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which such fostering and stimulating institutions would lead to, were they established and similarly conducted in our busy manufacturing districts, where competition, at present, is so actively carried on with a view to undersell, by the production of deceptive rather than by really improved articles of manufacture; and where genius is suffered to pine, and even smother, in obscurity, for want of aid, or basely robbed of its treasures for want of protection.
The premiums, prizes, &c., awarded to successful candidates, at the eighth annual meeting of the Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society, were as follow :-Fifteen premiums, in small sums, amounting to upwards of forty pounds; four silver medals ; seventeen bronze medals, and about forty-six other prizes of various kinds. By these means the Society at this meeting has acknowledged the talents of, and conferred its honours upon, upwards of fourscore persons; who are thus stimulated to future exertions in the most laudable pursuits to which the human mind can be directed.
The contributions of papers, essays, descriptions of inventions, &c., that were read at the eighth annual meeting, are on the following subjects:
1st.—Observations in Illustration of the History and Statistics of the Pilchard Fishery. By JONATHAN Couch, Esq. F.L.S.-This paper is mostly confined to a narration of certain purchases and sales of salt and pilchards, by “Richard Trevill, an eminent merchant in the reign of Queen Elizabeth ;" which is, no doubt, interesting in the locality of the Pilchard Fisheries.
2.-Statistics of the Pilchard Fishery, for the years 1838 and 1839. By Mr. J. S. COURTENAY.
3.-Comparative Longevity of Miners. By Mr. ROBERT BLEE, jun. -It appears, from this document, that the average age at which miners die is different in different mines. In the Gwennap mine the average age is 46; in the Illogan, 49; and in the Camborne, 54. The average deaths from mine accidents has been 17 per cent. for the three previous years.
4.--Statistics of the Falmouth Public Dispensary and Humane Society. This is a table of items, by Lovel SQUIRE.
5.-On the Atmosphere of Mines. By M. P. MOYLE, Esq.-This is a valuable scientific document, being a detail of results of chemical analysis of the air in different mines. For the particulars of these experiments we must refer the reader to the work itself: it will be sufficient, in this place, to shew the centage of oxygen in different trials, and under different circumstances :
At WHEAL Vor.-A tin mine in slate. At 280 fathoms depth the
per cent. of oxygen was 18.416; at 250 fathoms, oxygen 16.69 per cent. ; at 230 fathoms, oxygen 17.282 per cent. ; at 214 fathoms, oxygen 16.762 per cent. ; at 36 fathoms, oxygen 14:76 per cent.
GREAT WORK.-Tin and copper mine ; granite. At 170 fathoms, oxygen 17:544 per cent.
BINNER Downs.—Copper mine. At 104 fathoms from surface, oxygen 16.764 per cent.
CARN Brea.—Copper mine; granite. At 105 fathoms, oxygen 16.693 per cent. ; at 95 fathoms, oxygen 14:51 per cent.
TRESAVEAN.-Copper mine in granite. At 156 fathoms, oxygen 16:35 per cent.
WEAL Ann.—Tin mine in granite. At 80 fathoms, oxygen 16°72 per cent. ; at 100 fathoms, oxygen 18.22 per cent.
Consols.Slate. At the bottom levels (no depth given), oxygen 17078 per cent; second sample of air, oxygen 18.42 per cent.
Mr. Moyle concludes with the following appropriate observation: “ The superabundant quantity of nitrogen and carbonic acid above that of a pure atmosphere, clearly points to a source of great mischief to the animal economy; and when combined with the great deficiency of vital air, or oxygen, we cannot much wonder at finding the predominance of pulmonary affections amongst our miners."
6.—On Asphyxia. Condensed from a Communication by M. P. Moyle, Esq.-As this epitome may be interesting to many of our readers, we give it complete :
"Asphyxy may be defined to be suspended animation proceeding from a primary arrest of the respiratory actions, the other functions being thereby abolished.
