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March 14, 1903


JAMA. 1903;XL(11):718. doi:10.1001/jama.1903.02490110034008

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The prevention of loss of life has been the subject of a number of recent inventions and some of these appear to promise something of real value. Anything that will reduce the amount of suffering and loss of life incident to travel is in line with the physician's plan of labor. One of the measures proposed is the use of acetylene to prevent the sinking of ships. The inventor proposes the placing of packages of calcium carbid throughout the lower parts of the ship in connection with collapsed gas bags. On the entrance of water it will reach the carbid and generate acetylene gas, which will inflate the bags and keep the ship afloat. The inventor has not told us how he proposes to prevent the explosion of the gas, or its ignition. Some of us might prefer to go down than up, or to drown than burn. Turning to

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