects I 
think it is quite clear how questions of this kind really hinder sound 
pharmaceutical education. I think students are to be pitied who 
have to run the gauntlet of such examinations in the various 
States, and the wonder really is that young men of education and 
good training are willing to come into the ranks of Pharmacy. It 
is quite clear on the face of it that the examiners who ask such 
questions are quite incompetent to fulfil their duties. 

Of all subjects that are living, interesting, full of the greatest 
of possibilities and of the greatest of benefit to the professions 
involved, there is no subject that offers such a-fertile field for the 
teacher and that can hold the interest of the student like that of 
pharmacognosy. 1 am quite aware that while my enthusiasm may 
be shared by some teachers my point of view may not have occurred 
to them. However, I would say that the teaching of pharmacognosy 
in its direct application to retail practice will prevail and if the 
examinations bring out the practical knowledge of the candidate 
we will find that the student will also have attained culture and 
those things that constitute the professional man. 

I have often thought that it would be a good thing if Pharma- 
cognosists could meet together occasionally and discuss not only 
methods of teaching, but the subject of examination questions. In 
order that we might improve our work and be able to utilize the 
results obtained by our colleagues in other colleges I have requested 
a number of professors to send me a set of model questions. I 
regret that there is not space for me to give all of these at this time.. 
One professor has written stating that as his course consists entirely 
of laboratory work it does not involve questions. This is certainly 
novel and I should like to know how it is done. Appareritly the 
professor relies entirely upon the students’ work during the course. 
‘I feel that really every teacher ought to know before the end of 
the term the standing of every student, but I still feel as already 











434 Teaching of Pharmacognosy. 

stated, that an examination should be held more for crystallizing 
out the thoughts of the students and the knowledge gained than for 
any other purpose. In other words, an examination should be in 
the nature of instruction to the student and should give him an 
opportunity of showing to what extent he has mastered the subject. 

Professor Daniel Base has written in a spirit with which I 
heartily coincide, and I quote the following from his letter: 

“TI think State Boards would do well to confine questions in 
Materia Medica to the chief inorganic, vegetable and animal drugse 
and not ask questions about things with which the average pharma- 
cist may have to do but once or twice in a year. The questions 
might reasonably involve a knowledge of botanical source, part 
official, when collected and why, description in correct terms, of the 
whole drug, drugs that resemble each other outwardly and how to 
distinguish them, the principal and some of the less important con- 
stituents, forms in which the drug is used, usual action of the drug, 
antidotes to principal poisonous drugs or their preparations, doses. 
I would advocate framing questions both in Board examinations 
and those of the college in such a manner as to test the candidate’s 
thinking ability rather than his cramming powers. Perhaps this 
cannot be done so thoroughly in Materia Medica as in Chemistry 
or Pharmacy, because of the nature of Materia Medica, which 
necessitates memorizing to a greater extent than the other two 
subjects do. Examinations in Pharmacognosy, in addition to re- 
quiring the recognition of drugs from outward physical characters, 
taste, odor, fracture, chemical tests, etc., would properly require 
also microscopic knowledge, but I fear that the teaching and require- 
ments in some States have not advanced to such a stage as that the 
Boards could be persuaded that the examinations should include 
microscopic work. In those advanced States in which the Boards 
would not hesitate to ask questions involving microscopic knowl- - 
edge, I think the questions should be moderate and practical and 
perhaps along such lines as the following: 

1. Relation between magnification and focal length. 

2. Mounting of objects. 

3. Familiarity with a few staining reagents, permanent and 

4. Process of making a permanent mount with two differential 


Teaching of Pharmacognosy. 435 

our. Pharm. 
1911. } 

5. Ability to recognize and name the different kinds of cells in 
a section. 

6. Naming the kinds of cells in a powdered drug, especially such 
as stone, bast, tracheids, trichomes.” 

One of the questions in the list submitted by Professor G. H. 
Jensen strikes me as being very practical. It is “ In the examination 
of a powder, what elementary structures place it into the class of 
barks, woods, and leaves?” Professor Albert Schneider has sub- 
mitted a similar question which reads: “ Name the tissues and 
tissue elements that are found in barks, and roots, in leaves, in 
seeds, in woods.” 

I also received a number of other lists of questions, but they 
did not strike me as having anything novel in them and so I do 
not give them at this time, although | will probably refer to them 
in another paper. 

Professor Sayre has written in addition to sending me a list 
of questions some things that | feel like adding in concluding this 
paper. He says: “ Permit me to state that you could not get ten 
men to agree on any set of questions nor to agree on the policy 
of making up the questions, but I venture to give you my own ideas 
in the limited time I have to dictate them offhand. 

“In the first place, questions should have a carefully selected 
variety, that is, there should be a variety chosen from’ different 
classes of crude drugs. In the second place in almost every ques- 
tion something should be drawn out of the student in his answers 
as to the microscopical and, now and then, the botanical character- 
istics. Third, there should be sometimes added to the questions a 
general question rather than a specific one, such as ‘Write a 
paragraph or a treatise of at least 250 words on what you know 
of a certain subject.’ In the fourth place, I believe that examina- 
tions should represent modern thought and teaching and should 
include laboratory demonstrations where the student should have 
an opportunity to show, first, that he knows how to use the micro- 
scope, and second, that he has done microscopical work, and third, 
that he shall be able to demonstrate that he is familiar with certain 
microscopical processes. Fifth, I think that examinations in Materia 
Medica should be confined to well established and commonly recog- 
nized drugs.” 

