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till they were all filled.

Of the Revolutions which small Pendulous Bodies, by Electricity, make round
larger ones from West to East, as the Planets do round the Sun. By Mr.
Stephen Gray. N° 441, p. 220.

Mr. Gray made several new experiments on the projectile and pendulous mo-
tion of small bodies by electricity, by which they are made to move about
larger ones, either in circles or ellipses, and that either concentric or excentric
to the centre of the larger bodies about which they move, so as to make many
revolutions about them; and this motion constantly the same way that the
planets move about the sun, viz. from the right to the left, or from west to
east; but these little planets, if they may be so called, move much faster in
their apogeon than in the perigeon parts of their orbits: which is directly con-
trary to the motion of the planets about the sun.



On the Construction of a Quicksilver Thermometer ; also Observations on the
Eclipses of Jupiter s Satellites, Anno 1731 and 1732. By M. Jos. Nic. De
risle, F.R.S. N°441, p. 221.

In order to have surer grounds for experiments of natural philosophy in
Russia, and that they might be compared with those of other countries, M.
De risle applied this winter to the construction of thermometers of mercury,
regulated by the expansion of that fluid proportionably to its bulk. This ex-
pansion is indeed not very perceptible, considering that Dr. Halley, in the expe-
riments he made on it above 40 years since, N° J97 of the Phil. Trans.; found
that the said expansion, by the heat of boiling water, was no more than the
74th part of the bulk of the mercury.

M. Amontons also relates, in the Memoirs of the Royal Academy of the
year 1704, that this expansion of the mercury is only the 115th part of its
bulk from the greatest heat to the greatest cold that is felt at Paris. But M.
De risle found in the great cold at Petersburg, on the -t-f Jan. 1732-3, in the
morning, that the bulk of the mercury was condensed almost a 50th part of
the extent it had in boiling water. The cold on that day, the wind being at
east, was one of the severest ever felt there. His new thermometers of mer-
cury he had made of a good large size, and in such manner that, having divided
in each the whole quantity of contained mercury into 100,000 parts, and having
marked the extent of the bulk of that mercury in boiling water, he can at any
time see on the divisions of these thermometers, by how many parts the bulk
of the mercury is condensed through the present temperature of the air. And
though he has made four of these thermometers, which differ very much as to
their size, and the quantity of mercury they contain, yet they agree within a
very few of these parts.

As pure mercury is of the same nature every where, and not liable to any
alteration from being inclosed in a tube; and as it is probable, that taking it
equally purified, it will in different countries be subject to the same expansion,
if exposed to the same degree of heat ; for this reason it is probable, these
thermometers may very well serve to compare the temperature of dift^erent
countries; especially as he found by experience, that these thermometers may
be rendered fit enough to mark sensibly the increase or diminution of the bulk
of the mercury, within one or two parts out of the 100,000 contained in the
whole bulk. This kind of thermometers has also this advantage, that as they
mark the proper expansion of the mercury in each temperature of air, they may
serve to show every moment the correction to be made in the height of the
mercury in simple barometers; which will serve for reducing them to the height


they would have in an equal temperature of air; and one might, for this end,
chuse and agree on the heat of boiling water, as a fixed term, which, in all
appearance, will be the same all over the world. If the Royal Society should
approve this new construction of thermometers, and should order some of their
members to make the like, we might hereafter be able exactly to compare the
temperature of England with that of this country, and other places where the
like thermometers should be made. In order to reap this advantage from his
experiments, M. De I'lsle proposes to communicate to the Royal Society all the
observations he has made for 4 or 5 years past, on the barometer and thermo-
meter. M. De risle was informed, that 4 or 5 years since, the Royal Society
sent to M. Abraham Vater, at Wittenberg, large thermometers of spirit of
wine, made and regulated by an instrument maker of the Royal Society, to
compare the observations to be made in Germany, by means of those thermo-
meters, with the observations made in England by the like thermometers, the
one being regulated by the others. M. Weidler, professor of mathematics at
Wittenberg, mentions in the account which he gave of his meteorological ob-,
servations for the year 1729, that he has furnished himself with one, which he
intends to make use of hereafter for his meteorological observations. He also
says, that the observers of the Royal Society of Berlin make use of a like
thermometer; and M. De I'lsle had received from thence, observations on the
heights of the thermometer of spirit of wine, made probably with that instru-
ment, for the whole year 1729, and for the first 3 months of 1731. Those
observations are engraved on copper plates, where the heights of the spirit of
wine are expressed in parts of the French, English, and Rhinland foot. If
the Royal Society approve of this kind of thermometers, and are desirous he
should compare them with his; if they also desire that meteorological observa-
tions with those thermometers of spirit of wine should be made in Russia, he
begs you would send him several of them ; but then he begs that those sent
him may be well regulated, and exactly compared with those the observers of
the Royal Society make use of; supposing that some person of their body is
appointed to keep journals of these observations. M. De I'lsle will send in
exchange to the Royal Society, if they desire it, some thermometers of mer-
cury regulated by and compared with the four large ones he made at Peters-

