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wrought into a variety of utensils. The copper thus obtained is found to be
exceedingly pure.-f- — Respecting the proportion of vitriol of copper in this so
called ceinent-water, Mr. B. states that Ibj (medicinal weight) of the said water,
when evaporated to dryness, gave giiss of residuum, which, being dissolved in
pure water, yielded a green solution. When this solution was afterwards
filtered and evaporated, Mr. B. obtained 9ij of crystallized vitriol, [vitriol of
copper] besides grs. of a yellow precipitate.

Of a Bubonocele or Rupture in the Groin, and the Operation upon it ; by C.
Amijand, Esq. Serjeant-Surgeon to His Majesty, and F. R. S. N° 450, p. 36l .

October 8, 1737, Mrs. Bennet, 70 years of age, of a thin habit of body,

*Tliis apparent transmutation of iron into copper is easily explained by the laws of chemical attraction.
The vitriolic acid, with which the copper is combined in the so called cement-water, having a greater
afBnity for iron than for copper, it deserts the latter to unite with the former. Accordingly, when
a piece of iron is thrown into such water, it is immediately acted upon by the vitriolic acid, that acid
dissolving and combining with a portion of the iron, and letting fall the copper in its metallic state,
which, during its precipitation attaches itself to the surface of the undissolved portion of iron.
There is, therefore, in this instance no transmutation of one metal into another ; but merely a de-
composition and a new chemical union produced by the force of elective attraction, the iron being
combined with the acid in place of the copper, and the latter being precipitated in its metallic

t This mode of obtaining copper is practised in many other countries besides Hungary, the water
collected in, or issuing from most copper mines holding more or less vitriol of copper [sulphate of
copper] in solution. Considerable quantities of copper are annually separated from the water of the
copper-mines in Anglesey by means of iron, as at Neusol.


had a return of a tumour in the groin, with unusual pains, which was soon fol-
lowed with an excruciating pain in the belly, and such colics, retchings, and
excreinentitious vomitings, as usually attend the strangulation of the gut in the
miserere mei. This came upon her unawares, and the distress she was in, made
her forget that for '25 years before she had had a swelling in the groin, as large
as a hasel nut, which seldom had given her any uneasiness, and which she never
suspected to be a rupture. Latterly the patient had been more subject to colics
than usual, but this was imputed to bad digestion ; and that day she had used
no motion capable of producing a rupture ; so that it was by chance that Mr.
Despaignol, who was sent for the next day, discovered the cause of the com-
plaint. She was blooded, clystered, fomented, &c. ; but the complaints sub-
sisting with a continual singultus, Mr. A. was called in the 1 1th.

The tumour was then oblong, about the size of a hen's egg, somewhat in-
flamed, yet not tense, nor so painful as to make him take much notice of it.

On the repeated use of the abovementioned means, and of lenient purges
and opiates, the vomitings and hiccough were at times stopped, and the patient
made so much easier, as to give hopes of success ; but as during 6 days the
patient had no passage, and the tumour could not be reduced, it was thought
unsafe to delay the operation any longer.

The tumour felt unequal, though it appeared even, and pappy, as the
tumours of the omentum generally are ; and therefore of that kind which is
always most difficult to reduce, the omentum not having that elastic springiness
which favours the replacing of the guts.

On dissection, it was found embodied in the hernial bag, and that upon the
external surface of the slits in the abdominal muscles, the folds of it had formed
a round protuberance, not unlike the os tincae in the vagina, or like a bourlet
which, by compressing the gut, prevented its return into the belly, and by ob-
structing the opening, as the gut pressed upon it, had strangulated about an
inch of the gut encompassed by it in the hernia.

This being the 6th day from the beginning of this disorder, the gut in that
place was found of a very swarthy colour, but yet springy ; so that it was not
quite mortified. It lay inclosed in a net, formed by the omentum (like a fish
in a fishing-net) strangulating the gut under its pressure without the abdominal

It was with some difficulty the omentum was torn off and separated from the
bag it was attached to ; and as this lay in the way of the reduction of the gut,
and almost sphacelated, so it was cut ofF without any previous ligature, though
its vessels were turgid and large, as it was impossible to pull it out so as to make
the ligature upon the sound part of it ; after which the reduction of the gut


might easily have been made, without enlarging the annular slit; for this made
no stricture to prevent it.