“ Asphyxy has been very generally viewed as proceeding from causes which act in various ways; and the opinions respecting their nature and mode of operation have been extremely deficient in precision and accuracy. According to the meaning of the term above, asphyxy can only occur in a direct or primary manner, and from causes which either exclude the air from the lungs, prevent its renewal, or abstract that constituent of it which is requisite to the respiratory functions.
“Though submersion be the most frequent, it is by no means the only cause of apparent death worthy the inquiry of the physiologist; but the suspension of vital action from strangulation and noxious gases exhibits phenomena so nearly similar, and require a treatment so strictly congenial, that any enquiry into the nature of submersion only would be narrow and incomplete. I shall therefore attempt a short description of the phenomena of departing life from the foregoing causes ; an investigation of the efficacy of the means of cure, sanctioned by experience; and lastly, draw up a few short directions, which might be generally adopted by all those who might first gain access to the unfortunate individual who may be the subject of asphyxy.
"The duration of life in cases of asphyxy is very different. In general, the more slowly the abolition of the respiratory function takes place, as in drowning, the longer does the action of the heart continue, although feebly and slowly, even after respiration has ceased; and to this circumstance, as well as to the fluidity of the blood, which is long preserved, is owing the power we possess
of recalling the asphyxied to life; the more slowly the state of asphyxy supervenes, the longer the person retains the ability of being re-animated, and vice versa.
"A minute anatomical description of the heart and lungs, the theory of respiration, or the appearances on dissection, do not become necessary in the present communication. My principal object being to draw a more general and just consideration of the importance of possessing sufficient medical knowledge as to be capable of rendering immediate assistance of the proper description, by the timely and judicious application of which, the lives of many of our fellow creatures may be saved, I shall therefore, in the first instance, give a line of general treatment to be adopted, and conclude with a few brief remarks for the guidance of all classes of persons, and whereby they may act with full confidence of doing their best for the patient until the arrival of superior aid and judgment.
General Treatment. “The indications which naturally suggest themselves from the consideration of the causes of asphyxy, their mode of operation, and the ultimate results which they produce, are, 1st, to remove the patient as soon as possible from the causes which occasioned the asphyxied state; and 2nd, to restore the function of respiration, and through it, the circulation.
“ The restoration of the function of respiration is to be attempted by various means, calculated, in the first place, to dislodge the impure air contained in the lungs; secondly, to replace it with pure air; thirdly, to excite the remaining vitality of the nerves and muscles ; and fourthly, to restore the circulation by means calculated to return the blood from the lungs to the left side of the heart. The simultaneous attainment, as far as may be, of these objects, is to be attempted by a judicious combination of means.
“The patient should be placed on his back, in the open air of a mild and somewhat warm temperature, with the chest, shoulders, and head slightly elevated. He should be stripped of his clothing, and enveloped in a warm blanket; pressure should be made upon the breast and abdomen, alternating with relaxation, in such a manner as to simulate the action of the chest in respiration, By this means the foul air will be thrown out of the lungs; and the restoration of the capacity of the thorax, upon the removal of the momentary pressure, by the elasticity of the costal cartilages, will draw fresh air into the lungs. It will sometimes be of service to apply a hand upon each side of the thorax below the arm-pits, and by gentle shocks endeavour to expel the vitiated air. Whilst this is being performed, bottles of warm water should be applied to the feet, under the knee joints, on the inside of the thighs, and under the arm-pits. Dry warmth is particularly beneficial when applied to the epigastric region. After having used pressure, so as to simulate respiration for a few moments, insufflation of the lungs
must be had recourse to, either by the mouth of the operator, or by a pair of bellows. The patient's nostrils must be closed, while the operator blows with considerable force at once into the chest; then press the chest as before directed, and so repeat the operations. If the lungs can be well inflated by these means, we must persevere for a considerable time ; but if it fails to produce the necessary inflation, close the mouth and one nostril, while the operator blows forcibly into the other, to produce the wished-for effect. A small tube of wood, metal, or a tobacco pipe, if at hand, would be a very serviceable instrument for this purpose, but if not at hand, a moment must not be lost in accomplishing it. Insufflation by the breath of another, although not of so pure an air, yet it more than counterbalances this defect by its superior temperature. This inflation and expellation of air should be repeated about fifteen times in a minute. Whilst the insufflation is going on, frictions over various parts of the body, particularly the chest, must be conducted by others, and where electricity or galvanism can be had recourse to, some powerful shocks might now with advantage be passed through the heart and lungs. The nostrils might likewise be irritated with a feather dipped in hartshorn ; and some warm, stimulating liquids, as spirits and water, be conveyed, by means of an elastic tube into the stomach, or by means of a glyster into the bowels, which frequently proves of great service. Bleeding should seldom be had recourse to; and it appears not to be warranted except the countenance be swollen, injected, or purplish, and the veins full and distinct, which is often the case after hanging, but seldom from immersion or suffocation. Bleeding may be of much greater benefit in the succeeding stages after we have restored animation.
