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June 18, 1898


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1898;XXX(25):1480. doi:10.1001/jama.1898.72440770029022

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Formaldehyde is the gaseous disinfectant, par excellence, being incomparable to sulphur fumes, the chief agent of the past. Practically there are three sources of the gas, requiring vastly different apparatus for its liberation and application. In one form the gas is generated directly from wood alcohol on the principal of retarded combustion. In another form the gas is liberated from the paraform, or solid product. In the third style some form of the aqueous solution of commerce is employed. In all the above, heat is essential. In some the gas is liberated under considerable pressure, thus necessitating a bulky apparatus to guard against explosion. Simplicity of construction and economy are quite generally sacrificed, while in those employing wood alcohol there is always a considerable degree of uncertainty regarding the quantity of gas really involved.

The apparatus I wish to describe is that shown by the illustration. It is the most

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