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holismus and its influence on the prosperity and morals of the people, shows the relation between drunkenness and poverty, maintaining that the latter is result of the former; farther, that it is a cause of ignorance, of immorality, and of crime; and, finally, that it is one of the principal causes of insanity.
In the third division of the work the author treats of the means of control. ling alcoholismus. lle speaks very fully of temperance and total abstinence
He societies and their work, giving a history of their beginning in this country, and the similar efforts which have been made in other countries in more recent times. The author acknowledges that something has been accomplished by them : that they have at least proved that alcohol is not necessary for the healthy existence of the human being, and have given in the upper classes an example of moderation and abstinence which has had a powerful effect upon the lower classes. But he doubts whether, as such societies are now constituted, they will accomplish much more for the cause.
Next, he gives an interesting and thorough account of the various legal measures which have been adopted in the several countries for the control of the production and sale of alcohol, the various prohibition and license laws, duties on spirituous liquors, etc., and also the methods for directly repressing drunkenness by means of regulations affecting the seller of such liquors, and those directed against habitual drunkards. As one of the means for reforming the latter class the author refers at length to our inebriate asylums, and most heartily acknowledges the good work they have done.
As to the means which indirectly affect this question, the author speaks of the substitution of beer and wine for stronger liquors, and considers this as one of the most effective means for combating the evil. Concern for the welfare of the lower classes and the more general diffusion of knowledge throughout the community are mentioned as of importance.
As will be seen from the above sketch, the book is an exhaustive one, treating of the subject in all its phases, and enriched by statistics from all sources. For his facts about this country the author expresses himself as greatly indebted to Dr. Bowditch's articles in the annual reports of the State Board of Health of Massachusetts for 1871 and 1872.
In conclusion, we can most heartily recommend the book to any one who desires a fair and impartial statement of the present aspect of this much-vexed question, and could wish it were in the hands of all who have to legislate on this important subject.
F. H. D.
LIEVING ON THE TREATMENT OF SKIN DISEASES.
These notes, first prepared by the author for private circulation amongst the students of bis class at the Middlesex Hospital, were published at their request, and have been reissued with a few trivial additions in successive edi. tions. They were, no doubt, of value to them as suggestive of the fuller instruction received in the class-room, but they are of comparatively little worth
i Notes on the Treatment of Skin Diseases. By ROBERT Lieving, A. M., M. D. Cantab. F. R. C. P. London. Fourth Edition, revised and enlarged. New York: William Wood & Co., Publishers. 1878.
to others. As we have before said of similar works, it is difficult to see the object in publishing books of this limited and partial scope, because the same information in better form can be obtained in the complete treatises which should be in the possession of every student and practitioner.
LATIIAM'S SANITARY ENGINEERING. A Second edition of this most excellent treatise has just been published, after having been carefully revised and enlarged to the extent of nearly two hundred pages, so as to admit of the changes and additions required by recent advances in sanitary science. We wish it were in our power to place a copy in the hands of every board of health in the State; for we know no other work containing so clear, concise, and full a statement of the points most essential for physicians and sanitarians to know in connection with drainage of houses and sewerage of towns; and there is constantly fresh evidence that such knowledge is very much needed.
SCARCELY a week has passed, and we are again called upon to pay a tribute of respect to one of the most prominent members of our profession, bears a name distinguished not only in his State but throughout the country, not only to-day but from the opening of the century. Dr. Jacob Bigelow died at his residence in this city on January 10th, at the age of ninety-one .years. The oldest member of the Massachusetts Medical Society, and one of a group of prominent men whose lives are intimately connected with the early history of medicine in this country, his death, after a long period of separation from his professional brethren, owing to the infirmities of his great age, brings vividly back to the men of to-day a momentary glimpse of the almost forgotten pist only to separate us more completely from a departed generation. Born but a few years after the Revolution, and graduated from Ilarvard in the class of 1806, his literary career began as early as 1814 with a work on botany, entitled Florula Bostoniensis, which to this very day is the most complete work of its kind, and the standard authority. It is not our intention to enumerate the versatile character of his talents and works; we hope at some future time to present more extended reminiscences of his early life to our readers. He was already a professor in 1815, and a few years later his beautiful plates of American Medical Botany made their appearance. His early lectures on the application of science to the useful arts gave a bent to his tastes and views, which ultimately terminated in his participation in the inauguration of the Institute of Technology. Recognizing the great importance of suitable provision for the burial of the dead of large cities at some point removed from the centre of population, he became the founder of the beautiful cemetery of Mount
Sanitary Engincering. A Guide to the Construction of Works of Sewerage and House Drainage, with Tables, etc. By Baldwin Latham, C. E. London: E. and F. N. Spon, 46 Charing Cross, and New York, 446 Broome St. 1878. Pp. 559.