But the quantity of the omentum within it being large and bulky, and the
gut in a very diseased state, it was thought more expedient to enlarge it, to
make the reduction of the whole easy : afterwards the omentum was detached
from its adhesion round this place, and pulled farther out, and a ligature being
made upon the sound part of it, that was also replaced in the belly, and the
entrance stopped with a conical tent, dipped in the yolk of an egg, &c. the belly
was embrocated, and the dressings well secured ; for as the patient was very
much oppressed with an asthma, so she was obliged to be sitting in bed.

From this time the hiccough and excrementitious vomitings disappeared, but
the retchings and vomitings continued near 5 days longer, before the faeces de-
tained above the strangulated gut, could make their way downwards, though
they were frequently visited by clysters and lenient purges.

The patient was blooded immediately after the operation, and soon after took
an emollient and carminative clyster, which was repeated night and morning,
and an oily laxative every 4 hours.

A.t first the evacuations were exceedingly fetid, black, griping, and frequent ;
but they became more moderate, as she took absorbents and diluents ; but yet
so frequent, that it was thought proper to restrain them by gentle astringents.

In 5 or 6 days the stools had removed the tension which appeared on the
belly after the operations ; the retchings and vomitings, and the remaining
symptoms went off, the wound digested well, and the patient continued in a
mending way.

It has been already observed, that this old woman was very much afflicted
with an asthma: she had at times violent fits of it, and the 14th day from the
operation she had one, with a total stoppage of the discharge from her lungs,
which choaked her on the 17th day.

This case was a proof of what Mr. A. had frequently observed, on similar occa-
sions, viz. that as the omentum is the principal obstacle to the reduction of theguts
in ruptures; so it is the occasion of the greatest accidents that attend that evil. It
wraps up an^ incloses the prolapsed gut like a net, whose fastened end within
the belly strangulates the part detained in the rupture without the abdominal
apertures, where it is confined, and is productive of such folds in it, and pres-
sures of the gut wrapped up therein, as is oftener the cause of a strangulation
and miserere mei, than the tendinous slits of the external oblique muscles in the
inguinal rupture, or tendinous opening in the navel, which upon these is
seldom found inflamed, and can never contract so suddenly, as to obstruct the
return of the gut into the abdomen, when the omentum is wanting : agreeably


to which, it is rare to find any strangulated rupture that is not attended
by it.

The pain attending the prolapsus soon swells the vessels of the omentum, and
that will fill up the apertures in the abdominal muscles, through which the
viscera are fallen out, so as to prevent their return, and bring on an inflamma-
tion : if by plentiful bleeding the vessels emptied do not facilitate the return of
the parts prolapsed, then all the consequences follow that are generally observed
upon the like occasion ; and if blood-letting with the remedies before mentioned
do not produce the desired effect soon, it is very seldom that any thing is got
by the application and use of all the other means prescribed.

It is however certain, that it is very dangerous to depend too long upon those
remedies, and that a suspension of the symptoms is no security, whilst the due
course of the faeces is interrupted.

The case here mentioned may be a warning to others not to delay too long
an operation, whereby the parts are to be released from confinement, and which
oftener would be successful, if it was not delayed so long.

An Account of a Pin taken out of the Bladder of a Child. By Mr. William
Gregory, Surgeon. N° 430, p. 367-

Mr. G. was called to the assistance of a woman in travail. The foetus pre-
sented in a transverse position; he soon recovered the feet, and in a few minutes
delivered the woman. The funiculus umbilicalis was so short, that it was with
difficulty he could make a ligature on it, in order to make a separation : he im-
mediately extracted the secundine, and measured the funiculus, which was little
more than 4 inches long.

As soon as the woman was taken care of, he examined the child, which
he found to be imperfect in several parts, there being no anus, neither privities
to distinguish of what sex it was : where the vulva should be, there was a small
perforation, though no appearance of labia, through which the urine always
passed away ; there was likewise a large hernia umbilicalis, and a little lower in
the linea alba, was a perforation, into which the intestinum rectum opened, and
there the excrements passed during the time the child lived, which was almost
10 weeks.