After this, M. De I'lsle inserted the last observations on the satellites of
Jupiter, which were made at Petersburg, since those inserted in the 3d volume
of the Memoirs of the Academy of Petersburg, to the present time, but are
omitted now, as of no use to repeat on the present occasion.

K 2


Experiments on the Perforation of the Thorax, and its Effects on Respiration.
By IV. Houston, M. D. F. R. S.* Communicated by Philip Miller, F. R. S.
, An Abstract from the Latin. N" 44, p. 230.

Tliese experiments, 6 in number, were made upon dogs and puppies. The
admission of the external air into the cavity of the thorax (even when both
sides were perforated) did not impede either the respiration or the barking of
the animals. When the dogs howled, the lungs protruded through the wounds
made in the thorax, and when the dogs ceased making a noise, the lungs
again went in. But what may seem paradoxical, the dilatation of the lungs,
in some of these experiments, was observed to be synchronous with the con-
traction of the thorax, and e contr^. This phenomenon the author supposes
to have been owing to the violent convulsive action of the abdominal muscles,
whereby the lower part of the lungs becoming suddenly pushed up, the air
would be accumulated in their upper part, which would consequently be dis-
tended. It is not to be supposed that this is the case in the natural, undis-
turbed respiratory action. From these experiments it was evident, that in the
natural state the lungs occupy the whole cavity of the chest, their surface being
in close contact with the membrane which lines the thorax.

Observations, Astronomical, Physical, and Meteorological, for the Year 1 733,
made at fVittemberg. By John Fred. Weidler, Professor of Mathematics,
and F.R.S. N°44], p. 238.

These meteorological and other observations, being temporary, are now
of no use.

Concerning the crooked and angular Appearance of the Streaks or Darts of
Lightning in Thunder-Storms, By James I^ogan, Esq. N° 441, p. 240.

Mr. Stephen Hales, in his Statical Essays, vol. ii, p. 291, mentions this
phenomenon of the streaks or darts of lightning in thunder-storms appearing
crooked and angular, as a thing not yet accounted for, and therefore he
guesses at a solution of it.

The clouds are generally distinct collections of vapours, like fleeces ; and
therefore the rays of light through them must pass through very different den-
sities, and accordingly suffer very great refractions : from thence, therefore,
that appearance must undoubtedly arise. For it is highly absurd to imagine,

* These experiments were made while Dr. H. was at Leyden in the years 1728 and 1729.


that fire darted with such a rapidity, can from any assignable cause deviate in
fact from a right line, in the manner it appears to us. And this, if duly con-
sidered, may probably be found a plenary solution.

Observations on the Aurora Borealis made in England. By Andr. Celsius,
F. R. S. a7id Sec. R. S. of Upsal in Sweden. N° 42 1 , p. 24 1 .

Here are registered several instances of the appearances, more or less, of
the aurora borealis ; from which M. Celsius infers, that

In several of these observations he is certain as to the time of tlie clock: so
that if it has happened that others have observed the same phaenomena, the
longitudes of places may be determined by them with greater exactness than
by the satellites of Jupiter ; which he takes to be the principal use that may be
made of these observations, especially in making maps of the northern coun-
tries, where these lights more frequently occur.

Some Experiments made on Mad Dogs with Mercury. Dated June 3, 1735.
^ By Dr. Robert Jaines* of Litch/ield. N° 44 1 , p. 244.

Dr. James here gives an account of some experiments made on mad dogs

• Dr. Robert James was descended from a family of great respectability in Staffordshire. After
studying at Oxford, he practised physic first at Sheffield, next at I,itchfield, then at Birmingham,
and lastly in London. In 1755 he was, by the king's mandamus, admitted to the degree of M. D.
at Cambridge.

