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AND SOLD BY ALL BOOKSELLERS.
THE CHEMICAL NEWS.
Vol. VII. No. 161.-January 3, 1863.
THE COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS AND
would be an honour which young pharmaceutists would PHARMACY.
be proud to possess, and for which they would earnestly
work. The public, too, would recognise and have conAFTER a long slumber, the London College of Physicians, fidence in such a diploma ; and, lasily, medical men a few years ago, awoke to a sense of its position, its themselves would have a double security that the Licenopportunities, and, possibly, its responsibilities. Recog: tiate in Pharmacy would not stray from the legitimate nised, legally and socially, as the head of the medical province of his business, and occupy the place of the profession in England, it had slept on its dignity, while prescriber. other and younger corporations had made rapid advances over the ground it should have occupied. Aroused at
TECHNICAL CHEMISTRY, last, however, by the Medical Act of 1858, it has since made vigorous, and so far successful, efforts to recover some of the ground lost by its former apathy or pride.
On the Manufacture of Alcohol from Coal-gas, The College has recently begun to license a new order
by M. MALLET. of general practitioners, and, to render the qualification THÉNARD said, in his " Treatise on Chemistry,” in 1827 complete, now Examiners in Surgery.
_" It is certain that the greater portion of vegetable But to what end, some of our readers may ask, who substances are composed only of hydrogen, carbon, and have seen that we have hitherto kept clear of the thorny oxygen ; but, nevertheless, we cannot form any of those ground of medical politics, do we call attention to these substances from these elements. This powerlessuess of facts? It is to recommend the College of Physicians to chemistry has often rendered results doubtful in the eyes go one step further. At the present time it includes of persons unacquainted with science, although really within its pale all branches of the medical art but one- profound thinkers. J. J. Rousseau, when following the pharmacy. At the present time, however, and under course of chemistry with Rouelle, said that he would its present charter, the College can exercise considerable only believe in the analysis of flour when he saw authority over pharmaceutists and druggists--at all chemists able to reproduce it. The great writer would, events, in the precinct of London. The Censors of the doubtless, in the present day, use different language.” College have the power to visit the shops, to inspect the These reflections of Thénard's are very judicious. Rousstock, to examine the druggist as to the composition of seau would certainly have had his conviction disturbed the medicines, and even, it would seem, to summon if he had witnessed the beautiful experiments of druggists before them, and inflict a fine for the sale of Lavoisier and of Meunier in 1783 and 1785, as well as “corrupt” medicines, or for compounding medicines the more recent ones of Lefevre-Gineau, Foucroy, Vau“not agreeable to the prescript or direction given.” It quelin, and Seguin, on the synthesis of water. The would be but a slight modification of this authority if philosopher of Geneva would, most probably, hava the College were now to exercise a more general and believed in chemical analysis after seeing 500 grammes direct control over pharmaceutists. The power we have of water produced by means of oxygen and hydrogen, just mentioned has been allowed to fall into abeyance, in the proportions indicated by the analysis. and, besides, is hardly in keeping with the spirit of these But what would Rousseau, and even Thénard, have times. But a far better guarantee for the purity of said, if they had been fortunate enough to see alcohol medicines, and the intelligence of pharmaceutists, might manufactured from these elements ? This production is be obtained, if the College were to institute a new or der one of the wonders of the chemistry of the present day, of " Licentiates in Pharmacy," and so include within which is not yet at the end of its marvellous developits authority all degrees of the medical profession. The ments. The attention of chemists and manufacturers natural alliance of the physician with the pharmaceutist has, therefore, been awakened during the last two is very close, but we have no doubt that there are phy- months, because it is now proposed to transplant this sicians who will stand aghast at our proposal. We shall industry from the loboratory into the manufactory. not stop now to characterise the sentiment which Since the question of the artificial manufacture of inspires such, nor answer some objections which might alcohol has seriously occupied attention, it has been disbe fairly raised. We shall only remark, that pharmacy covered that, as early as 1854, M. Castes, of Puteaux, was a respectable art when surgery was in the hands of took out a patent for a means of obtaining alcohol from barbers and old women, and when physicians, except in the smoke of oil, fat, and of all other organic matter. so far as they were pharmaceutists as well, were held The following is an extract from che patent given in but of small account. In modern times, too, improve the Cosmos : -"In burning these organic matters, the ments in pharmacy have quite kept pace with improve- smoke which is liberated may be absorbed by concenments in the practice of medicine. We hope, then, that trated sulphuric acid. This sulphuric acid, mixed with no false pride will prevent the College of Physicians water and distilled, produces alcohol. To facilitate the from carrying out the proposal we submit. To be a absorption of the smoke, it is caused to pass through a " Licentiate in Pharmacy of the College of Physicians ” | body impregnated with sulphuric acid, or through coke