Reference numberMS/757
TitleNotebook of physiological and anaesthetic experiments, author unknown
Date29 December 1858-21 July 1859
DescriptionNotebook of experiments, largely from 1859, applying electricity and various chemical solutions, to invertebates (worms, frogs and snails) and to mammals (a rabbit and guinea-pig). With some record of self-experimentation by the anonymous author, noted on 17 February 1859, in a section headed 'Voltaic narcotism'. The experiments involved passing an electric current through the arm, presumably to induce pain, and utilising sponges soaked in various solutions to test their anaesthetic effects. There is some commentary on the after-effects on the arm, following ten minutes of electricity. Chloroform solutions gave positive results: the current 'produced in a few minutes a wheal - in my own case next day there was only redness with tenderness but with my brother an actual blister...' [pp.4-5.].

The experimental diary is kept over pp.1-10 only; pp.11-48 are blank; there is an undated end-note, p.50, a mock heroic passage relating a tale of conflict between Hamanowen and Mordantuxli [presumably referring to the Great Hippocanthus Question, the protagonists intended as Richard Owen and Thomas Henry Huxley].

With a part-letter from an unknown author [the electrical engineer William Petrie?] concerning the health of Mrs Petrie [if so, his wife, originally Anne Flinders].
Extent1 volume: 50p. [pp.11-48 blank]
Physical descriptionBrown paper cover, with some pencilled arithmetic.
Access statusOpen
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