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January 5, 1918


Author Affiliations

Washington, D. C. Pathologist, Army Medical Museum.

JAMA. 1918;70(1):49-50. doi:10.1001/jama.1918.02600010047023

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To the Editor:  —An article with this caption by Elizabeth Selden, superintendent of the Butterworth Hospital, Grand Rapids, Mich., appeared in the Journal of the Michigan State Medical Society, December, 1917, p. 499. Inferentially the article intimates that many institutions waste used alcohol that might be reclaimed with advantage and economy. If this is true, the article is timely and the information that it contains should be more widely published. The Army Medical Museum has been reclaiming used alcohol since its foundation in 1862. The process is simple enough—the evaporation by the heat of a steam coil, and condensation of the vapor by a cold water coil. The vapor that first comes over and is condensed usually gives a grade of 85; the grade then gradually falls; when it reaches 50 the process is stopped and the residue is discharged into the sewer. The still is in the open air,

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