Auburn, which has since been a model for similar burial-places throughout the country. The architectural beauties of the place are to be credited to him, he having made all the designs. The colossal sphinx was his final gift, and remains a suitable monument to his public-spirited labors. Among his medical writings, that which exerted the greatest influence upon the practice of the day was his work on self-limited diseases, which produced a marked change in the views held in regard to the treatment of acute diseases at that time. His mind, eminently conservative, exercised a healthy restraint in accepting with reserve and caution new theories on the actions of drugs or the treatment of disease. But it is his intimate association with all that preparatory work which bears fruit to-day in a society, and a school serving as models to the country, and a standard of high professional tone and culture which endears his name to the colleagues he has left behind. His name will hereafter be grouped with those whom we all love to reverence, whose work will soon be celebrated at our approaching centennial, and whose refined character it should be the ambition of our young men of to-day to emulate. His virtues and great abilities, perpetuated as they have been in two succeeding generations, called forth some eloquent remarks from Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, who occupied his usual lecture hour on Friday last with a tribute to the memory of the deceased, such as he alone is able to give.
A BOARD VERSUS A DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH.
When we commented in our last number upon the Lamar Bill for establishing a department of public health, we had not yet learned the result of the meetings at Washington of the executive and advisory committees of the Public Health Association.
This week we are fortunate enough to be able to present a very interesting letter from Dr. II. I. Bowditch, who attended one of the meetings in an official capacity, giving an account of what passed, and of the conclusions arrived at by the members present at those meetings; and we commend to the attention of our readers the memorial of the Public Health Association on congressional legislation affecting the public health, which is to be found at the end of our present number.
We are glad to see that there is an almost unanimous opinion among those best qualified to judge as to the very objectionable character of the Lamar Bill, and we heartily concur with Dr. Bowditch's letter, and with the memorial in deprecating any hasty action on the part of Congress. The proposal for a provisional national health commission is a good one if taken in connection with the suggestions as to the manner of its appointment. In any plan for a permanent national public health organization the advantages seem to us to be greatly on the side of a board rather than of a department, and of any schemes which have as yet come under our notice for such an organization, that elaborated by Dr. Bowditch appears to meet the difficulties and to avoid the dangers the most satisfactorily. As to the yellow fever question, we cannot but think that if the axe is really to be laid at the root of the tree the disease should be studied and attacked where it is endemic, and from whence it is often, if not always, brought to our shores. Here we should find our real quarantine.
Any further remarks of ours in connection with this letter and memorial would be superfluous, but we again earnestly urge all who have influence either with societies at home or with legislation at Washington to read these documents carefully, and to use their influence accordingly.
We are glad to see that the Board of Health has passed the following regulation :
Ordered, That no salt, or mixture of the same, shall hereafter be sprinkled, scattered, or pat upon any street, sidewalk, lane, or alley of the city, without the written permission of the Board of Health. C. E. Davis, Jr., Clerk. It is quite time that such an abuse should be done away with.
We extract what follows from a private letter received from a naval officer now stationed at New Orleans : " I suppose you see by Northern papers how conflicting the testimony is in regard to yellow fever. It looks as though an ignorant man could form about as good an opinion on the subject as those who have made medicine a study. Yellow fever and bulldozing are alike in
- both have men to swear, point-blank, to opposite theories and facts. In one case there is jealousy among the physicians, in the other among the politicians.”
