1. That they prevent the escape of heat from the body of the poor creature who is already in a state of refrigeration.
2. By their firmly and equally grasping both flexor and extensor muscles alike, they are steadied, and rendered much less likely to be affected with spasmodic action or cramp.
3. By their steady elastic pressure and support of about 160 pounds, they persistently keep up and sustain the circulation of the blood, which they had previously restored.
4. That the oxygen thus well secured to the blood will, I believe, prove quite sufficient to neutralize the original poison, and also destroy its effects.
5. That this much can at least be claimed for their use—that they remove from nature a stumbling-block, which prevented her from exercising her marvelous recuperative powers. Diluted sulphuric acid is the best medicine to arrest the flux from the bowels, acting also as a tonic. It should be given in five-minim doses about every half hour, with rice gruel. By adopting this plan, the natural process is brought about, that of the starch being converted into grape sugar. Plenty of white of egg, well whipped up, so as to nourish the body and convey oxygen into the stomach, which it will appropriate, should be given. Opium, in small quantities, and other stimulants, should be given according to the necessities of the case. May it not be well, through the medium of wet sponge over the thorax, to apply a continuous but gentle current of galvanism, so as to stimulate the heart's action, keep alive the respiratory movements, and thereby assist in the maintenance of the functions of the body?
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TEMPERATURE, MOISTURE, AND PRESSURE IN THEIR RELATIONS TO HEALTH.
At the recent meteorological conference held at the Health Exhibition, Dr. J.W. Tripe read a paper of much interest on some relations of meteorological phenomena to health.
In ages long past these relations excited much attention, but the knowledge concerning them was of the vaguest kind; and indeed, even now, no very great advance has been made, because it is only quite recently that we have been able to compare a fairly accurate record of deaths with observations taken at a number of reliable meteorological stations. The more useful and searching comparison between cases of sickness, instead of deaths, and meteorological phenomena has yet to be accomplished on a large scale in this country, and especially as regards zymotic diseases. In Belgium there is a Society of Medical Practitioners, embracing nearly the whole country, that publishes a monthly record of cases of sickness, of deaths, and of meteorological observations; but the only attempt on a large scale in this country, which was started by the Society of Medical Officers of Health for the whole of London, failed partly from want of funds, and partly from irregularity in the returns. My remarks, which must necessarily be very brief, will refer to the relations between (1) meteorological phenomena and the bodily functions of man, and (2) between varying meteorological conditions and death-rates from certain diseases.
As regards the first, I will commence with a few brief remarks on the effects of varying barometric pressures. A great deal too much attention is paid to the barometer if we regard it as indicating only, as it really does, variations in the weight of the column of air pressing upon our bodies, because, except at considerable elevations, where the barometer is always much lower than at sea level, these variations produce but little effect on health. At considerable elevations the diminished pressure frequently causes a great feeling of malaise, giddiness, loss of strength, palpitation, and even nausea; and at greater heights, as was noticed by Mr. Glaisher in a very lofty balloon ascent, loss of sight, feeling, and consciousness. These were caused by a want of a sufficient supply of oxygen to remove effete matters from the system, and to carry on the organic functions necessary for the maintenance of life. On elevated mountain plateaus, or even in high residences among the Alps, an increased rapidity in the number of respirations and of the pulse, as well as increased evaporation from the lungs and skin, occur.
For some years past, many persons suffering from consumption, gout, rheumatism, and anaemic affections have gone to mountain stations, chiefly in Switzerland, for relief, and many have derived much benefit from the change. It must not, however, be supposed that diminished atmospheric pressure was the chief cause of the improvement in health, as its concomitants, viz., a diminution in the quantity of oxygen and moisture contained in each cubic foot of air, probably the low temperature, with a total change in the daily habits of life, have assisted in the beneficial results. The diminution in the quantity of air, and consequently of oxygen, taken in at each breath is to a certain extent counterbalanced by an increased frequency and depth of the respirations, and a greater capacity of the chest. In this country, alterations in the barometric pressure are chiefly valuable as indicating an approaching change in the wind, and as well as of the amount of moisture in the air; hence the instrument is often called "the weather glass." A sudden diminution in the atmospheric pressure is likely to be attended with an escape of ground air from the soil, and therefore to cause injury to health, especially among the occupants of basement rooms, unless the whole interior of the building be covered with concrete.