In summarizing I may say then that in discussing this subject 

| | | 

. . . An. Jour. Pharm. 
436 American Pharmaceutical Association. 

of the teaching and examinations in Pharmacognosy that I have 
not been aiming to establish an ideal so much as to direct attention 
to the need of our considering our work from the ‘standpoint of the 
practicing Pharmacist. There are many things that every Pharma- 
cist should know, and these relate especially to the specific char- 
acters and properties of the important drugs. There are other 
things which he may know of certain drugs, and indeed, should 
know, to stimulate him in his professional work. But these are 
subjects that can be better handled in an oral examination than in 
written examinations. In Pharmacognosy we have a subject dealing 
with natural products and we should treat it in a natural way, 
instead of according to hard and fast lines and involving the framing 
of questions in the form of riddles or conundrums which depend 
for their solution upon so much memorizing rather than clear 
thinking and direct study of the drugs themselves, as we do in the 
study of other physical objects. 


By M. I. Wrpert. 

The Boston meeting of the American Pharmaceutical Asso- 
ciation will long be remembered as one of the most eventful meet- 
ings in the history of that Association. This distinction will be 
given it not because of the superior nature of the programme 
offered or the unexpected announcement of an unusual scientific 
achievement, but because at this meeting the Association chose to 
break with the past and to engage in enterprises more or less new 

and untried so far as the organization itself is concerned. 

Many, if not all the three hundred or more members of the Amer- 
ican Pharmaceutical Association present at Boston no doubt expected 
and were therefore prepared for the developments announced in the 

course of the week and many, if not all of the members present 

were thoroughly in accord with the programme as outlined and 
wish the officers for the coming year well in the development of 
their pioneer work. 

While the happenings at Boston were neither unexpected nor 
revolutionary in nature, they nevertheless entail changes in policies 






| | j 

Am. Jour -Lmerican Pharmaceutical Association. 437 
and an entire recasting of the relations hitherto held by the American 
Pharmaceutical Association to the several branches of the drug 
trade and any predictions as to the ultimate outcome must neces- 
sarily be based on idle speculation. 

A more comprehensive idea of the nature of the changes pro- 
posed can perhaps best be given by a more or less chronological 
report of the proceedings as reflected at the several sessions of the 
Association attended by one individual. 

The first general session of the 59th annual meeting of the 

American Pharmaceutical Association was called to order by Presi- | 

dent Eberle shortly after 3 o’clock on August 14, 1911, at the Hotel 
Vendome. After a few preliminary remarks by the president and 
a short prayer by Rev. A. R. Williams, of East Boston, the Lieu- 
tenant-Governor of the State of Massachusetts, Louis A. Frothing- 
ham, welcomed the Association on behalf of the State, and the 
acting Mayor of Boston, Walter L. Collins, offered the hospitalities 
of the City of Boston. 

These addresses of welcome were replied to by R. H. Walker 
of Gonzalez, Texas, who called attention to some of the advantages 
of membership in the A. Ph. A. 

George S. Smith, in a short and interesting address, called 
attention to a number of facts regarding the commercial importance 
of Boston and the surrounding towns and pointed out that few 
sections of the country are as thickly populated as is the territory 
adjacent to and more or less dependent on the City of Boston. 

C. H. Packard, on behalf of the druggists of the Boston dis- 
trict, extended to the members of the American Pharmaceutical 
Association, their relatives and friends, a hearty welcome to the 

These several addresses were replied to by C. M. Ford of Denver, 
who in a facetious address reminded the members that the time 
had come for them to again think of visiting the central portion 
of the United States and he, therefore, extended an invitation to 
meet in the City of Denver in 1912. 

The annual address of the president called attention to many 
of the shortcomings and needs of those engaged in the drug and 
apothecary business and contained a number of suggestions for 
bringing about changes in present-day conditions. The greater 
portion of the address was subsequently referred to a committee of 
five members, while the recommendations referring to legislation 


438 American Pharmaceutical Association. { 

were referred to the Section on Education and Legislation for 
further discussion. 

The felicitations of the members of the N. W. D. A. were 
presented by Fred: L. Carter, and the greetings of the N. A. R. D. 
were presented by F. C. Godbold. Dr. R. H. Hatcher extended 
the good wishes of members of the American Medical Association, 
M. I. Wilbert presented the felicitations of the Surgeon-General of 
the Public Health and Marine-Hospital Service and Prof. José 
P. Alacan presented greetings from the pharmacists of Cuba. 

The second general session of the Association was largely 
devoted to reports of committees and the annual reports of the 
officers of the Association. A rather unusual diversion from the 
routine nature of these reports was the announcement made by 
Jos. P. Remington, as Chairman of the Committee of Revision 
of the Pharmacopeeia of the United States, that the report of the 
Sub-Committee on Scope had finally been acted on by the members 
of the executive committee and that he was now prepared to 
give publicity to the final decisions on the scope of the U. S. P. IX. 
He then introduced Dr. Solomon Solis-Cohen, who as the invited 
guest of the Association, presented an interesting and well rounded 
address in which he discussed the influence of the U. S. P. on the 
practice of medicine. This address was enthusiastically received 
and the general conclusion that the Pharmacopceia of the United 
States should contain formulas or descriptions for “ all preparations 
that can be used to advantage in caring for the sick” is so obviously 
sane that it will no doubt receive the endorsement of all well 
meaning pharmacists as well as all seriously minded physicians. 

This address was commented on by a number of members 
present and, on motion, it was agreed to give wide-spread publicity 
to the same. It was resolved to have the address printed in 
pamphlet form and distributed among medical practitioners. 