- Mr. Burdett, in his excellent book on Cottage Hospitals, quotes this simple plan for the preservation of ice in tlie sick room : “ Cut a piece of Hannel about nine inches square, and secure it by a ligature round the mouth of an ordinary tumbler, so as to leave a cup-shaped depression of flannel within the tumbler to about half its depth. In the flannel cup so constructed pieces of ice may be preserved many hours; all the longer if a piece of flannel from four to five inches square be used as a loose cover to the ice cup. Cheap flannel, with comparatively open meshes, is preferable, as the water easily drains through it, and the ice is thus kept quite dry. When good flannel with close texture is employed, a small hole must be made in the bottom of the flannel cup; otherwise it holds the water, and facilitates the melting of the ice, which is nevertheless preserved much longer than in the naked cup or tumbler." lu a tumbler containing a flannel cup made as above described, of cheap open fannel, at ten pence a yard, it took ten hours and ten minutes to dissolve two ounces of ice, whereas in a naked cup, under the same conditions, all the ice was gone in less than three hours.
- Professor Von Langenbeck, of Berlin, recently celebrated his sixtyeighth birthday. It is thirty years since he succeeded the celebrated Dieffenbach, and is still vigorous. The order of the Iron Crown of the third class has been conferred on Professor Späth, of Vienna. · Professor Lichtheim has charge of the internal clinic in Berne for the present winter. — Professor Hitzig will soon enter the faculty at Halle, and enter upon his duties as director of the lunatic asylum of that city. - In Paris Professor Marey was recently elected as successor of Claude Bernard in the Academy of Sciences by forty votes (Paul Bert fifteen, Charcot three). — Prof. Henri Gintrac, of Bordeaux, is dead. — Jacob Moleschott has been elected professor in the University at Rome, Italy. — Fordyce Grivnell, M. D., physician to Wichita agency, Indian Territory, reports the removal by himself of the lower portion of the left lung of an Indian boy eight years old, who had been wounded by a barbed arrow, and had pulled out this portion of the lung with the arrow.
The latter penetrated between the fifth and sixth ribs, a little to the left of the median line. Twenty-four hours after the injury, the doctor saw the case. Meanwhile the “medicine man” near at hand had failed to cause the lung to return by his enchantments. When the doctor arrived the protruded portion of lung was congested, and fast becoming gangrenous. The extended portion of lung was ligated and removed; the cut surface touched with perchloride of iron, and returned within the small opening made by the arrow. The portion of lung removed was four and one half inches long and two and three fourths inches broad at its widest part. Some degree of suppuration took place, and two weeks after the ligature came away with a quantity of pus, since which the boy has steadily improved, and is now begiuning to resume his wonted sports.
A case is related of a cavalry soldier whose horse fell upon him, causing instant death. The riglit auricle was ruptured, and was the only lesion found. The writer remarks that true traumatic rupture of the heart is rare; that is to say, rupture produced by external pressure or shock, without aperture in the thorax, and with perfect integrity of the organ in all its parts.
- In the case of Aiken vs. The Illinois State Board of Health, the appellate court has just rendered a decision sustaining the ruling of the lower court, and thus further confirming the board in its right under the law, for unprofessional conduct, to deprive a practitioner of his license to practice.
Dr. Ortille reports the following case in the Bulletin de Thérapeutique : A man sixty-two years of age, who for some time had suffered from symptoms of cerebral thrombosis, dizziness, disturbances of vision, and formication, was one day suddenly prostrated as the result of an embolus. Friction, revulsives, and stimulants were resorted to, and within a few weeks the hemiplegia also disappeared. The attack was accompanied by vomiting, which lasted for twentyfour hours, and this was succeeded by hiccough, for which almost every conceive able agent was resorted to in vain. As the singultus continued even wbile the patient was sleeping under the influence of a subcutaneous injection of morphia, his strength failed rapidly. The attending physician now made a hypodermic injection of 0.025 muriate of pilocarpine, when profuse diaphoresis and a copious flow of saliva came on, and the singultus quickly ceased.
The author claims that this is the first time this preparation of jaborandi has been tested in so rebellious a case, and bespeaks for it a careful examination in the future.
PHILADELPHIA. - During the year the Pennsylvania Society to Protect Children from Cruelty has continued its noble work of ameliorating the sufferings of those who are too young to defend themselves from injustice and inhumanity. The cases that came before the society last year involved the custody of 980 children,