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December 24, 1927


JAMA. 1927;89(26):2194-2195. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02690260042015

The inspection of the urine as a routine procedure in clinical diagnosis harks back to medieval times or earlier. It is one of the features of the physician's practices that has been exemplified in art. In his History of Medicine Garrison1 has pointed out that uroscopy, or water casting, was a favorite theme of the painter and wood-engraver down to the beginning of the eighteenth century, and the accessories in these representations are nearly always the same. The urinal became the emblem of medical practice in the middle ages, and was even used in some places as a sign-board device. The urine was always contained in a characteristic flask of Erlenmeyer shape, sometimes graduated, and this flask was carried in an osier basket with lid and handle, looking much like a modern champagne bucket. The physician, of whatever period, is always represented as inspecting the urine in a most