« PreviousContinue »
ing the appearance originally bright and of a fresh fracture were clear, but are now soiled from handling. The color is a light steel-grey, with metallic particles interspersed. The structure is granular.” Through the recommendation of His Excellency, Gov. Morgan, to the officers having in charge the state cabinet, a small fragment of the stone including a portion of the crust, was most obligingly transmitted to me by Mr. Woolworth, accompanied by the following note: •, “Albany, Nov. 11, 1859. Prof. CHARLEs U. SHEPARD, Dear Sir:-I am directed by Gov. Morgan, as Chairman of the Committee of the Regents of the University on the State Cabinet of Natural History, to send you the inclosed portion of the aérolite lately found near this city. The Committee had hopes of finding other parts of the stone than the one first discovered, but have not been successful. They regret they cannot send you more, but could not do so without destroying the specimen they possess. Hoping it may be sufficient for your purposes, I am, very truly, yours, &c., J. B. Woolworth, Sec'ry, déc.
I am likewise much indebted to Henry A. Homes, Esq., the State Librarian, for his good offices in facilitating my early acquisition of the specimen which enables me to compare it with those I possess srom other localities.
The crust of the Bethlehem stone is very peculiar. It is double the thickness of any in my collection, equalling that of thick pasteboard. It is perfectly black, and very open in its texture. The outer surface is rough, being nowhere perfectly fused, but only semi-vitrified. Without being fragile or carbonaceous, it nevertheless resembles in color, lustre, and porousness, certain surfaces of mineral charcoal. The interior of the stone is equally peculiar, being loosely granular, the particles being uniform in character, small, highly crystalline, and nearly transparent. They possess a brilliant lustre, a very light grey or greenish white color. They resemble volcanic peridot more than any species of the augitic or feldspar family. Nickelic iron, of a bright white color, in delicate filaments and semi-crystalline grains, is thickly diffused through the mass; and these grains, as well as those of the peridotic mineral, are flecked with brilliant points of pyrrhotine (FeS). The specific gravity is 3:56. In general color and effect to the eye, it approaches nearest to the Klein-Wenden stone (Sept. 16, 1843); but it differs from this in being larger grained, and looser in its texture.
4. Remarks woon the Ohio stones of May 1, 1860–Through the much valued assistance of Prof. J. L. Smith, the large 53pound stone that fell near the house of Mr. Wm. Law of New Concord, forms part of my meteoric cabinet. Without attempting at present a complete description of its form and character, I will only offer a few remarks upon the relationship of the Ohio meteorites to those of other falls. In its internal aspect it approaches the stone of Jekaterinoslaw, Russia (1825), though it is somewhat firmer and more compact. In crust, the two are identical. It is also similar to the stone of Slobodka, Russia (Aug. 10, 1808); and compares closely with those of Politz (Oct. 13, 1819), of Nanjemoy, Maryland (Feb. 10, 1828), and of Ruleschowka, Russia (March 12, 1811); but the crust is less smooth on the Ohio stone than in that of the latter. A pearl grey peridot forms the chief constituent (above twothirds) of the stone. This mineral is often rolled up into obscurely formed globules, which are so firmly imbedded in the more massive portions of the same mineral, as to be broken across on the fracture of the stone, which thereby presents a sub-pisiform appearance. Snow white particles of Chladnite are thickly scattered in mere specks through the mass, and closely incorporated with the peridot. The nickelic iron, of a bright white color, is also everywhere thickly interspersed in little points. Pyrrhotine is less conspicuous, though often visible in rather broad patches; while black grains of chromite are easily distinguishable by the aid of a glass, and sometimes with the naked eye. The crust is of medium thickness, and the usual wavy and pitted impressions are also strictly characteristic of these stones. Their origin in meteorites generally, is perhaps still obscure, but may be conceived to originate in the flaking off of fragments in consequence of the sudden transition from cold to hot, which must happen to bodies coming instantaneously from a temperature far below zero into a state of vivid incandescence, at least upon their in mediate surface. We see a somewhat analogous flaking up from heated surfaces of granite blocks during a conflagration, when wetted by cold water; though in the latter case, as might be expected, convexities take the place of concavities. 5. Supposed Full of a Meteoric Stone in Independence County, Iowa, during the summer of 1857.—I casually learned while recently in Missouri, that a stone fell at a place called Pilot Grove, near the stage road, in or near the month of August, 1857. The stone was preserved; and I am not without hopes of obtaining a portion of it, having heard of its exhibition during the last year before the Academy of Sciences at Chicago.” # Detection of Phosphorus in the native steel of Montgomery (Vermont), and in the Waterloo (New York) Meteoric stone: I have examined the first named substance chiefly with a view to determine its relationship to the Rutherfordton (N. C.) Ferrosilicine, (see the September number of this Journal for 1859), and find that while it is free from silicon, it nevertheless aboutids in phosphorus. The Waterloo stone, whose resemblance is so great to a
well burnt Bristol brick, gives a very decided test for phosphoric acid. The problematical steel from Bedford County (Pennsylvania) is free both from silicon and
ART. XX.-Influence of Arsenious Acid wbon the Waste of the Animal Tissue.
