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Philadelphia, April 11, 1900.
To the Editor:
—A question in regard to the so-called "madstone," in The Journal of April 7, 1900, prompts me to reproduce from my notes on hydrophobia some facts in regard to this subject, as it is one about which much uncertainty prevails.One of the earliest descriptions of such a thing is that attributed to Abbé Grosier, in his "Description of the Chinese." He there gives an account of the use of a stone called the serpent-stone in "Tang-King." This was applied, stuck fast, absorbed the poison, dropped off, and the patient was freed. The stone was washed in lime-water, dried and could then be used again.In a work on hydrophobia, published in 1812, Dr. Thacher says: "There prevails a fanciful opinion among a certain class of people, that a celebrated substance, known by the name of snake-stone, possesses, intrinsically, the power of
Dulles CW. The Mad-Stone.. JAMA. 1900;XXXIV(19):1208-1209. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.02460190058022