His first publication appears to have been the above paper, afterwards reprinted with considerable
additions, in a separate form. After this appeared his Medicinal Dictionary in 3 vols, folio, 1743 j
a compilation which proves that the author was well acquainted with the writings of the physicians
of antiquity, as well as with the most esteemed medical publications of his own days. For whatever
relates to the history of the medical art and the histories of diseases, this dictionary may be consulted
with advantage; but much of the physiology and patliology which it exhibits is now exploded; nor
are the curative directions, in many instances, the best that could have been given. In the materia
medica too much notice is taken of the virtues attributed to different medicinal substances by the
ancients; and with regard to the pharmaceutical part of this work, that is now become almost useless j
for, during the 60 years and upwards which have elapsed since the publication of this Dictionary, phar-
macy, in consequence of the improvements and discoveries made in chemical science, has undergone a
complete reform. Add to this, that most of the articles in this compilation are discussed with too
much prolixity. The work should have been less bulky, and more select.

Dr. James's other publications are as follow. A Translation of Ramazzini de Morbis Artificum j
a Practice of Physic, in 2 vols; a Treatise on Canine Madness ; for the cure of which he proposed
mercury ; a remedy which had been before recommended in another form by M. Desault, of Bor-
deaux, in a Treatise published in 1733. A Dispensary; and a Dissertation on Fevers. The last
mentioned publication was written chiefly in recommendation of his celebrated Fever Powder ; a pre-
paration of antimony, to which the pulvis antimonialis of the new London Pharmacopa-ia is sup-
posed to be analogous.


with mercury, which he had reason to believe to be the most effectual pre-
servative against, and perhaps even a cure, for the hydrophobia.

About Michaelmas, \734, Mr. Floyer complained that he was afraid of a
madness among his hounds ; for that morning one had run mad in the kennel,
and he was apprehensive that most of the rest were bitten by him : Dr. J. took
this opportunity of telling him that he had long believed that mercury would,
if tried, prove the best remedy against this infection; and that if the idea he
had formed of this poison was just, he was pretty sure the medicine would
answer, notwithstanding the difficulty there is of determining the effects of a
medicine a priori; and that it was at least worth while to try. Mr. Floyer
neglected this advice till the Feb. following. Mean time he tried the medicine
in Bates, commonly known by the name of the pewter-medicine ; as also every
thing else which was recommended to him by other sportsmen, but to no pur-
pose ;■ for some of his hounds ran mad almost every day after hunting. On
this he took his hounds to the sea, and had every one of them dipt in the salt-
water ; and at his return, he brought his pack to another gentleman's kennel,
6 miles distant from his own. But, notwithstanding this precaution, he lost 6
or 7 couple of his dogs in a fortnight's time. At length on further persuasion,
Mr. Floyer tried the experiment on 1 of his hounds that were both very far
gone. They refused food of all sorts, particularly fluids, slavered much, and
had all the symptoms of a hydrophobia to a great degree. That night he gave
12 grains of turpeth mmeral to each of the 3 dogs, which vomited and purged
them gently. Twenty-four hours after this, he gave to each 24 grs. and after
the same interval he gave 48 more to each. The dogs salivated considerably,
and soon after lapped warm milk. At the end of 24 hours more, he repeated
to one dog 24 grs. more, and omitted it to the other. The dog that took this
last dose, lay on the ground, salivated extremely, was in great agonies, and had
all the symptoms of a salivation raised too quick; but he got through it: the
other relapsed, and died.

To all the rest of the pack he gave 7 grs. of the turpeth for the first dose,
the second 12, at 24 hours distance, which was repeated every other day
for some little time. The method was repeated at the 2 or 3 succeed-
ing fulls and changes of the moon. From this time he lost not another

Dr. James died in 1776, aged 73. A spirited vindication of Dr. J.'s character from the c))arge
of empiricism, in consequence of the patent he obtained for his Fever Powder, has been written by
Dr. Heathcote. This is a subject respecting which there will always be a difference of opinion.
With regard to Dr. J.'s merits as an author, if he is not distinguished for much originality of
thought or conciseness of expression; yet he has shown himself to be a faithful and industriou*
collector of medical information down to bis own time; and it must be confessed that few have
surpassed him in point of erudition.


hound ; and though several were afterwards bitten by strange dogs, the turpeth
has always prevented any ill consequences.