The committee on nominations gave out the following names for 
officers to be elected by a mail ballot during the year: For presi- 
dent, W. B. Day of Chicago; Charles Holzhauer of Newark, N. J.; 
William Mittelbach of Boonsville, Mo.; for vice-president, José 
P. Alacan of Havana, Cuba; C. M. Ford of Denver, Col.; Otto F. 
Claus of St. Louis; R. H. Walker of Gonzales, Texas; C. A. 
Mayo of New York; W. J. Teeters of Iowa City, Iowa; J. O. 
Burke of Nashville, Tenn.; and A. H. Clark of Chicago; for 
council, F. C. Godbold of New Orleans; W. C. Alpers of New 


Am. Jour. Pi $ American Pharmaceutical Association. 439 

York; George B., Kauffman of Columbus, Ohio; C. W. Johnson 
of Seattle, Wash.; L. E. Sayre of Lawrence, Kansas; E. Berger 
of Tampa, Fla.; J. C. Wallace of New Castle, Pa.; F. W. Meissner, 
Jr., of La Porte, Ind. 

The sessions of the several sections were, in many. instances 
at least, held simultaneously and the precedent established in 
previous years is now thoroughly well established and will in 
time, no doubt, lead to the shortening of the time required’ for 
the annual meeting of the Association, so as to make these annual 
gatherings of greater interest and value to the really busy men in 
our calling. 


At the first session of the Section on Scientific Papers which 
was held on Tuesday afternoon simultaneously with the first 
session of the Section on Commercial Interests, a radical modifica- 
tion in the By-laws of the section was proposed by Chairman 
Clark and endorsed by the members present. These changes were 
subsequently endorsed by the Council of the Association and the 
necessary changes in the By-laws of the Association were acceded 
to at the concluding general session. In future the Section on 
Scientific Papers will be in position to conduct its business independ- 
ently of the other sections and will therefore have sufficient time 
to discuss all of the communications read at the several sessions. 

This year there were upwards of 25 papers to be presented 
at two sessions of the section, and the time, as usual, was wholly 
inadequate to present and discuss more than half of this number. 
Not any of the papers were printed in advance of the meeting and 
this no doubt was an additional reason why so few of the papers 
were discussed at length. As an additional proof of this statement 
it is but necessary to point out that the Report of the Committee 
on Drug Market, August, 1911, which was available in printed 
form, not only elicited considerable discussion, but also gave an 
opportunity for correcting several statements objected to by some 
of the members present. 

Among the papers presented at this section that were at all 
discussed are the following: 

The Pharmacopewial Standard for Desiccated Thyroid Glands, 
by Hunt and Seidell.—The authors proposed a standard iodine con- 
tent, 0.2 per cent., with a maximum variation of 0.03 per cent. 
above or below this figure. The limit for moisture is placed at 




| | 


4 rate Am. Jour. 
440 American Pharmaceutical Association. 

, © per cent., and that for ash at 5 per cent. Several of the members 
present expressed the belief that this standard was high, and that 
an iodine content of 0.15 per cent. would be more in keeping with 
the available product. 

The Preparation, Quality and Testing of Quinine Tannate— 
Puckner and Warren, under this heading, discussed the require- 
ments made for quinine tannate in many of the foreign Pharma- 
copeeias and reported a systematic examination of the product 
available in this country, giving the names of manufacturers, the 
degree of purity of their quinine tannate and the various contamina- 
tions. This paper was discussed to some extent, and on motion 
a majority of the members present voted to delete the names of 
the manufacturers from the paper as printed in the journal of the 

Alkaloidal Assaying.—The assay processes of the U. S. P. were 
more or less systematically discussed by Messrs. Stevens, Dohme, 
Gordin and others. The subject-matter under discussion was sub- 
sequently referred to the U. S. P. Committee of Revision, and was 
further discussed by the Sub-Committee on Assay Processes. 

~Gelsemium Alkaloids.—L, Sayre presented an additional com- 
munication on the alkaloids of gelsemium, and proposed the re- 
naming of the several alkaloids. This communication led to a 
general discussion on the misleading names applied by manufac- 
turers to some of the rarer alkaloids, but the members of the 
section were apparently not willing to commit themselves to any 
definite policy for correcting existing abuses. 

Physiological Standardization—The physiological standardiza- 
tion of drugs was discussed by Messrs. Haskell, Vanderkleed, 
Edmunds and others. Chas, C. Haskell reported a number of 
experiments on physiological drug-testing, and in connection with 
digitalis recommended the use of the one-hour frog method, as 
outlined by Edmunds and Hale in Bulletin No. 48 of the Hygienic 
Laboratory, Public Health and Marine-Hospital Service of the 
United States. Chas. H. Vanderkleed presented a paper in which 
he recommended the guinea-pig method, described by Reed and 
Vanderkleed in a previous paper on the subject. 

Capsicum.—Wilbur L. Scoville presented a Note on Capsicum, 
showing the great variation in the strength of capsicum, and sug- 
gesting the possibility of the pungency of this drug being used as 
a simple test for quality. This paper elicited some discussion in 







the course of which it was pointed out that the physiological test 
for capsicum was ‘infinitely more delicate and more reliable than 
‘the similar test that has been proposed for use in connection with 

Aconite—William Mansfield exhibited a number of samples 
of commercial aconite, discussed the varying qualities now coming 
into this market, and proposed that the stem crowned root alone 
be described in the Pharmacopoeia of the United States, maintaining 
that the bud crowned root could be utilized for propagating or con- 
tinuing the plant. 

Ash Content of Drugs.—M. |. Wilbert presented a compilation 
of data on pharmacopeeial limitations of the ash content of drugs, 
and pointed out that this factor could not at the present time be 
utilized to advantage. The discussion emphasized the need for 
permitting rather wide variation in the ash limitation of drugs, 
particularly in connection with root and leaf drugs. 

‘Permanency of Some Astringent Preparations was discussed by 
W. L. Scoville, who reported the systematic pamieet “es of twenty 
fluidextracts of drugs containing tannin, during a period of three 
years. He outlined his method of examining the preparations and 
laid emphasis on the desirability of using strongly alcoholic menstrua 
for drugs of this class. 

The officers of this section for the coming year are W. O. 
Richtmann, Satsuma Heights, Fla., Chairman; and C. H. LaWall, 
Philadelphia, Pa., Secretary. 


