Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 10.djvu/669

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649
A COMBAT WITH AN INFECTIVE ATMOSPHERE.

I operated sometimes with tubes like those of Dr. Roberts, and sometimes with those which I call Cohn's tubes. These are formed by heating a certain portion of a test-tube and drawing it out so as to leave an open funnel above, a bulb below, and a narrow tube between both. These are Cohn's tubes. His method was this: He placed the tubes, as they are placed here, in boiling water, and, when they had been subjected to a boiling temperature for a sufficient time, he

PSM V10 D669 Cohn tubes.jpg
Fig. 2.

simply lifted them out. He found a certain amount of water condensed upon the neck of the bulb; he waited one or two minutes until that evaporated, and then quietly plugged his tube with cotton-wool, and he thought that this was perfect immunity against the entrance of contamination; and Prof. Cohn is very emphatic in saying that there is no thought of contamination from without in pursuing this method of experiment. I operated upon a great variety of hay-infusions, and after a time, by pursuing with the most scrupulous exactness the method laid down by Dr. Roberts and Prof. Cohn, it was possible for me, by practice, now to corroborate and now to contradict them. It is perfectly useless to bring forward before public assemblies merely opposing assertions, so that I did not really content myself with falling back upon the results I obtained last year, but tried to get some knowledge as to whence the differences arose which showed themselves between me and these distinguished men. Here