Dr. J. and his friends tried the same thing on many other dogs, and it
had never failed in any one instance ; though dogs bitten at the same time,
and by the same dogs, have run mad after most other methods had been

As to the experiments made on mankind, Dr J. had opportunities of making
only three. The first was on a girl about 14 years of age. The calf of her
leg was so torn by a mad dog, that the surgeon was obliged to use means to
prevent a mortification from the bite. She was vomited by the turpeth. Three
days before the next change of the moon, the vomit was repeated, and again
the very day of its changing. The same method was pursued the next full
moon. The girl is very well.

The 2d was on a boy of about 10 years of age. He had 4 holes in one of
his legs, made by a mad dog. The turpeth was given as above, and the wounds
dressed with digestives, and he continues well.

The 3d case was that of a young man of about J 8 years of age. The bite
was on the hand. A great number of dogs were bitten at the same time, in
the town where he lived. About 6 days after the mischief was done, several
dogs that had been wounded ran mad ; on which he applied to Mr. Wilson,
apothecary in Tamworth, to whom the Dr. had communicated the success of
the turpeth in this case. The young man was at this time very melancholy
and dejected, had tremors, and slept very little for some nights before, though
he was not apprehensive that the dog which had bitten him was mad. He had
a dry scab on his hand : on applying to Mr. Wilson, he was vomited with
Vin. Benedict. §ij.

The next thing he took was made according to the following prescription ;
viz. R Turpeth. Min. gr. xij. Lap. Contrayerv. 3i. Ther. Androm. q. s. M. F.
Bol. N° 3, sumat unum singulis noctibus hora decubitiis snperbibendo Julap.
seq. Cochl. iv. R Aq. Rut. §vj. Theriac. §ij. Syr. Paeon, c. gift Tinct. Castor
3ij. M. F. Julap.

On taking these, the patient sweat very much, and had 2 loose stools every
day after them : his tremors went off, and he slept better. After this he went
into the cold-bath, and continued perfectly well.

But what is remarkable in this case is, that the wound ran a thick digested
matter after this method, and threw off the scab like an eschar; after which it
healed of itself.

Instead of endeavouring to explain the action of mercury in these cases, Dr.
J. makes an observation or two on the antiquity of this disease; which he the


rather chooses to do, because Caelius Aurelianus, in his account of it, does not
seem to build so much on the authority of Homer, as, in his opinion, he
might have done. Indeed he quotes a passage out of the 8th IHad, where
Teucer calls Hector jtui/a ^^uo-o-nTtif a, but he does not seem to think this sufficient
to prove that Homer was acquainted with this madness. But he omits two
more passages in the same author, which, joined with this, amount to a demon-
stration that Homer was by no means ignorant of it. The first is in the 9th
Iliad, 1. 237, where Ulysses is on his embassy to Achilles. He describes to
the last mentioned hero, the distress the Grecian army was in through his ab-
sence ; and when he has painted Hector as terrible as he can, he compares his
fury to the rage of a mad dog.

Maii/fxai ixTTxyXu;, TruruK)? An, sSi ti rut
Ai/i^xi; iSi ©{85* xf«T£fr) Si i Kh(r(ra SiSvKiv,

Hector vero valde trucibus oculis adspiciens

Furit terribiliter, fretus Jove : nee quicquam honorat
Viros neque Deos ; ingens autem ipsum rabies invasit.

If Homer had designed as a physician to describe a mad dog, he could not
have expressed his looks by a more proper turn than B\iiJi,t»lvuv. It must also
be considered, that this discourse is directed to Achilles, who, having studied
physic under Chiron, was consequently more capable of receiving an idea of
the mischief Hector did to his countrymen by this metaphor.