Several days before the child died, a gangrene appeared on the hernia, which
soon passed into the intestines, and occasioned its death : the hernia, in his
opinion, was occasioned by the shortness of the funiculus, which did not grow
in length j)roportionable to liie foetus ; the child in all other parts was perfect.
When the child died, he had liberty from the parents to inspect into it: he did


not go through a regular dissection ; but only inspected into the intestinum
rectum, which he found as above described, and the urinary bladder, which
he found very small, and no urine in it ; the child was never observed to make
water in a stream whilst it lived, which makes him of opinion, the sphincter
vesicae was imperfect. In handling the bladder, he found something sharp
pointing to his finger ; he could not discover what it was, till he snipped off
the neck of the bladder : he then took out of the bladder a tough kind of sub-
stance, about as large as a small fig, in which was a pin with the head on, and
very black.

Of a very extraordinary Calculus taken out of the Bladder of a Man after Death.
By the Marquis de Caumont. N° 450, p. 369.

The Marquis de C. states that he was induced to send to the President of the
R. S. the drawing of an uncommon stone, found lately in the bladder of a dead
body, which he had engraved in his own presence. It is exactly conformable to
the original. The most able physicians, and the best anatomists, assured him
that they never saw any thing like it. He can vouch, that the engraving,
though very exact, does not come up to this singular work of nature ; the 10
branches of which, that spread from the centre, have some resemblance to
those of certain plants. It was a matter of difficulty to think, that the system
of juxt-apposition, which is employed to explain the successive growth of com-
mon stones or calculi, can hold good on this occasion. He dares not however
advance, that vegetation has any share herein : though the shape of the
branches of the stone, of the canals, or papillae, which seemed destined to
convey the nutritious juices, in some measure favoured this hypothesis. He
thought proper to join to the figure of the stone, the account of the patient's
distemper, in whose bladder it was found ; as Mr. Salien, sugeon of Lisle in
the county of Venaissin, sent it to him. The fact, of itself, cannot fail of ap
pearing curious. And skilful lithotomists may reap some advantage by it, for
perfecting their operations. For allowing the possibility of calculi of a confor-
mation somewhat like this, which they may judge of by knowing the bulk ol
the stone, they will understand, that in such a case, no other method but that
of the high operation can facilitate the extraction of an extraneous body, whose
branches cannot fail causing considerable lacerations ; unless they found some
favourable circumstances, and that the contexture of it were brittle enough to
break it before being extracted.



^4n Account of the abovementioned Case. By Mr. Salien, F. R. S.

N° 450, p. 37 I . '

Joseph Vasse, of Le Thor, a small town at a short league's distance from
Lisle, in the county of Venaissin, 6& years of age, of a robust constitution,
who used to travel about to fairs and markets in that county, dealing in corn
and cattle, without having ever complained of any indisposition, began, on the
14th of February 1731, to feel in the night-time some difficulty of making
water, attended with a smarting about the glans; which however did not hinder
him from attending his business as before.

On the 28th of March 1732, he was seized in the night with a true iscuria,
which cruelly tormented him. M. Salien was sent for on the 29th in the even-
ing, to search him, and to draw off the urine. He drew accordingly 6 cups,
each containing 1 pint and a quarter. The patient found immediate ease, and
continued without pains or fever, so that he thought himself quite cured. But
the night following the pains returned, which made him resolve to come to
Lisle, to be nearer at hand to be sounded. He came on the 30th of March ;
and had his water drawn off regularly every day, morning and evening, till the
15th of April next, during all which time the patient suffered no pains, did not
fall away, nor had any symptoms of sickness upon him.

On the 15th of April, he supped with his usual appetite; but half an hour
after supper, he was seized with a violent shaking fit, which lasted a full hour,
on which a burning fever ensued, attended with an unquenchable thirst, with
great head-ache, and an extraordinary restlessness.

