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The Philosophical transactions of the Royal society of London, from their commencement in 1665, in the year 1800 (Volume 8) online

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which have been esteemed for about 100 years, and are commonly known by
the name of Dulwich waters, have been improperly so called ; those springs
arising in a valley on the south side of the hills, in the middle of a large
common belonging to the parish of Lewisham in Kent ; whereas Dulwich is on
the north side of the hills, in the parish of Camberwell in Surrey.

In the autumn of 1739, the master of the Green Man public-house, at
Dulwich, lying about a mile beyond the village, was desirous to dig a well for
the service of his house, there being no spring of good water near it. The
well being digged to the depth of 60 feet, and no water appearing, the owner
caused it to be covered up, and gave himself no further trouble about it that
winter. The following spring, on Mr. M. going down, it was opened, and he

* In most chemical processes Mr. G. A. Hankewitz was allowed to be sufficiently expert ; but he
appears to have been unequal to the task of examining mineral waters, and accordingly he deduced,
from a very imperfect analysis, many erroneous conclusions respecting their composition.

+ It is now known that the Cheltenham mineral water contains a great variety of saline ingredi-
ents, such as Glauber's salt, Epsom salt, common salt, magnesia muriata, selenite, &-c. besides iron,
carbonic acid, and other gases.



found 25 feet of water, of a sulphureous smell and taste, which went ofF, after
the well had been opened some days. As he had a strong suspicion, that this
water was impregnated with some mineral, he examined it by the following
experiments :

1. It curdled milk. — 2. It became green, when mixed with syrup of violets,
which colour disappeared in a few days. — 3. Being poured on green tea, it did
not acquire any colour. — 4. Being mixed with powdered galls, it acquired a
deeper brown colour than rain-water did, and continued turbid ; whereas the
rain-water continued clear, after the galls were subsided. — 5. Being shaken in a
close-stopped phial, it disploded a vapour on opening the phial before the com-
motion ceased, with a more audible noise than common water did. — 6. Being
mixed with oil of vitriol, and oil of tartar, a much more considerable ebullition
was raised, than by the mixture of those liquors with rain-water. — 7, Six quarts
of this water, being boiled to a pint, let fall a large quantity of a fine, whitish,
insipid powder; and the water so boiled had a very strong saline taste, with a
mixture of bitterness, not unlike the sal cartharticum amarum. — 8. It let fall a
copious white sediment, on the addition of the oil of tartar, which has the
same effect on a solution of alum, or of sal cartharticum amarum. — 9. The
boiled water, after it had deposited its earth, precipitated large white flakes, on
the addition of oil of tartar. — 10. It differs from a solution of common salt.
For the oil of tartar, being dropped into that solution, caused only a slight pre-
cipitation, which was soon afterwards absorbed again by the water. — II. It does
not lather with soap.

Having made these experiments, Mr. M. was satisfied, that this new spring
was really a purging water, as it was afterwards found by experience. Several
persons tried it, to their great advantage. Being drank fresh, in the quantity
of 5 half pint glasses, it purges quickly, not sinking, but raising the spirits. It
is found to be very diuretic.

These properties of the Dulwich water do not seem to be owing to any of the
materials found in digging the well. The pyritse are known to be a mixture of
iron and sulphur ; but this water seems to have hardly any parts of iron in it
[Exp. 3 and 4.] The spirit, with which it abounds, [Exp. 3 and 6] may, per-
haps, be owing to a fermentation of the sulphur, which is continually flying
off, as appears by its strong smell, after it has been for some time covered up.
And a silver cup, which has been often used in drinking this water, has acquired
a yellowish colour.

The ludus helmontii affords nothing but iron. Nor does the clay, through
which they dug, discover any salt in its composition. We may therefore con-
clude, that the hill, which lies between the old wells and this new one, con-
tains the purging salt, with which these waters are impregnated.


Mr. M. did not find any material difference between the old and new waters,
except in the convenience of drinking them. The old wells are at a distance
from any house, except some few huts, and exposed to the rain and land-floods,
by which they are often injured : the new well is a mile or two nearer to Lon-
don, and well secured from any injuries of the weather.