Temperature.—Experience has shown that man can bear greater variations of temperature than any other animal, as in the Arctic regions a temperature of -70 degrees Fahrenheit, or more than 100 degrees below freezing point, can be safely borne; that he can not only live but work, and remain in good health, in these regions provided that he be supplied with suitable clothing and plenty of proper food. On the other hand, man has existed and taken exercise in the interior of Australia when the thermometer showed a temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit, or nearly 90 degrees above freezing point, so that he can live and be in fairly good health within a range of nearly 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
The effects of a high temperature vary very much according to the amount of moisture in the air, as when the air is nearly saturated in hot climates, or even in summer in our own, more or less languor and malaise are felt, with great indisposition to bodily labor. With a dry air these are not so noticeable. The cause is evident; in the former case but little evaporation occurs from the skin, and the normal amount of moisture is not given off from the lungs, so that the body is not cooled down to such an extent as by dry air. Sunstroke is probably the result, not only of the direct action of the sun's rays, but partly from diminished cooling of the blood by want of evaporation from the lungs and skin.
The effects of temperature on man do not depend so much on the mean for the day, month, or year, as on the extremes, as, when the days are hot and the nights comparatively cool, the energy of the system becomes partially restored, so that a residence near the sea, or in the vicinity of high mountains, in hot climates is, other things being equal, less enervating than in the plains, as the night air is generally cooler. It is commonly believed that hot climates are necessarily injurious to Europeans, by causing frequent liver derangements and diseases, dysentery, cholera, and fevers. This, however, is, to a certain extent, a mistake, as the recent medical statistical returns of our army in India show that in the new barracks, with more careful supervision as regards diet and clothing, the sickness and death-rates are much reduced. Planters and others, who ride about a good deal, as a rule keep in fairly good health; but the children of Europeans certainly degenerate, and after two or three generations die out, unless they intermarry with natives, and make frequent visits to colder climates. This fact shows that hot climates, probably by interfering with the due performance of the various processes concerned in the formation and destruction of the bodily tissues, eventually sap the foundations of life among Europeans; but how far this result has been caused by bad habits as regards food, exercise, and self-indulgence, I cannot say. Rapid changes of temperature in this country are often very injurious to the young and old, causing diarrhoea and derangements of the liver when great heat occurs, and inflammatory diseases of the lungs, colds, etc., when the air becomes suddenly colder, even in summer.
The direct influence of rain on man is not very marked in this country, except by giving moisture to the air by evaporation from the ground and from vegetable life, and by altering the level of ground water. This is a subject almost overlooked by the public, and it is therefore as well that it should be known that when ground water has a level persistently less than five feet from the surface of the soil, the locality is usually unhealthy, and should not, if possible, be selected for a residence. Fluctuations in the level of ground water, especially if great and sudden, generally cause ill-health among the residents. Thus, Dr. Buchanan in his reports to the Privy Council in 1866-1867, showed that consumption (using the word in its most extended sense) is more prevalent in damp than on dry soils, and numerous reports of medical officers of health, and others, which have been published since then, show that an effective drainage of the land, and consequent carrying away of the ground water, has been followed by a diminution of these diseases.