The Section on Commercial Interests held two sessions. lrank- 
lin M. Apple, the Chairman of the Section, was obliged to leave 
before the opening session because of sudden bereavement in the 
family, and B. E. Pritchard, of Pittsburgh, presided. Many of 
the papers presented at this section were discussed quite exhaustively 
and the immediate results will no doubt be beneficial. 

Among the papers that were read and discussed were the 
following : 

Commercial Monopoly—A Hindrance to Progress in Materia 
Medica Science, was the title of a paper by F. E. Stewart, in which 
he discussed at some length the relation of product and process 
patents to scientific development of medicine. 

The Principles and Practices of Bookkeeping were discussed 


442 American Pharmaceutical Association. {Ax Jour. Pharm, 

by Hy. P. Hynson, who commented on some of the shortcomings of 
the commercial courses taught in colleges of pharmacy. Several 
additional papers along the same lines were presented, one by 
Ambrose Hunsberger on Simplified Accurate Methods of Record- 
ing Charge Sales, and one by E. Fullerton Cook on the Cost of 
Conducting Drug Business. 

Window Displays were discussed by B. E. Pritchard, who com- 
mented on the practices of one of the large drug concerns in 
Pittsburgh; and in a paper along similar lines by Otto Rauben- 
heimer, who discussed Pharmaceutical Window Displays and com- 
mented adversely on some of the objectionable displays that he 
has observed from time to time. 

C. M. Ford presented some comments on the trend of modern 
pharmacy, and incidentally described a system of drug-store in- 
spection that is being introduced in the City of Denver. 


The Section on Practical Pharmacy and Dispensing, with Louis 
Saalbach of Pittsburgh, Pa., as Chairman, also held two sessions, 
at which a number of practical pharmaceutical problems were 

The Color of Tincture of Iron Citro-Chloride was discussed by 
Otto Raubenheimer, who exhibited a number of samples comparing 
the National Formulary product with samples made according to 
other formulas. 

A Few Questions Suggested by Comparison of the National 
Pharmacopeias was the title of a paper by Oscar Oldberg. This 
paper, in the absence of the author, was read by the Secretary of 
the Section. Oldberg discussed the desirability of establishing a 
Section on the Pharmacopeeia so that matters relating to the 
Pharmacopeeia could be discussed without interfering with other 
more or less diverting papers. 

Infusion of Digitalis was discussed by Chas. M. Ford and J. 
Leon Lascoff. Both of these authors pointed out the need for 
making this preparation extemporaneously from a good quality 
of leaf. The discussion following the reading of these papers 
was spirited and at times acrimonious, evidencing considerable varia- . 
tion of opinion as to the objects sought to be attained by the 
addition of alcohol to the infusion. There was also some difference 
of opinion regarding the preferable method of keeping digitalis. 

q q 

ies } American Pharmaceutical Association. 443 

Am, Jour. 

A New Color for Pharmaceutical Preparations was described by 
Chas. H. LaWall, of Philadelphia, Pa., who called attention to 
some of the possibilities of sulphonated orcein or vegetable red, a 
coloring matter now widely used by confectioners. This paper 
elicited considerable discussion on the standardization of colors, 
in the course of which Otto Raubenheimer exhibited a French 
publication or code of colors that has been adopted as a standard 
for color for a variety of purposes. 

Sanitation in Pharmacy was discussed by J. Leon Lascoff, who 
proposed the sterilization of bottles returned to the pharmacy. This 
led to a rather spirited discussion on the possible abuses that 
might arise in this connection, many of the members believing 
that medicine bottles should not be used over again under any 

A Plea for More Working Formulas for Chemicals in the 
U. S. P., by W. H. Glover, was discussed at some length and the 
question was finally referred to the Committee on Recipe-Book. 

The officers of this section for the ensuing year are P. Henry 
Utech, Meadville, Pa., Chairman; Wm. A. Hall, Detroit, Mich., 


The Section on Education and Legislation, as usual, held three 
sessions. The first was presided over by Chairman Charles W. 
Johnson, who in his address as chairman discussed the desirability 
of solving the problems of pharmaceutical education. The report 
of the Secretary, Wilbur J. Teeters, was a comprehensive review 
of legislation proposed and enacted in the several states. On motion 
of H. L. Taylor the Secretary was complimented for his compre- 
hensive compilation, and it was further suggested that the section 
continue the collection of material of this kind. 

H. L. Taylor presented a report of the Syllabus Committee which 
was commented on by E. Fullerton Cook, in a paper on Com- 
mercial Training as Outlined in the Syllabus. The shortcomings 
of the Syllabus were further commented on by C. B. Lowe and 
others, several of the members taking advantage of the occasion 
to point out that the Syllabus was in course of evolution, and that 
the next edition would no doubt be much more perfect than the 
one now available. 

Hy. P. Hynson presented a paper on the Real Educational 
Needs of the Pharmacist, in the course of which he called atten- 

om “ 

444 American Pharmaceutical Association, {A%- Jour. Pharm. 

tion. to many of the shortcomings in the present-day curriculum 
of pharmaceutical schools. 

The second session of the section was, presided over by John 
C. Wallace of New Castle, Pa., and was generally commented on 
as being one of the most interesting sessions of the Boston meeting. 

The third session, following the established precedent, was a 
joint session of the section with the National Association of Boards 
of Pharmacy and American Conference of Pharmaceutical Facul- 
ties, at which a number of questions relating to state board ex- 
aminations were discussed at length. 

The officers of this section for the ensuing year are John C.’ 
Wallace, New Castle, Pa., Chairman; Wilbur J. Teeters, lowa 
City, Iowa, Secretary. 


