William Beaumont1 in 1833 made the first definite note on peristalsis of the stomach. His observations and experiments on Alexis St. Martin began in 1825. Beaumont had been treating this patient, who had a gastric fistula following a wound from a shotgun, for nearly three years before it occurred to him to use St. Martin as a laboratory animal and observe what occurred in the stomach during digestion. In the eight years between 1825 and 1833 he made 238 experiments. Among other things he noted that the time required for disposal by the stomach of a moderate meal is from three to three and a half hours. He showed that the agent of digestion in the stomach is the gastric juice, which acts as a solvent and contains "free muriatic acid and some other chemical principle." The other chemical principle was demonstrated a few years later by Eberle to
HORSLEY JS. THE BEARING OF CERTAIN PHYSIOLOGIC FACTS ON GASTRO-INTESTINAL SURGERY. JAMA. 1935;104(5):367–370. doi:10.1001/jama.1935.02760050013004
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