In this condition M. S. found the patient about 8 in the evening, being the
hour he usually went to sound him. He immediately prepared himself to draw
off his water, according to custom, thinking thus to procure him some ease.
Till then the catheter had entered without any obstacle ; but this time, on
pushing it into the bladder, he felt a stone which obstructed its passage. He
turned the catheter to the left, and hit upon one of the branches of the stone,
as represented fig. 1, pi. 7-

In order to know whether there was not another stone, he drew the catheter
a little back, turning it to the right, which was done without any difficulty; and
having pushed it in again, he met with another branch of the same stone, which
he took for a stone different from the former, and concluded then, that he had
found several stones in the patient's bladder ; and that if the bad symptoms
which appeared, should continue any longer, there was no probability of his re-
covering. Accordingly, the hiccough coming on him on the 20th, and the

VOL. vni. 1 1


other symptoms not discontinuing, he died on the 28th. The stone was taken
out 4 hours after his death.

Concerning the abovementioned Stone, By Sir Han^ Sloane, Bart. Pr. R. S.

N" 450, p. 374.

The abovementioned stone is so singular, that among some hundreds of those
in the possession of Sir Hans Sloane, he had none that came near it.

Once indeed he had under his care a gentleman between 6o and 70 years of
age, who had extraordinary difficulties in making water, and an inconveniency
even beyond that ; which was, that he could not sit in an ordinary chair with-
out suffering extremely in the region of the peritonaeum. With the help of
lenient soft medicines and waters, he voided by the urethra a stone, which was
flat in the middle, and smooth, but had five points, resembling the rowel of
a spur. The points of the rays were sharp, but there were no asperities or
crystallizations on their surfaces. It was small, so as after many days to pass
along the urethra : but if it had not passed through the neck of the bladder,
but remained in the bladder, it would, in all probability, have attracted matter
to all the points or rays, and increased in all dimensions.

It is very common, that when any extraneous solid substance gets into the
bladder, there is either attracted to it, or adheres to and surrounds it, a tartare-
ous calculous concretion, which assumes the figure of the said body then in its
centre, as a nucleus.

There was a soldier cut in St. Thomas's Hospital, London, for the stone,
which, when taken out, was found to cover a musquet-bullet, that had been
shot into his bladder, where it was covered by a calculous concretion.

Sir Hans S. had a silver bodkin, which a gentlewoman used for her hair; and
thinking with it to thrust back a stone that was engaged in the neck of her
bladder, it slipped into it, and the calculous matter gathered on the larger end
into a stone of an oblong figure, and equal thickness, of half an inch all round
the bodkin.

He had also a common pin, which by some means had got into the bladder
of a young woman, and was there coated all over by a calculous matter ; but
having occasioned a fistulous ulcer in her groin, it was discharged thence with
the matter of the fistula.

It is in this manner that bezoars are formed : for he had the common East-
India bezoars, which are roundish, and had in their centres the seeds of a sort
of acacia, which had attracted, or was coated over by that substance, esteemed
a great cordial or alexipharmac ; while others are long, and were gathered in


layers or coats on the stalks of vegetables. And he had one formed round the
stone of that great plum, which comes pickled from thence, and is called

As to the asperities or prickles on the rays, they were noticed, so long since
as the time of Cornelius Celsus, who, lib. T , c. 26, calls them calculi spinosi.

It may seem very strange and paradoxical, what he can assert is true, that the
fewer the knobs, asperities, or prickles, are on the surface of calculi, the more
troublesome they are to the persons in whose bladders they lie. Dr. Hickes was
the most tormented with the stone in his bladder, of any he ever knew, espe-
cially on any motion. He would not submit to be cut for the distemper, on
account of his age, and many other reasons ; but ordered his executors, that
he should be opened after death, and the stone taken out of his bladder, put
into a silver box, and given to Sir Hans, who had been his physician for manj
years, to place it in his collection of such kind of curiosities. It is very parti-
cular in this stone, that the protuberances and prickles on it were few, and at a
distance from each other. Every one of them had made a hole in his bladder,
like a sheath or socket ; and when, upon motion, they were removed out of
their corresponding sheaths, they hurt the bladder in the sound parts, and put
him on the rack of pain.