The Section on Historical Pharmacy held two sessions this 
year, or perhaps more correctly, one session in the afternoon, on 
the boat returning from Plymouth, and an adjourned session, at 
the hotel, in the evening. The Chairman of the Section, Joseph L. 
Lemberger, presided and the programme was replete with interest- 
ing subjects. Among the several contributions offered at the after- 
noon session was the presentation of a scrap-book entitled Hall- 
bergana, by Francis B. Hays of New York. This book contains 
an interesting collection of material, historical, biographical and 
otherwise, relating to the late editer of the Bulletin of the American 
Pharmaceutical Association, C. S. N. Hallberg. 

At the evening session several additional contributions were 
presented, among them an illustrated lecture on The Apothecary in 
Literature, by Edward Kremers. This contribution was a real 
treat, and thoroughly well appreciated by all who had the privilege 
of listening to the lecture, and seeing the pictures exhibited by 
the lecturer. 


In addition to the two general sessions announced on the 
programme, the Association held a special session on the morning 
of Wednesday, August 16, at which several Committee reports were 
received. Another special session was held on Friday afternoon, 
preceding the meeting of the Section on Historical Pharmacy. The 
object of this session was to determine the place of meeting for 

i 4 

Jour. Pharm. 7 ate 
American Pharmaceutical Association. 445 

ig12._ After considerable discussion Denver was by vote of the 
members present selected as the place of meeting. The association 
at this session also adopted a resolution, offered by Joseph P. 
Remington, endorsing the spirit and the letter of the Pure Food 
and Drugs Law, and commending Dr. H. W. Wiley for the methods 
followed by him in enforcing this law. <A third special session of 
the Association was held Friday evening after the adjourned meet- 
ing of the Section on Historical Pharmacy. This session was called 
for the purpose of presenting a number of changes in the By-laws 
of the Association, providing for the change in the nature of the 
publications of the Association, the changes necessitated by the 
sy-laws adopted by the Section on Scientific Papers, and also a 
change in the By-laws providing for the transference of the be- 
ginning of the fiscal year of the Association from July to January, 
and an increase in the salaries of a number of the paid officials of 
the Association. At the final session of the Association on Saturday 
morning these several changes were endorsed, and at the conclusion 
of this session John G. Godding of Boston, President, and the 
remaining officers for the ensuing year were installed. 

The Council of the Association announced the election of H. M. 
Whelpley of St. Louis, as Treasurer; James H. Beal of Scio, Ohio, 
General Secretary and Editor; Henry Biroth of Chicago, Hon- 
orary President; E. G. Eberle of Dallas, Texas, Chairman of the 
Council, and Joseph W. England of Philadelphia, Pa., Secretary. 

The outgoing officers of the Association were given a vote of 
thanks for the efficient manner in which they had conducted the 
business of the Association, and the Boston pharmacists and others 
who had contributed to the success of the meeting were also given 
a vote of thanks. It was generally agreed among the members 
present that whatever uncertainty there might be regarding the 
future of the Association, there could be no mistaking the fact that 
the Boston pharmacists and Bostonians generally had proven them- 
selves to be royal entertainers, and that so far as the social events 
of the annual gatherings might be concerned the Fifty-ninth Annual 
Meeting of the American Pharmaceutical Association will long 
be remembered as one of the most pleasant, and socially the most 
successful that the American Pharmaceutical Association has ever 




446 Progress in Pharmacy. 



By M. I. Wivsert, Washington, 

The past three months have been replete with happenings of 
interest to the various branches of the drug trade, and it would be 
difficult indeed to even attempt to accurately reflect, in a limited 
number of pages, the many and varied influences that are at work 
at the present time to bring about an improvement of conditions 
in the drug business. 

The literature of the quarter is extensive, and it will be im- 
practicable to call attention to more than a few of the more im- 
portant publications. 

Volume 58 of the Proceedings of the American Pharmaceutical 
Association has finally been distributed, and while, for a number of 
reasons, no doubt, the publication of the book has been unusually 
delayed, the resulting volume is the largest, and in some respects 
the most valuable, that has appeared up to the present time. 

The book contains a total of nearly 1500 pages, and in the 
report on the Progress of Pharmacy and the many original con- 
tributions presented therein adequately reflects the present-day 
status of Pharmacy. 

The Proceedings of the Tenth International Congress of 
Pharmacy, held at Brussels, September 1 to 6, 1910, have been 
published, and constitute a large 8vo volume of xlix and 454 pages, 
with numerous illustrations. The list of members includes the 
names of upward of six hundred persons more or less well known 
in pharmaceutical circles abroad. The number of American sub- 
scribers is disappointingly small, and serves to emphasize the 
frequently made assertion that in matters relating to the progress 
of the sciences of pharmacy this country does not take the com- 
paratively advanced position occupied in medicine and many other 

Pharmacopa@ial Publicity —An editorial note, commenting on the 
evident non-compliance with the U. S. P. Convention instruction 
to give publicity to the progress of the work of revision, expresses 
doubt as to whether the instruction has been forgotten or neg- 
lected or whether it was in the nature of a political promise, and 












an. eS Progress in Pharmacy. 447 
concludes that a statement on this subject from the committee to 
the pharmaceutical press of the country would undoubtedly be 
welcome.—N. A. R. D. Notes, 1911, v. 12, p. 904. 

German Pharmacopeia.—The now official fifth issue or fifth 
edition of the German Pharmacopeeia is still being discussed and 
actively criticized in all the well-known pharmaceutical journals. 
The objects and the uses of this pharmacopceia are not generally 
recognized, particularly in America, and reviewers in this country 
frequently criticize the scope and contents of the German Pharma- 
copeeia from a strictly American point of view, forgetting that our 
own U: S. P., while theoretically a complete and highly commend- 
able work, is a sealed book to many, if not the majority, of retail 
druggists, and that comparatively few are in a position to or 
capable of applying the. various tests embodied in the U. S. P. 