Of the Lights seen in the Air, an Aurora Australis, on March 18, 1 738-9, at
London. By Cromwell Mortimer, M. D. Sec.R.S. N°4(j], p. 839.

March 18, 1738-9, about half past 7, there appeared a bright column arising
about the east north-east, which reached up with its point near to the zenith,
but going a little south of it. This column seemed to be the boundary of the
clear and obscure regions of the sky. It had a uniform steady light, without
any dartings or shiverings ; but it sometimes vanished for a few minutes, and
then returned again all at once, not proceeding from the bottom, but from the
side next the misty part of the sky, as if it were only the border of the mist
illuminated. About 8 this column was become much wider, and all of a
breadth, extending in the same direction beyond the zenith to the west south-
west ; the addition to its breadth seemed to be all on its southern edge ; this
whole band was of a most beautiful pink-colour. A quarter after 8, the phe-
nomena remained the same ; but to the north north-west there appeared some
whitish clouds about 20° from the zenith : out of these arose 3 beautiful pyra-
mids of light, which extended very near the zenith ; tneir middle of a beauti-
ful sea-green, which went off gradually in lighter shades towards the edges,
which were of a bright white ; the colour of these very much resembled the
light of phosphorus. Half an hour after, it was all over; but it returned again
about 10 ; when the redness spread, almost universally, over the southern parts
of the heavens.

Concerning the same Aurora Australis, seen at Chelsea, near London. By
Mr. John Martyn, F. R. S. N° 46l, p. 840.

At half past 8, being informed that there was a great fire towards London,
Mr. M. made haste towards an upper window that looked to the north north-
east : he found an extraordinary redness in the air, but of too determined a
figure to arise from the burning of a house : a broad red band extended to the
northward of the east ; in the middle of which he plainly saw Arcturus, then
about 25° high ; and its northern edge touched Cor Caroli. It seemed to be
fixed and permanent ; not radiating, or fading, as in a common aurora borealis.


This red band, or arch, was bounded on the north by streams of a greenish
blue, in the same direction.

After considering this phenomenon for some little time, Mr. M. retired into
his garden, where he saw a great brightness almost in the zenith, but declin-
ing to the south-west ; which he found to be a centre, from which proceeded
many luminous radii, of which the red band was much the most considerable.
This crown, or centre, seemed at that time about the place of Cancer ; for it
effaced all the neighbouring stars, and he could but just see the 2 stars in the
heads of the Twins ; when the brightness was most faded. It would sometimes
almost disappear for near a minute, and then kindle again, and dart rays on all
sides ; but those to the west and north were short, pale, and soon disappeared.
Those wfiich shot southward, were of a fiery red ; and the whole southern part
of the atmosphere was tinged with a red brightness, which did not however
reach quite down to the horizon. About Q the red band had covered the tail
of Ursa Major, having moved considerably towards the north, the centre con-
tinuing in the same place ; and by degrees it faded so as not to be distinguishable
from the common redness which was spread over so considerable a part of the
heavens. About 10, he went to the river-side, where he had a large prospect
to the south-east ; and found all that part covered with a dusky red, quite down
to the horizon. There were afterwards some faint rays darted, sometimes from
the centre of this phenomenon, which had the appearance of a common aurora

Concerning the same j4urora Australis. By the Rev. Mr. Timothy Neve.

N°. 461, p. 843.

We had from about half an hour after 7, till almost 9 o'clock, an aurora
australis, which spread with variety of colours all over the horizon, meeting in
a centre almost vertical, but somewhat inclining to the south. The original
colours were so mixed and blended in the common centre, as, by the vast va-
riety easily distinguished, made a beautiful appearance. The fainter colours
came from the two opposite points of the north-west and south-east. The
blood-red crimson, &c. were seen chiefly in the north-east and south-west.

Description of a Catheter, made to remedy the Inconveniencies which occasioned
the leaving off the high Operation for the Stone. By Archibald Cleland, Sur-
geon. N° 461, p. 844.