ACCORDING to experiments made by Prof. Schmidt and Dr. Stuerzwage of Dorpat,” arsenious acid when introduced into the circulation, occasions a considerable diminution of the ordinary waste of the tissues. This decrease, which amounts to from twenty to forty per cent, occurs even after the administration of very small doses; more rapidly if the acid is injected directly into the veins; more slowly, yet with equal intensity, if absorbed from the intestines. The action is most striking in the case of fowls which neither vomit after injection of the arsenic nor reject their accustomed food; but even in cats which are subject to vomiting after the injection and must therefore be regarded as in a starving condition, the waste of the organism was diminished about twenty per cent after subtracting the decrease occasioned by the mere want of food. This fact satisfactorily explains the fattening of horses after small doses of arsenious acid, a phenomenon well known to horse dealers. An amount of fat and albuminous substances equivalent to the repressed carbonic acid and urea remains in the body and increases its weight, if the animal receives at the same time a suf. ficient amount of food. When larger doses of arsenious acid are given nervous symptoms appear, which may be classified in two groups: spinal irritation and paralysis. To the first may be referred the vomiting, the accelerated respiration, the feeble pulse; to the last, the inclination to sleep, the weakness, and the retarded and labored breathing. Both may be explained by the very considerable congestion of the central organs which was constantly observed in post mortem examinations. These experiments are of particular interest since they go far to prove the complete reliability of the published accounts of the custom of “arsenic eating,” which is said to prevail among the peasantry of several Austrian provinces. These accounts have been time and again held up to ridicule by toxicologists,t and as a rule have been received with suspicion by all scientific men. They have nevertheless been widely published and are consequently well known to the public. During the last eight or ten years the origin of these accounts
* Journal für praktische Chemie, 1859, lxxviii, p. 373. -
# See for example, Christison, Edinburgh Medical Journal, Feb. 1856, i, 709. 4. Chevallier, Journal de Chimie Médicale, etc., 1854,  x, 439. Or Taylor, in his work On Poisons. London, Churchill, 1859, p. 91.
AM. Jour, SCI.-SECOND SERIES, Vol. XXX, No. 89.--SEPT., 1860,
has been generally attributed to Dr. v. Tschudi, who published a communication upon the subject in 1851;” an abstract of which may be found in Chambers' Edinburgh Journal, December 20, 1851, [N. S., No. 416, p. 389.f
Two years later, v. Tschudi made another communication,f in support of his previous assertions:—this, in connection with His first letter which had previously attracted comparatively little attention, was very extensively copied. §
Similar stories had been circulated, however, long before the letters of v. Tschudi were made public. For example, our own attention was first directed to the subject by the statement published in the Penny Cyclopædia of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, London, 1832, ii, 403. Art. “Arsenic, Medical Uses of.” # * *
“That its [white oxyd of arsenic] employment in such doses [or or To of a grain] as we have stated is not only safe but beneficial, may be satisfactorily proved. Not only are old worn out horses endowed with new vigor, improved appetite, &c., by its use, but pigeons to which this article is given, show greater appetite and liveliness than others without it; and in Upper Styria the peasantry use it as a seasoning with many articles of food, such as cheese.” # * *
In the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, 1835, xii, 211, is the following:
“Dr. Strohmayer in his Medicinische Praktische, relates in exemplification of the extent to which the system may become accustomed to the operation of arsenic, that a peasant who resided near a convent in the Tyrol, for a long time, took ten grains of arsenic daily with his food.” ” *
In noticing the article in Chambers' Journal, for 1851, a correspondent of the London and Edinburgh Monthly Journal of Medical Science, February, 1852, xiv, 190, cites the following eXtractS :
* Wiener medizinische Wochenschrift, October 11th, 1851, vol. i., No. 28.