Varying amounts of moisture in the air materially affect the health and comfort of man. In this country, however, it is not only the absolute but the relative proportions of aerial moisture which materially influence mankind. The quantity of aqueous vapor that a cubic foot of air can hold in suspension, when it is saturated, varies very much with the temperature. Thus at 40 degrees Fahr. it will hold 2.86 grains of water; at 50 degrees, 4.10 grains; at 60 degrees, 5.77 grains; at 70 degrees, 8.01 grains; and at 90 degrees as much as 14.85 grains. If saturation be represented by 100, more rapid evaporation from the skin will take place at 70 degrees, and 75 per cent. of saturation, than at 60 degrees when saturated, although the absolute quantity of moisture in the air is greater at the first named temperature than at the latter. As regards the lungs, however, the case is different, as the air breathed out is, if the respirations be regular and fairly deep, completely saturated with moisture at the temperature of the body. In cold climates the amount of moisture and of the effete matters given off from the lungs in the expired air is much greater than in hot climates, and the body is also cooled by the evaporation of water in the form of aqueous vapor. Moist air is a better conductor of heat than dry air, which accounts for much of the discomfort felt in winter when a thaw takes place as compared with the feeling of elasticity when the air is dry. In cold weather, therefore, moist air cools down the skin and lungs more rapidly than dry air, and colds consequently result. London fogs are injurious, not only on account of the various vapors given off by the combustion of coal, but in consequence of the air being in winter generally saturated with moisture at a low temperature. The injuriousness of fogs and low temperatures will be presently dwelt upon at greater length.
Variations in the pressure and temperature of the atmosphere exert a considerable influence on the circulation of air contained in the soil, which is called ground air. As all the interstices of the ground are filled with air or water, the more porous the soil, the greater is the bulk of air. The quantity of air contained in soil varies very much according to the material of which the soil is composed, as it is evident that in a gravelly or sandy soil it must be greater than when the ground consists of loam or clay. The estimates vary from 3 to 30 per cent., but the latter is probably too high. If, therefore, a cesspool leak into the ground, the offensive effluvia, if in large quantities, will escape into the soil, and are given off at the surface of the ground, or are drawn into a house by the fire; but, if small, they are rendered innocuous by oxidation. The distance to which injurious gases and suspended or dissolved organic matters may travel through a porous soil is sometimes considerable, as I have known it pass for 130 feet along a disused drain, and above 30 feet through loose soil.
Winds exercise a great effect on health both directly and indirectly. Directly, by promoting evaporation from the skin, and abstracting heat from the body in proportion to their dryness and rapidity of motion. Their indirect action is more important, as the temperature and pressure of the air depend to a great extent on their direction. Thus winds from the north in this country are usually concomitant with a high barometer and dry weather; in summer with a pleasant feeling, but in winter with much cold. Southwest winds are the most frequent here of any, as about 24 per cent. of the winds come from this quarter against 161/2 from the west, 111/2 from the east, and the same from the northeast; 101/2 from the south, 8 from the north, and a smaller number from the other quarters. Southwest winds are also those which are most frequently accompanied by rain, as about 30 per cent. of the rainy days are coincident with southwest winds. Another set of observations give precisely the same order, but a considerable difference in their prevalence, viz., southwest 31 per cent., west 141/2, and northeast 111/2 per cent. Easterly winds are the most unpleasant, as well as the most injurious to man of all that occur in this country.
