Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 7.djvu/702

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

hours longer than milk not so treated. In like manner a litre of beer, containing one gramme of the acid, and exposed to the air, did not become sour after standing for a considerable time, nor was there the slightest trace of mould. As a means of keeping water sweet on shipboard it is specially valuable.

Eggs immersed for an hour in a solution of salicylic acid were at the end of three months as fresh as at first. Flesh-meat dusted over with the acid keeps its freshness for weeks. When about to be used, the meat may be dipped into water, to remove the acid.

Dr. Thiersch, of the Leipsic Hospital, has used this substance "with very favorable results" in his surgical practice. Kolbe has employed it as a wash for the teeth and mouth, and asserts that it is very effectual in purifying the breath. In a communication published in the Journal für praktische Chemie, he says: "As a medicine for internal use, salicylic acid does not seem to have been much employed hitherto, and yet, owing to its antiseptic properties, it is indicated in all diseases of the blood, especially in those which are developed by contagion." Among the diseases likely to yield to this treatment he names scarlatina, diphtheria, measles, small-pox, syphilis, dysentery, typhus, and cholera. Further, he is inclined to think that it might be effectual in dealing with pyæmia and hydrophobia.

Dr. Karl Fontheim, writing to the same journal, says: "This new remedy has been found of very special benefit in treating diphtheria; I have employed it in thirty-two cases; of these none have proved fatal, and the worst cases recovered in eight days." Prof. Zürn, of Leipsic, has employed salicylic acid in veterinary practice, both medical and surgical, and it is his opinion that "for internal and external use in domestic animals, as an antiseptic and destroyer of living contagia, it is destined to occupy as honorable a position in veterinary practice as it does in human medicine."

Kolbe has experimented on his own person, to determine whether or not salicylic acid is injurious to the animal economy. For several days in succession he took daily, in four parts, one half-gramme (solution in water 1: 1,000), without the slightest bad effect. After an interval of eight days, he for five successive days took double the former dose, and for two successive days he took one and a half gramme. In the mean time his digestion was entirely normal; there was no feeling of oppression in the stomach, nor did he experience any inconvenience whatever. Other physicians who, at his request, made the same experiments, confirm these results. Still the remedy must not be taken in the form of a powder, for in that shape it attacks the mucous membrane of the mouth and œsophagus; it must be taken in solution.

F. von Heyden, of Dresden, manufactures salicylic acid on a large scale, according to the process of Kolbe and Lautemann. The product is a yellowish-white powder. This is the crude acid, which may be