Reference numberAP/23/3
TitleUnpublished paper, 'On the motion of the blood' by James Carson
Date14 April 1839
DescriptionCarson references a previous paper, 'On the elasticity of the lungs', published in volume 110 of Philosophical Transactions, in which he suggested that the elasticity of the lungs contributes to the expansion of the heart, promoting the motion of the blood in the veins. His objective with this paper is to explain more fully the mode in which these effects are produced, and to corroborate by additional facts and observations the arguments presented in its support. He endeavours, from a review of the circumstances under which the veins are placed, to show the inconclusiveness of the objections which have been urged by various physiologists against his and the late Sir David Barry’s theory of suction: namely, that the sides of a pliant vessel, when a force of suction is applied, will collapse and arrest the further transmission of fluid though that channel. The considerations which he deems adequate to give efficacy to the power of suction in the veins of a living animal are, first, the position of the veins by which, though pliant vessels, they acquire in some degree the properties of rigid tubes; secondly, the immersion of the venous blood in a medium of a specific gravity at least equal to its own; thirdly, the constant introduction of recrementitious matter into the venous system at its capillary extremities by which volume of the venous blood is increased, and its motion urged onwards to the heart in distended vessels; and lastly, the gravity of the fluid itself, creating an outward pressure at all parts of the veins below the highest level of the venous system. The author illustrates his positions by the different quantities of blood which are found to flow from the divided vessels of an ox, according to the different modes in which the animal is slaughtered.

Subject: Physiology / Haematology

Received 25 April 1839. Read 2 May 1839. Communicated by P M Roget.

Written by Carson in Liverpool.

Whilst the Royal Society declined to publish this paper in full, an abstract of the paper was published in volume 4 of Abstracts of the Papers Printed in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London [later Proceedings of the Royal Society] as 'On the motion of the blood'.
Physical descriptionInk on paper
Digital imagesView item on Science in the Making
Access statusOpen
Related materialDOI: 10.1098/rstl.1820.0004
DOI: 10.1098/rspl.1837.0067
Related records in the catalogueRR/1/39
Fellows associated with this archive
NA1179Carson; James (1772 - 1843)1772 - 1843
NA6616Roget; Peter Mark (1779 - 1869); physician and philologist1779 - 1869
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