The German Pharmacopeeia, on the other hand, is the standard 
guide for the apothecary, who is by law compelled to comply with 
all of its requirements. A book review (J. Am. M. Assoc., 1911, 
v. 56, p. 1218), commenting on this feature of the German Pharma- 
copeeia, points out that this book “isan indication of the services 
that can and should be rendered by pharmacists for controlling the 
identity and purity of drugs used in the treatment of diseases.” 

Japanese Pharmacopwia.—A news note (Chem. and Drug., 
July 29, 1911, p. 140) points out that the Japanese Pharmacopeeia 
is to be issued in a revised form at the end of 1915. The present 
edition is being unfavorably criticized. 

Ameri hemical Society—The summer meeting of the 
fe _ceem Society was held in Indianapolis, June 28 to 30, 
and is reported to~have been an unusually successful meeting. In 
point of view of attendaiiMlieit is said to have been the largest 
summer meeting that FARE y has ever held. The Division of 
Pharmaceutical Chemistry held three sessions, at which a number 
of pharmacopceial subjects were discussed, the suggestions, in sev- 
eral instances, being referred to the Pharmacopeeial Revision Com- 
mittee for further consideration—J. Ind. and Eng. Chem., 1911, 
v. 3, pp. 610-614. 

International Association of Chemical Societies—On April 25, 

‘IQII, a preliminary meeting of delegates from a number of 

European chemical societies met in Paris for the purpose of 
organizing an international association of chemical societies for the 
purpose of considering chemical problems of general or inter- 

| | 
ed | 
n- | 


. Am, Jour. Pharm, 
448 Progress in Pharmacy. 

national interest. The work of the association is to consist largely 
in the nomination of commissions in charge of studying questions 
submitted to them. 

The American Chemical Society, at the recent meeting in 
Indianapolis, signified its willingness to affiliate, and empowered the 
president of the society to enter into correspondence with the 
proper officials to learn the details regarding the proposed 
organization.—J. Ind. and Eng. Chem., 1911, v. 3, p. 614. 

International Pharmaceutical Federation—An editorial (Pharm. 
J., London, 1911, v. 87, p. 32) comments on the organization of 
the International Pharmaceutical Federation, recently completed at 
The Hague, and points out that in addition to strictly scientific 
subjects it is proposed to exert a beneficial influence on such subjects 
as the international arrangements relating to patents and trade- 
marks and commercial treaties affecting matters of this kind. This 
organization appears to have attracted considerable attention on the 
continent of Europe, despite the fact that in English-speaking 
countries the objects and the possibilities of codperation on the part 
of pharmaceutical organizations have received little or no con- 

American Medical Association—The Los Angeles meeting of 
the American Medical Association, while not as largely attended 
as some immediately preceding it, will no doubt prove to have been 
an important one from many points of view. Not the least im- 
portant of the several accomplishments of this meeting was the 
election of the nestor of American medicine, Dr. Abraham Jacobi, 
to serve as president of the Association. An editorial (J. Am. M. 
Assoc., 1911, Vv. 57, p. 122), commenting on his election, asserts 
that “few if any men in the American medical world to-day can 
look back on as active a life as that of Jacobi. As a teacher, 
practitioner, and worker in medical organizations he has been a 
leader for half a century.” 

An editorial (Pacific Pharmacist, July, 1910, v. 5, p. 83), in 
commenting on the meeting of the American Medical Association, 
asserts that the matter of dispensing physicians, counter-prescribing 
druggists, prescription percentage evil, selling and prescribing 
patent and fake remedies, and the U. S. P. and N. F. propaganda 
were warmly discussed. Physicians very frankly admitted that 
they knew little or nothing about drugs and urged better courses 
of instruction in materia medica for the medical colleges. 



Am. Jour. Pharm. Progress in Pharmacy. 449 

September, 1911. 

The report of the reference committee on sections endorsed a 
resolution, regarding trade-marks and patents, referred by the 
Section on Pharmacology and Therapeutics, and also presented a 
number of recommendations submitted in the address of the chair- 
man of the delegation from the American Pharmaceutical Asso- 
ciation. Not the least important of the several recommendations 
is the one relating to. the education of pharmacists, embodying the 
suggestion that “ Such education should include ethical instruction 
as well as instruction in the branches usually included in the courses 
given by colleges of pharmacy.” 

The report of the reference committee on medical education, 
in commenting on the work done by the Council on Pharmacy 
and Chemistry with reference to simplifying the requirements of 
instruction about drugs in the Pharmacopoeia, says: “ Everybody 
admits that valuable time is wasted in giving instruction about 
useless drugs because they appear in the Pharmacopoeia and be- 
cause state licensing boards are liable to ask about them.”—J. Am. 
M., Assoc., 1911, V. 57, p. 132. 

Medical Education—A recent number of the Journal of the 

American Medical Association (Aug. 19, 1911, v. 57, pp. 630 ff.) 

presents a description of the medical colleges in the United States 
and Canada. Accompanying editorials (pp. 654 and 658) discuss 
the progress that has been made, under the auspices of the Council 
on Medical Education of the American Medical Association, during 
the past seven years. During this period the number of medical 
colleges has been reduced from 166 in 1904 to 120 at the present 
time. The number of graduates during the same period of time 
has been reduced from 5747 in 1904 to 4273 in 1911. The amount 
of money given for medical education has increased from a few 
thousands of dollars during 1904 to several millions of dollars dur- 
ing the last year. 

British Pharmaceutical Conference.—The forty-eighth annual 
meeting of the British Conference was held at Portsmouth, the 
opening session being called to order by the president, Mr. W. F 
Wells, of Dublin, on the morning of July 25, 1911. 