When they are thick-set, one hinders the other from entering or wounding
so deep; and perhaps gets not much farther than the mucus which lines the in-
side of the bladder.

An Account of some Oil of Sassafras crystallized. By Mr. John Maud, F.R.S.

N° 450, p. 378.

Mr. M. observed that some essential oil of sassafras, which had stood exposed
to a frosty night, in an open vessel, was changed, 3 parts out of 4, into very
beautiful transparent crystals, 3 or 4 inches in length, half an inch in thick-
ness, and of an hexagonal form.

These crystals subsided in water, were indissoluble in it, inflammable in the
fire, and when exposed to it, melted into their pristine state. Hence it was
evident, that they still retained the natural qualities of an oil, though they ap-
peared under a different modification of their constituent parts.

What was most remarkable, was the metamorphosis from a fluid to a solid
body, of such a particular figure, and from a yellowish liquor, not unlike
Madeira wine, to a very pellucid body, like ice congealed from the most
transparent water. This seemed to afibrd a new instance of crystallization,
which being generally accounted for by the particles of a fluid, or those of any



other body, suspended by the fluid, brought nearer by cold, and at length
conning within the sphere of each other's attraction, united together into an
immediate contact. This being one of the heaviest oils, and even heavier
than water, is the more likely thus to unite, as its parts are nearer together.
This may be a hint to the curious, to discover in what the difference between
solidity and fluidity consists; and also shows how much the colour of bodies
depends on the mechanical situation of their parts.*

Of an extraordinary Damp in a fVell in the Isle of Wight. By Mr. Benj.
Cooke, F.R.S. N°450, p. 379,

In June 1733, a farmer, in hopes of finding a perpetual spring of good
water, sunk a well of 7 feet diameter, to the depth of 45 feet, through a
soil which at the surface was a kind of brick earth mixed with sand, but in
descending became almost wholly hard coarse yellow sand. The work em-
ployed the labourers about 20 days, without finding the least appearance
of water.

At the distance of about ] 8 feet from the top, a stratum of a mineral mix-
ture, about 9 inches thick, was dug through, without any inconvenience; nor
were the workmen in the least incommoded in carrying on the work, till about
the 12th day after, when towards the evening they were much annoyed with
a faint suflbcating heat, which they compared to that coming from the mouth
of an oven, and which, as they were drawn up, was most remarkably per-
ceived, when they came opposite to the mineral stratum abovementioned, to
come out in the form of a warm sulphureous halitus.

The next morning, a lusty young man attempted to go down, hand over
hand, as the workmen call it, by means of a single rope, which was used to
draw up the earth dug out ; but as soon as he came opposite to the above-
mentioned stratum, he became incapable of sustaining his own weight, but
fell down to the bottom, and died immediately.

Another young man, not suspecting the cause, had the rope nimbly drawn
up ; and having seated himself astride a cross-stick fixed to the rope for that
purpose, was hastily let down to his friend's assistance ; but when he came to
the same distance from the top, he was observed to give the rope a very great
shock, and when he came to the bottom, fell down, as the other had done
before him, was seized with violent convulsions, which held him more than a
quarter of an hour, and then he expired.

■ • See a like crystallization from Thyme, by Dr. Neumann, which he calls Camphora Thvmi,
N" 38,9 and 431, of the Phil. Trans. — Orig.


A third person, in hopes of fetching up this second before he was quite
dead, was tied fast into a large basket, and let down with more caution ; but
when he came to the same stratum, finding his breath going, as he expressed
it, he cried out, and was drawn up again; but remained in the open air for
the space of near half an hour, pale as dead, panting and speechless.

The dead bodies were, within three hours space, drawn up by the help of
a sort of tongs, used to fetch things up from the bottom of the sea ; but
brought such a disagreeable stench in their cloaths with them, as made several
hardy men, who assisted in doing it, vomit.

The next day a cat was let down, and at the same place seized with convul-
sions ; but being drawn quickly up again, soon came to herself; which experi-
ment was repeated several times for some weeks following, by which it was
found, that this destructive vapour was sometimes of a greater and sometimes
less force, and sometimes quite gone, so that the cat felt no uneasiness; and a

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 29 of 85)