" The foregoing remedies should be persisted in for some hours, and we should not be satisfied that life is extinct because our efforts are not speedily crowned with success ; nothing should convince us of the futility of the means adopted, unless stiffness of the limbs and other indications of death present themselves.
“I now proceed to those short directions which I could wish to see placed in the hands of all sailors, miners, and inhabitants of seaports, in fact, universally distributed ; it might then prove the happy means, under Divine Providence, of rescuing more than one unfortunate fellow creature from a premature death.
Drowning. “Suppose we witness the upsetting of a boat or other accident, whereby one or more are submerged :-Instantly dispatch a messenger for medical aid, while we ourselves hasten to the spot ;remove as quickly as possible all the wet clothes from the body, and supply their place by some of our own ;-raise the head and shoulders, while you convey it to the nearest warmth and shelter, and while warm blankets, beds, &c., are in progress, simulate the act of respiration, by first inflating the lungs by blowing strongly with your own mouth through the mouth or nostrils of the patient;
then as quickly press both sides of the chest with your hands, and so on alternately about fifteen times in a minute; and when this has been repeated a few times, let others rub different parts of the body with warm hands, or flannels smeared with butter or oil, while the process of inflation, &c., is still persevered with. Let no salt or spirits be rubbed over the body, as the cold thereby produced is prejudicial.
“ The body may be placed before a good fire, or in a warm bath of the temperature of about 100°, or it may be placed in bed between warm blankets or two warm persons, while you persevere in the above mode of imitating natural respiration, until the arrival of superior aid ; the restoration of the circulation, and in all probability the life of your friend or neighbour, mainly depends on your early and correct performance of this operation.
Hanging. “In cases of hanging, as in all other accidents, dispatch a messenger for a medical man, and direct your first efforts towards the stricture on the windpipe caused by the cord; then proceed, as directed in cases of drowning, to inflate the lungs by blowing forcibly into the mouth, press out the air which you have forced in, by your hands on either side of the chest, and so continue the operation. In case there should be a paleness of countenance, together with coldness of the body and limbs, you might use friction as before directed ; but should the face be flushed, you had better defer the use of frictions until blood is removed from the jugular vein.
Noxious Gases. “When suspended respiration arises from a person descending incautiously into an old well, mine, brewers' vat, or by sleeping on a lime kiln, or in a room with burning charcoal, &c., we immediately conclude it arises from the presence of carbonic acid. If in a confined pit, first dash a few bucketsful of water into the place, and direct some quicklime to be quenched as near the body as possible ; if a candle will continue lighting near the body you may safely venture down for its removal
, (and which should be as quickly performed as possible) to the pure air. Similar steps should be adopted in a mine where the suffocation appears to arise from gunpowder smoke. As soon as you reach the body, blow forcibly into his mouth with your own, taking care to close his nostrils, then press the chest as before directed, and continue to repeat it by every possible means. When brought into the pure air, similar means must be adopted as directed under the head of drowning ; but we must remember that in every case of apparent death from these causes, our first efforts must be to inflate the lungs with the warmest and purest air possible, then expel it by pressing the chest with both of the hands, then inflate again, and again expel it, and so on. You had better continue this operation without interruption until the arrival of medical aid, than venture on any other mode, the operation of which you may not be fully competent to judge, and risk the