The presidential address dealt mainly with the pharmacy laws 
of Great Britain and Ireland, with some references as to how they 
differed from similar laws in Germany and France. The proceed- 
ings of the Conference were this year divided into two sections, 


° Am. Jour. Pharm, 
450 Progress in Pharmacy. September, 1911, 

Science and Practice, the new arrangement evidently meeting with 
the approval of the members present. 

The papers read in the Science Section are quite up to the usual 
high standard of the communications presented to this organization, 
and many of them are on subjects of immediate practical interest, 
The papers are, as usual, reproduced entire in the current numbers 
of the British pharmaceutical journals. At the closing session on 
Thursday, Sir Edward Evans was elected proniiout for the ensuing 

American Pharmaceutical Association —The fifty-ninth annual 
meeting of the American Pharmaceutical Association, held in the 
City of Boston, August 14 to 19, 1911, will no doubt prove to have 
been epoch-making for American pharmacy, as the changes in 
policies that are involved must necessarily bring about a more or 
less complete modification of the relations existing between the 
Association and the several branches of the drug trade represented 
in its membership. 

Just what the future has in store for the Association would 
be difficult indeed to prophesy, but, with its long and honorable 
history as an incentive, the present and future officers must and 
will continue along the lines of progress so thoroughly well defined 
by the founders and the Association. 

Whatever differences of opinion may be evidenced regarding 
the immediate success of the new enterprises, there can be no 
difference of opinion regarding the abilities of Boston pharmacists 
as entertainers. Members of the Association from far and near 
were pleased with the completeness of the preparations for the 
meeting, and it was generally agreed that few cities can equal and 
none can excel the City of Boston as a meeting place for the 
American Pharmaceutical Association. 

Dr. H. W. Wiley and the Food and Drugs Act—Few happen- . 
ings during recent months have attracted more widespread atten- 

~ tion than the controversy that has grown out of a technical infraction 

of the law by Dr. H. W. Wiley and some of his associates in 
securing the services of Dr. H. H. Rusby as an expert in con- 
nection with the examination of drugs imported at the port of 
New York. The House Committee on expenditures in the Agri- 
cultural Department has conducted an exhaustive investigation 
regarding the origin and nature of the controversy, and the members 


Am, Jour. nara Progress in Pharmacy. | 451 

of this committee will no doubt be in position to submit a satis- 
factory report to Congress at its next meeting. 

To Dr, Wiley and his friends the unanimity with which the 
various periodicals and organizations have espoused his side of the 
controversy is indeed gratifying, and presages the en that 
many thinking persons have of his work, 

Pure Drugs and Medicines.—Virgil Goblentz discusses the 
general results of the analysis of two hundred and thirty prescrip- 
tions made by him for the New York World, and concludes that, 
if druggists would buy only from reliable firms and employ com- 
petent, conscientious assistants, they would be in position to render 
such service as the public has a right to expect.—J. Ind. and Eng. 
Chem., 1911, Vv. 3, pp. 540-542. 

Pharmaceutical Specialties—An_ editoria! points out that 
American pharmaceutical houses are apparently content to devote 
their energies to the devising of “ pharmaceutical specialties,” mere 
mixtures of well-known medicaments, that are designed to be 
attractive to both the eye and the palate, and are usually provided 
with names that are meaningless or, more often, therapeutically 
suggestive. The editorial concludes with the assertion that the 
credit accruing to our pharmaceutical manufacturers is discourag- 
ingly small; in fact, it is no exaggeration to say that the average 
American “ pharmaceutical specialty ” is not only of no benefit to 
medicine or pharmacy, but is a distinct handicap and detriment to 
both professions.—J. Am. M. Assoc., 1911, v. 57, p. 576. 

Nomenclature.—A recent editorial in the American Druggist and 
Pharmaceutical Record (July 10, 1911), on similarity in pharma- 
ceutical nomenclature, has been reprinted in the Pharmaceutical 
Journal (London, July 29, 1911, p. 133) and is being freely com- 
mented on by pharmacists. The proposition to have an international 
committee which would take into consideration the whole question 
of pharmacopceial and pharmaceutical nomenclature is an eminently 
laudable one, and should receive the endorsement of evefy active 

Acidol.—This is described by the Council on Pharmacy and 
Chemistry as betaine hydrochloride, C;H,,NO,HCI, occurring as 
colorless crystals freely soluble in water. It contains 23.8 per cent. 
of absolute hydrochloric acid.—J. Am. M. Assoc., 1911, v. 57, p- 396. 

Angelica Oil.—Bolcker and Hahn, by a series of fractional dis- 
tillations of essential oil of angelica, have succeeded in isolating a 

ers | 
in | 
ig | 
ts | 
ir | 


> a] Am. Jour, 
452 l’rogress m Pharmacy. 

new constituent (Apotheker Zeitung, 1911, 219). It is a lactone 
of the formula C,,H,,O;, melting at 83° and boiling at 250° at 250 
mm. pressure. It forms a di-brom addition product, C,,H,,O, Br,. 
On heating with alcoholic potash, it gives the potassium salt of the 
oxyacid C,;H,,0,—Chem. and Drug., July 29, 1911, p. 164. 

Digitalis—S. Hirohashi presents the results of a study of the 
quantitative valuation of digitalis, in which he reports his results 
with the Focke method, using a Japanese variety of Rana esculenta, 
These results would indicate that an infusion strained through 
muslin is more active than the corresponding preparation filtered 
through paper.—J. Pharm. Soc., Japan, July, 1911. 

The Chemistry of Ethyl Ether —LBaskerville and Hamor present 
the results of a comprehensive study on the chemistry of ethyl 
ether, including a comprehensive bibliography. The report includes 
observations on the changes which occur in ethyl ether during 
storage, the action of oxygen on ether, the detection of peroxides 
in ethyl ether, and a scheme for the examination of ethyl ether 
for analytical and anesthetic purposes, with particular reference 
to the detection of avoidable impurities.—J. /nd. and Eng. Chem., 
IQII, V. 3, pp. 378-398. 