The high operation for the stone was left off very precipitately, in order to intro-
duce that method now called the lateral operation, which has been practised for


some time with good success ; but had the operators at that time had the benefit
of this instrument, Mr. C. is persuaded the advantage would have been more than
equal in favour of the high operation, and preferable to any other method yet
practised. And he hopes that the description, and the method of using
this catheter, will be a means of reviving an operation so happily begun, and
calculated for the good of those that are afflicted with the stone in the

This catheter is made either of silver or steel, of different sizes, to suit dif-
ferent ages ; and has the outward appearance of a common catheter, and will
answer the same uses. But in respect to this operation, it differs from the
common in this, that it is composed of two legs, with blunt points, a long
tube, a sliding bolt ; and a handle, which serves to open and shut the legs.
The bolt, which is fixed to the extremity of the tube, goes into two holes,
fixed in the plate of the handle : the one serves to keep the legs close during
the time it is to be introduced into the bladder, the other to extend the
points at the distance of an inch or more, during the time the operation is per-

The method of using this catheter is, after having taken the necessary pre-
cautions, and filled the bladder, first to introduce the catheter into the bladder,
then unbolt it at the handle, and by holding the tube in one hand, and the
handle that moves the legs in the other, turn or open the legs, till the bolt
becomes opposite to the second hole on the plate, into which the bolt must be
thrust ; then by pressing gently the handle downwards between the patient's
legs, the 2 blunt points will be easily felt above the os pubis, in the protu-
berance made by the injection into the bladder.

The advantages he proposes, by using this instrument, are these : First, to
be a director for the operator, in determining the place where the puncture is
to be made in the bladder. It also serves as a support to the bladder, when the
water flows out ; and keeps it from subsiding during the time of the operation,
and till the stone is extracted : it serves also to resist the pressure of the abdo-
minal muscles and peritoneum, and hinders the intestines from being forced
down upon the knife ; and keeps the orifice open, till the stone or stones are
brought away. And lastly, by the help of this instrument it may be disco-
vered, whether the bladder is indurated or scirrhus.

The method of performing this operation with safety, is, after having intro-
duced and fixed the catheter with its legs open, to feel for the 2 points above
the OS pubis, and place the finger and thumb gently upon them ; then give the
handle to an assistant, to keep it firm in that position ; and with the knife in
the right hand, make a puncture at once into the bladder, exactly in the middle


between the points ; but for the more security, somewhat lower nearer the os
pubis ; then without drawing out the knife, make a large incision downwards
inclining under the arch of the pubis, in proportion to the size of the stone,
taking care not to wound the cartilage that joins the bones together, when the
knife is withdrawn. The bladder being thus supported, the stone may be ex-
tracted with the fingers, or with a small pair of tenets, there being little danger
of breaking it in this method. When the operation is finished, raise the handle
of the catheter, and unbolt it ; shut it close, and fix it so ; then withdraw the
catheter, and dress the patient.

Fig. 1. pi. 12, represents the catheter as it is to be introduced into the blad-
der, the 2 legs A and b being closed together.

Fig. 2. The catheter, its 2 legs a, b, being open, c, d, the tube ; e, the
sliding-bolt ; p, the two holes into which the bolt is to be slid ; g, the ears
fixed to the tube c, d, which is all of one piece with the leg a ; h, the handle,
which opens the legs ; this handle is all of one piece with the leg b, which b
is a continuation of a wire, that runs through the tube c d, and is fastened to
the handle h, and turns with it.

Of Needles made for Operations on the Eyes, and of some Instruments for the
Ear. By the Same. N° 461, p, 847-

The first differs from a common couching-needle (fig. 3, pi. 12) in this,
that it is made of two pieces of steel soldered together, and fixed in a handle
(fig. 4) : at a little distance from the handle they separate, and have, in each
lamina, a button fixed, which passes through a hole in the other ; from this
part to the points, they are so nicely applied, and polished together, that they
cut, and have the shape of a common needle. On pressing the buttons, the
points are separated, and in the inside of the broad part of the points are se-
veral small indents, to prevent any thing from slipping, after it has once got

The use of this needle is, either to depress a cataract; or, if it should be
found of such a nature as to bear to be taken hold of, then, by opening the
points, to engage it, and carefully bring it out of the eye.