+ From which it was copied into Wells's Annual of Scientific Discovery, 1852, p. 862.--Hays's American Journal of the Medical Sciences for July, 1852, vol. xxiv, p. 270, also contains extracts of v. Tschudi’s letter, taken from the French Gazette des Tribunawa through the Journal des connaissances Med. Chirurg., December 16th, 1851.
# Wiener medizinische Wochenschrift, 1853, No. 1.
§ In extenso in Journal de Chimie Médicale, etc., 1854, [3.] x, 439; from La Presse Médicale Belge ; from Journal de la Société des Sciences médicales et naturelles de Brucelles; abstract in Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, June 11th, 1853, [N. S.,] vol. xix, No. 493, p. 382.
An abstract of the first (1851) letter, in the Gazette de Hôpitawa, of Paris, May 16, 1854, p. 229; from Journal de Médicine de Brucelles, (see also London Medical Times and Gazette, July 1854, xxx, 66) is perhaps the best known of any of the numerous extracts from v. Tschudi's statements, unless it be that given by J. F. W. Johnston in his Chemistry of Common Life, New York, Appleton, 1855; i, 166; also in Blackwood's Magazine, Dec. 1853, lxxiv, 687.
[| Quere? Strohmayr, Frz Medicinische praktische Dartstellung gesammelter Krankheitsfälle, u. des Heilverfahrens aus dem Tagebuch meiner Erfahrung Wien, Gerold, 1831.]
“From Vogt's,” Arzneimittellehre, B. 1, S. 507.” “It is well-known that old worn out horses gain an appetite, strength and spirit by the use of arsenic; and a pigeon which often got arsenic was observed to have its appetite increased and its movements more lively.”
“From Med. Jahb, des Oester. Staates, 1822, S. 99.” “There is scarce a district.of Upper Styria in which in at least one house, arsenic may not be found under the name of Hydrach, Orpiment, &c. It is used for diseases of the domestic animals, against vermin, and also as a stomachic to increase the appetite. A peasant in my presence showed, with the point of a knife, how much arsenic he took daily and without which he said he could not live. I estimated the quantity at about two grains. It is also said to be used as a seasoning for cheese, and indeed several cases of poisoning by Styrian cheese have occurred, and one but lately.”
Similar statements made by Wibmer, (probably in his book, entitled, “Die Wirkung der Arzneimittel, w. Gifte im gesunden thier. tschen Körper,” 4 vols., Munich, 1831–89,) are referred to in German works upon the materia medica; while travellers who have spent much time in these provinces, all concur in their statements regarding the common custom of mixing arsenic with the food of horses.t - r-"
Evidence of this sort could without doubt be multiplied to almost any extent by any one familiar with the literature of the provinces in question, or with the habits of their people. A quantity of such material,t has indeed been recently collected by Heisch, and published in the London Chemical News, May 19, 1860, i, 280; from which we quote it, as being recent, (for the most part,) precise and tolerably direct; although it does not differ in its general import from the testimony which had already been offered.
On the Arsenic Eaters of Styria, by Charles Heisch, Esq., F.C.S., Lecturer on Chemistry at the Middlesex Hospital Medical College. §–At the last meeting of the Manchester Philosophical Society I observe that Dr. Roscoe called attention to the arsenic eaters of Styria. Having for the last two years been in communication with the medical men and other residents in the districts where this practice prevails, I shall feel obliged if you will allow me through your journal to make known the facts I have at present collected. The information is derived mainly from Dr. Lorenz, Imperial Professor of Natural History, formerly of Salzburg, from Dr. Carl Arbele, Professor of Anatomy in Salzburg, and Dr. Kottowitz, of Neuhaus, besides several non-medical friends. If human testimony be worth anything, the fact of the existence of arsenic eaters is placed beyond a doubt. Dr. Lorenz, to whom questions were first addressed, at once stated that he was aware of the practice, but added, that it is generally difficult to get hold of individual cases, as the obtaining of arsenie
* [Qu. ? Voigtel, Fr. G. System der Arzneimittellehre, Leipzig, 1816.]
# A custom which seems also to prevail to a certain extent in England. Compare Kesteven, cited by Taylor, (op. cit., p. 89) from the Association Medical Journal, Sept. 6, and 20, 1856. We have to regret our inability to refer to K.’s original paper, the tenor of which is not readily to be inferred from Dr. Taylor's extracts.
+ Compare Boner of Ratisbon in Chambers's Journal of Pop. Lit., &c., Feb. 9th, 1856, vol. v., No. 110, p. 90; see also ibid, July 19th, 1856, vol. vi, No. 133, p. 46.
§ From the Chemical News, May 19th, 1860.