I now propose discussing very briefly the known relations between meteorological phenomena and disease. I say the known relations, because it is evident that there are many unknown relations of which at present we have had the merest glimpse. For instance, small-pox, while of an ordinary type, and producing only a comparatively small proportion of deaths to those attacked, will sometimes suddenly assume an epidemic form, and spread with great rapidity at a time of year and under the meteorological conditions when it usually declines in frequency. There are, however, in this country known relations between the temperature and, I may say, almost all diseases. As far back as 1847 I began a series of elaborate investigations on the mortality from scarlet fever at different periods of the year, and the relations between this disease and the heat, moisture, and electricity of the air. I then showed that a mean monthly temperature below 44.6 deg. F. was adverse to the spread of this disease, that the greatest relative decrease took place when the mean temperature was below 40 deg., and that the greatest number of deaths occurred in the months having a mean temperature of between 45 deg. and 57 deg. F. Diseases of the lungs, excluding consumption, are fatal in proportion to the lowness of the temperature and the presence of excess of moisture and fog. Thus, in January, 1882, the mean weekly temperature fell from 43.9 deg. F. in the second week to 36.2 deg. in the third, with fog and mist. The number of deaths registered in London during the third week, which may be taken as corresponding with the meteorological conditions of the second week, was 1,700, and in the next week 1,971. Unusual cold, with frequent fogs and little sunshine, continued for four weeks, the weekly number of deaths rising from 1,700 to 1,971, 2,023, 2,632, and 2,188. The deaths from acute diseases of the lungs in these weeks were respectively 279, 481, 566, 881, and 689, showing that a large proportion of the excessive mortality was caused by these diseases. At the end of November and in December of the same year there was a rapid fall of temperature, when the number of deaths from acute diseases of the lungs rose from 297 to 358, 350, 387, 541, 553, and 389 in the respective weeks. From November 29 to December 9 the sun was seen only on two days for 41/2 hours, and from December 9 to the 18th also on two other days for less than 4 hours, making the total amount of sunshine 8.1 hours only in 20 days. In January and February the excess of weekly mortality from all diseases reached the large number of 504 deaths; in December it was less, the fogs not having been so dense, but the excess equaled 246 deaths per week.
The relations between a high summer temperature and excessive mortality from diarrhoea have long been well known, but the immediate cause of the disease as an epidemic is not known. Summer diarrhoea prevails to a greater extent in certain localities, notably in Leicester (and has done so for years); and the cause has been carefully sought for, but has not been found out. Recent researches, however, point to a kind of bacillus as the immediate cause, as it has been found in the air of water-closets, in the traps under the pans, and in the discharges from infants and young children. In order to indicate more readily how intimately the mortality from diarrhoea depends on temperature, I now lay before you a table showing the mean temperature for ten weeks in summer, of seven cold and hot summers, the temperature of Thames water, and the death-rates of infants under one year per million population of London:
London.—Deaths under 1 Year, in July, August, and part of September, from Diarrhoea per 1,000,000 Population Living at all Ages, arranged in the Order of Mortality.
Age 0-1 year. Mean Temperature Deaths from Diarrhoea Years. temperature, of Thames per 1,000,000 10 weeks. water. population living at all ages. 1860 58.1 deg. 60.6 deg. 151 1862 59.0 62.0 189 1879 58.7 60.7 228 1877 61.2 63.3 347 1874 61.7 63.8 447 1878 63.7 64.1 576 1876 64.4 64.9 643
As may be seen, the deaths of infants under 1 year of age from diarrhoea per 1,000,000 population was only 151; while the mean summer temperature was only 58.1 deg. F. against 189 in 1862, when the mean temperature was 59.0 deg.. In 1879, when the mean temperature was 58.7 deg., the deaths from diarrhoea rose to 228 per million, but a few days were unusually hot. In 1877 the mean temperature of the air was 61.2 deg., of the Thames water 63.3 deg., and the mortality of infants from diarrhoea 347 per million population. In 1874, when the mean temperature of the air was 61.7 deg., the mortality rose to 447 per million; and in the hot summers of 1878 and 1876, when the mean air temperatures were 64.1 deg. and 64.9 deg. respectively, the death-rates of infants were 576 and 642 per million population. The relations, therefore, between a high summer temperature and the mortality from diarrhoea in infants are very intimate. I have selected the mortality among infants in preference to that at all ages, as the deaths occur more quickly, and because young children suffer in greater proportion than other persons.