If it should happen, that in dressing the cataract, or in bringing it out of the
eye, some of the small vessels are wounded, and some drops of blood diffuse
themselves in the aqueous humour ; this second needle (fig. 5.) is intended to
remedy this inconvenience.

It is a long, small, round stilet (fig. 6.) gradually decreasing from the handle
to the point ; and is fitted to a long silver tube of the same shape, (fig. 7.)


into which the needle is put, and the point comes out at the end ^ of an inch.
This is to be introduced into the eye at the orifice the other needle had made ;
when it is so far introduced, as the end of the tube is within the posterior
chamber of the aqueous humour, the needle is to be withdrawn, leaving the
tube in the eye ; and then, with the mouth, may be sucked into the tube, all
the blood, and watery humour that is contained there, or any other floating
particles ; then the tube is to be withdrawn, and the eye left to replenish itself
with the aqueous humour again ; which will take but 12 or 18 hours at most.

The foUoiuing Instruments are proposed to remedy some kinds of Deafness pro-
ceeding from Obstructions in the external and internal auditory Passages.

In order to discover with more exactness, whether the disorder lies in the
outward ear, Mr. C. made use of a convex glass, 3 inches in diameter, fixed in
a handle, (fig. 8) into which is lodged some wax candle, which comes out at a
hole near the glass, and reaches to the centre; which, when lighted will dart
the collected rays of light into the bottom of the ear, or to the bottom of any
cavity that can be brought into a straight line ; therefore, when it is discovered
by the help of this glass, and lighted candle, that the ear is full of hard wax,
which will not bear to be taken out with the forceps, the method is to have a
small boiler, containing some proper herbs ; and by difl^erent tubes of various
sizes, the steam is conveyed to the bottom of the ear. In a short time, the
wax will dissolve, and the person find great ease. In one of these tubes, are
placed 2 valves, to regulate the heat to the person's inclination. If this has not
the desired effect, and the person still remains deaf, the following instruments
are made to open the Eustachian tube. If, upon trial, it should be found to
be obstructed, the passage is to be lubricated, by throwing a little warm water
into it, by a syringe joined to a flexible silver tube, which is introduced through
the nose into the oval opening of the duct at the posterior opening of the nares,
towards the arch of the palate. The pipes of the syringe are made small, of
silver, to admit of bending them, as occasion offers; and, for the most part,
resemble small catheters : they are mounted with a sheep's ureter (fig. 9) ; the
other end of which is fixed to an ivory pipe ; which is fitted to a syringe, by
which warm water may be injected : or they will admit to blow into the Eusta-
chian tube, and so force the air into the barrel of the ear, and dilate the tube
sufficiently for the discharge of the excrementitious matter that may be lodged
there. The probes, (fig. 10) which are of the same shape with the pipes, have
small notches near the points, which take in some of the hardened and gluti-
nous matter, contained in those tubes, which is distinguished by the fetid smell,
when the probes are withdrawn.



There is another kind of deafness, which proceeds from a violent clap of thunder,
noise of a cannon, or the like. In this case, it is probable, that the position of the
membrana tympani is altered, being forced inwards on the small bones, and so
becomes concave outwardly. In this case no vibration of sounds will be com-
municated to the drum, till the membrane has recovered its natural position.
The means proposed to remedy this disorder are, first, (if the person heard very
well before, and it be not too long after the accident has happened) to oblige
the patient to stop his mouth and nose, and force the air through the Eustachian
tube into the barrel of the ear, by several strong impulses ; which will pro-
bably push the membrane back to its natural state.

But if, by any accident, the excrement is hardened in the tube, or its orifice,
which opens into the barrel of the ear, should be stopped up, so that no air
can be forced that way, the 2d method proposed, is to introduce into the
meatus auditorius externus, an ivory tube (fig. 1 1) as near to the drum as can
be done, and so exactly fitted, that no air can go in or out, between the skin
of the internal meatus and the tube. When it is thus fixed, take the farther
small end in your mouth, and by degrees draw out the contained air ; and it
will act like a sucker on the membrane, and draw it back to its natural state ;
then the person will hear as before. If this should fail, probably the violent
shock this membrane has suffered, may have dislocated some of the small bones;
in which case there is scarcely any remedy. And for the diseases that are called
nervous, he leaves them to the learned gentlemen of the faculty.