In the 13th Iliad, Hector is again called Aua-a-wJ*)?, by Neptune. It must be
observed that Awo-a, Xua-a-rnr]^, and Xva-a-uh;, can properly, and in their natural
signification, be applied to no other madness, than that which is peculiar to a dog,
though metaphorically it may, as in the instances Dr. J. has given, as also in
Sophocles and Euripides. The word Xvaa-x or Aurra is used to signify the mad-
ness of dogs by Aristotle, Galen, and Dioscorides. And Ava-a-ohxro; is used by
the last mentioned author to signify a man bitten by a mad dog. Auro^aw is
used by Aretaeus in this sense, and AuTTtoo-ait by Plutarch, to express the same

What the Dr. would infer from this is, that Homer was certainly acquainted
with the madness of dogs ; and if dogs in his days ran mad, it is probable they
would bite men, and if so, to be sure, an hydrophobia would be the conse-
quence ; and yet Plutarch will have it that it was first noticed in the days of Ascle-
piades, famous for his practice in Rome before the death of Mithridates.

Another strong evidence of its antiquity, is that instinct which directs every
dog to avoid some that is mad, on smelling, seeing, or even hearing him. If
this is not instinct, it is reason ; and that in a higher degree, than we our-


selves can pretend to. Now instinct must be coeval with the creation, or at
least the fail ; and therefore [canine] madness cannot be much younger.

A Continuation of an Account of an Essay totvards a Natural History of Caro-
lina and the Bahama Islands. By Mark Catesby, F. R. S. with some Extracts
out of the 8th Set. By Dr. Mortimer, Seer. R. S. N°441, p. 251.

This part contains some account of the different kinds of snakes and vipers
found in those parts.

A Catoptric Microscope. By Robert Barker, M. D., F.R.S. N°442, p. 259.

Though microscopes, composed of refracting glasses only, have been vastly
improved, as to their effects of magnifying ; yet they have been attended with
such great inconveniences, that their application to many arts, in which they
might be very convenient, is not so common as might be expected, and man-
kind have reaped but a small part of the advantage obtainable from so surprising
and useful an instrument.

Among the inconveniences mentioned, the following are the most con-
siderable :

1. That in order to magnify greatly, it is necessary that the object-glass be a
portion of a very minute sphere, whose focus being very short, the object must
be brought exceedingly near; it will therefore be shaded by the microscope, and
not visible by any other light than what passes through itself; in this case
therefore, opaque objects will not be seen at all.

2. Objects, illuminated this way, may be rather said to eclipse the light, than
to be truly seen, little more being exactly represented to the eye, than the out-
line ; the depressions and elevations within the out-line appearing like so many
lights and shades, according to their different degrees of thickness or transpar-
ency ; though the contrary happens in ordinary vision, in which the lights and
shades are produced by the different exposure of the surface of the body to the
incident light.

3 . Small parts of large objects cannot easily be applied to the microscope,
without being divided from their wholes, which in the case of vivi section de-
feats the experiment, the part dying, and no more motion being observed
in it. • " •'*'

4. The focus in the dioptric microscope being so very short, is exceedingly
nice, the least deviation from it rendering vision turbid ; therefore only a very
small part of an irregular object can be seen distinctly this way.

To remedy these defects. Dr. Barker has contrived a microscope on the

VOL. VIII. L - •


model of the Newtonian telescope, in which he has been greatly assisted by
that excellent workman, Mr. Scarlet, jun. As to the effects of this instru-
ment, it magnifies from the distance of Q to 24 inches.

Fig. 1, pi. 4, represents the entire microscope, mounted on its pedestal, on
a proper joint, contrived so as to direct the instrument towards any object.

Fig. 2, the section of the instrument ; in which ab is the larger concave
metalline speculum ; CD the lesser concave metalline speculum ; ef a hollow
brass screw, to fasten in the 1st dioptrical glass, or plano-convex lens; gh an-
other screw fastening on the hollow cylinder efik (in which the dioptric glasses
are contained) to the body of the microscope ; ik a cap with a small perfora-
tion, serving as an aperture to the eye-glass, or 2d lens, convex on both sides;
ML is a long screw passing through the nuts p and v, serving to bring the small
speculum to a proper distance from the larger; Na a sliding piece moved by the
screw, carrying the stem an, and the little speculum cd ; yx a screw for the
cap at fig. 3 ; that at fig. 4, is to be screwed on the aperture jk.

Fig. 5, shows the construction of the microscope ; in which i is an object
supposed erect ; from which rays falling on the speculum ab, will be reflected

Online LibraryRoyal Society (Great Britain)The Philosophical transactions of the Royal society of London, from their commencement in 1665, in the year 1800 (Volume 8) → online text (page 10 of 85)