Baskerville, in a review of the chemistry of utinains, points 
out that American official ethers call for three to four per cent. of 
ethyl alcohol, in accordance with an old and erroneous theory that 
alcohol protects the ether. Alcohol is practically never free from 
water, and in the presence of water and oxygen forms oxidation 

Hegonin.—This is described as silver nitrate ammonia albumose, 
obtained by treating silver ammonium nitrate with albumose. 
Hegonin is said to contain approximately 7 per cent. of organically 
combined silver. It occurs as a light-brown powder readily soluble 
in water. Its aqueous solutions do not coagulate albumin, even on 
heating, nor are they precipitated by sodium chloride—J. Am. M. 
Assoc., 1911, V. 57, p. 396. 

Hexamekol.—A news note (Chem. and Drug., July 29, 1911, 
p. 164) points out that hexamekol is a combination of guaiacol and 
hexamethylenetetramine. It forms a white crystalline powder, and 
contains 65 per cent. of guaiacol. 

Hormonal.—Peristaltic Hormone-Zuelzer is a liquid extract 
obtained from the spleen of an animal killed at the height of 
digestion. Hormonal is a yellowish liquid which is often turbid, 



j | 









dons. Peers Progress in Pharmacy. 453 

but it is claimed that the slight flocculent precipitate does not affect 
its efficiency. It is claimed that hormonal has the property of 
exciting the peristalsis of the intestine and provoking the evacuation 
of the faeces. Its use is still in the experimental stage—J. dm. M.. 
Assoc., 1911, V. 57, p. 291. 

Maretin—W. Heubner protests against some of the advertising 
literature recently sent out by the firm making maretin. He asserts 
that this substance has a powerful action on the blood, and is far 
from being the harmless medicament that it is claimed to be by 
the manufacturer.—7herap. Monatsh., 1911, v. 25, pp. 364-368. 

A correction by Dresser is published in the same journal 
(August, pp. 472-475), and in a reply by Heubner (pp. 476-479) 
the latter reiterates his belief that maretin is not a-safe remedy. 

Liquid nitrous oxide, or dinitrogen monoxide, N,O, in the 
liquid state, is described by the Council on Pharniacy and Chemistry 
as a colorless mobile liquid, boiling at 89.8° C., solidifying at 
—102° C., and having a specific gravity of 0.937 at 0° C. Liquid 
nitrous oxide returns to the gaseous state when the pressure is 
reduced and the temperature raised. A number of chemical tests 
to which the substance should respond are given and its actions 
and uses are discussed.—J. Am. M. Assoc., 1911, Vv. 57, p. 563. 

Tincture of Opium.—Farr and Wright, in a paper on The 
Supposed Loss of Morphine in the Preparation of Tincture of 
Opium, proved by experiments that the loss is real, and varies 
from 0.8 to 9 per. cent. of morphine, with an average of 4.78. The 
authors suggest that the loss is due to occlusion of the alkaloid in 
the opium, but they are making further experiments.—Chem. and 
Drug., July 29, 1911, p. 151. 

Oxygen.—Baskerville and Stevenson present a critical study of 
the bibliography, methods of preparation, and methods of analysis 
of oxygen, and outline standards of purity recommended for oxygen 
to be used in medicine. They conclude that the gas should be 
neutral toward moist, delicate litmus paper; and when passed 
through an aqueous solution of silver nitrate it should produce no 
turbidity—J. Ind. and Eng. Chem., 1911, v. 3, pp. 471-476. 

Saccharin.—An unsigned note, commenting on the proposed re- 
stricting of the use of saccharin in food, as outline in food inspection 
decision 135, asserts that 0.3 gramme of saccharin possesses the 
sweetening power of 165 grammes of cane sugar, and points out 
that it is hardly conceivable that any one person would daily digest 

250 | 
ita, | 
3e, | 

454 Progress in Pharmacy. Am. Jour. Pharm, 

September, 1911, 

such an amount of saccharin in food and beverage —J. Ind. and 
Eng. Chem., 1911, v. 3, p. 438. 

Scarlet R, Medicinal Biebrich, is amido-azo-toluol-betanaphthol, 
and occurs as a dark brownish-red powder nearly insoluble in 
water, slightly soluble in benzene and acetone, and easily soluble 
in chloroform, oils, fats, and phenols. It is slightly soluble in cold 
alcohol and somewhat more soluble in hot alcohol. It is generally 
used in the form of ointment, and is said to be useful in stimulating 
the proliferation of epithelial cells—J. Am. M. Assoc., 1911, v. 57, 
p. 291. 

Thyroid Standard.—Bennett, R. R., in a paper on the standard- 
ization of dried thyroid gland, suggests that it should be done on 
the basis of 0.15 per cent. of iodine, and describes Baumann’s method 
for determining the iodine. It appears that the iodine standard is 
most commonly used commercially—Chem. and Drug., July 29, 
IQII, p. 151. 

New Preserving Medium.—A useful solution for fixing and 
preserving plants and animals in their natural colors, recently 
invented by Wickerscheuer, of the Berlin Zodlogic Museum, is 
prepared by dissolving 100 gms. of alum, 25 gms. of sodium 
chloride, 12 gms. of potassium nitrate, 60 gms. of potassium car- 
bonate, and 10 gms. of arsenic trioxide in 3000 c.c. of boiling 
water. To this solution 1200 c.c. of glycerin and 300 c.c. of methyl 
alcohol are subsequently added. Objects preserved in this liquid 
are said to retain their form, color, and suppleness to a remark- 
able degree.—J. Am. M. Assoc., 1911, v. 57, p. 400.