In this ivory tube may be fixed a brass cock, (fig. ] 2) which, being turned,
will hinder the rushing in of the air, while the person who sucks, takes breath,
and can renew his suction.

The flexible silver tube, for injecting the Eustachian tube, may be used without
the sheep's ureter, by being screwed on to a small silver syringe, as at fig. 13.

Concerning a violent Hurricane in Huntingdonshire, Sept. 8, 1741. By Mr.
Stephen Fuller, Fellow ofTrin. Col. Camb. N" 46l, p. 851.

This was the most violent hurricane of wind in these parts, that ever was
known since the memory of man. Cambridge was not in the midst of the
hurricane, so that it has escaped very well. Mr. F. happened to be at Blunt-
sham in Huntingdonshire, about 10 miles north-west of Cambridge. They
were there in the midst of the hurricane. The morning, till half an hour after
11, was still, with very hard showers of rain. At half after 11 it began to clear
up in the south, with a brisk air, so that they expected a fine afternoon. The
south-west cleared up too, and the sun shining warm drew them out into the
garden. They had not been out above 10 minutes, before the storm was seen


coming from tlie south-west : it seemed not to be 30 yards high from the
ground, bringing along with it a mist, rolling along with such incredible swift-
ness, that it ran about a mile and half in half a minute. It began exactly at
12 o'clock, and lasted about 13 minutes, 8 minutes in full violence : it pre-
sently uncovered the house, and some of the tiles, falling down to windward,
were blown in at the sashes, and against the wainscot on the other side of the
room ; the broken glass was blown all over the room ; the chimneys all es-
caped ; but the statues on the top of the house, and the balustrades from one
end to the other, were all blown down. The stabling was all blown down, ex-
cept two little stalls. All the barns ill the parish, except those that were full
of corn quite up to the top, were blown fiat on the ground, to the number of
about 6o. The dwelling-houses escaped best ; there was not above 12 blown
down, out of near 100. If the storm had lasted 5 minutes longer, almost every
house in the town must have been down ; for they were all, in a manner, rocked
quite off from their underpinnings. The people all left their houses, and carried
their children out to the windward side, and laid them down on the ground,
and laid themselves down by them ; and by that means all escaped, except one
poor miller, who went into his mill to secure it against the storm, which was
blown over, and he was crushed to death between the stones and one of the
large beams. All the mills in the country are blown down. Hay-stacks and
corn-stacks are some quite blown away, some into the next corner of the field.
The poor pigeons that were caught in it, were blown down on the ground, and
dashed to pieces. Wherever it met with any boarded houses, it seemed to exert
more than ordinary violence on them, and scattered their wrecks above a quarter
of a mile to the north-east, in a line : Mr. F. followed one of these wrecks ; and
about 1 50 yards from the building, he found a piece of a rafter, many feet long,
and about 6 inches by 4, stuck upright 2 feet deep in the ground ; and at the
distance of 400 paces from the same building, was an inch board, Q inches
broad, 14 feet long : these boards were carried up into the air ; and some were
carried over a pond above 30 yards ; and a row of pales, as much as 2 men
could lift, were carried 2 rods from their places, and set upright against an apple-
tree. Pales, in general, were all blown down, some posts broke off short by
the ground, others torn up by the stumps. The whole air was full of straw :
gravel-stones, as large as the top of the little finger, were blown off^the ground
in at the windows ; and the very grass was blown quite flat on the ground.
After the storm was over, he went out into the town, and such a miserable
sight he never saw : the havoc above described ; the women and children cry-
ing, the farmers all dejected ; some blessing God for the narrowness of their
escape, others wondering how so much mischief could be done with one blast

3 y2


of wind, which hardly lasted long enough for people to get out of their houses.
Two people, that were out in it all the time, said, that they heard it coming
about half a minute before they saw it ; and that it made a noise resembling
thunder, more continued, and continually increasing. A man came from St.
Ives, who says, the spire of the steeple, one of the finest in England, was
blown down, as was the spire of Hemmingford, the towns having received as
much damage as Bluntsham. There was neither thunder nor lightning with

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 61 of 85)