The proportionate number of deaths at all ages from diarrhoea corresponds pretty closely with those of infants. To prove this, I made calculations for three years, and ascertained that only 3.9 per cent. of all the deaths from this disease were registered in the weeks having a temperature of less than 50 deg.; 11.9 per cent. in the weeks having a temperature between 50 deg. and 60 deg.; while in the comparatively few weeks in which the temperature exceeded 60 deg. F., as many as 84.2 per cent. of the total number of deaths was registered. In the sixteen years, 1840-56, for which many years ago I made a special inquiry, only 18.9 per cent. of all the deaths from diarrhoea occurred in winter and spring, against 81.1 per cent. in summer and autumn. In the twenty years, 1860-79, there were seven years in which the summer temperature was in defect when the mortality per 100,000 inhabitants of London was 200; while in ten summers, during which the temperature was in excess by 2 deg. or less, the mortality was 317 per 100,000. The mean temperature was largely in excess, that is to say, more than 2 deg. plus in three of these summers, when the mortality reached 339 per 100,000 inhabitants.
These figures show that great care should be taken in hot weather to prevent diarrhoea, especially among young children; by frequent washing with soap and water to insure cleanliness, and proper action of the skin; by great attention to the food, especially of infants fed from the bottle; free ventilation of living rooms, and especially of bedrooms; and by protection, as far as possible, being afforded from a hot sun, as well as by avoiding excessive exercise. All animal and vegetable matter should be removed from the vicinity of dwelling-houses as quickly as possible (indeed, these should be burnt instead of being put in the dust-bin), the drains should be frequently disinfected and well flushed out, especially when the mean daily temperature of the air is above 60 deg. F.
Time will not admit of more than a mere mention of the relations between meteorological phenomena and the mortality from many other diseases and affections, such as apoplexy from heat, sunstroke, liver diseases, yellow fever, cholera, whooping-cough, measles, etc., especially as the state of our knowledge on the subject is so very limited. A comparison between the mortality from several diseases in this and other countries shows that certain of these do not prevail under closely corresponding conditions. Thus the curves of mortality from whooping-cough, typhoid fever, and scarlet fever do not correspond with the curves of temperature in both London and New York, and the same may be said of diarrhoea in India. It is therefore evident that some other cause or causes than a varying temperature must be concerned in the production of an increased death-rate from these diseases. The subject is of great importance, and I do not despair of our obtaining some day a knowledge of the agents through which meteorological phenomena act in the production of increased and decreased death rates from certain diseases, and the means by which, to a certain extent, these injurious effects on man may be presented.
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P. Rosenbach has found experimentally that potassium bromide diminishes the sensibility of the cortical substance of the cerebrum to electric excitement, while, the excitability of the underlying white substance remains unaltered.
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CONSUMPTION SPREAD BY CHICKENS.
In a village, C., near Weimar, where for many years no case of tubercular phthisis had taken place, two years ago several families suddenly discovered one of their members to be suffering from the disease. After a long inquiry, it was discovered by accident that all these families had been buying their spring chickens from one and the same place, viz., from a private hospital in the neighborhood. A medical student brought the livers of two such chickens to Prof. Johne, in Dresden. The student, whose own sister had become affected with consumption, had lived during his vacation at home with his parents, in C., and he had there at dinner observed the peculiar appearance of the liver of the chickens.
On examination, both organs were found to be full of tubercular bacilli. A thorough investigation was at once instituted, and it was then that the fact came to light that the chickens eaten by the families, members of which had been affected with tuberculosis, had all been brought from the institution mentioned. On further inquiry at the latter place the following facts were elicited:
At about the time when the first case of consumption occurred in the village, an inmate or the hospital, Mrs. R., had died of the disease. Before her death, Mrs. R. used to feed the chickens raised there; she was often seen first to chew the meat before she gave it to the chickens. Further, the spittoons were emptied on a place in the yard where the chickens generally came to pick up any stray corn.
As none of the chickens ever came in contact with any animals in the neighborhood—the hospital being situated at a considerable distance from the village—as no disease had happened among them until the arrival of Mrs. R., when soon after an epidemic seemed to break out among them, and many died, there is no doubt that they contracted the disease from Mrs. R., and in return infected those who ate their flesh.
The case is very interesting, first, as it proves how such animals may become affected, then how they may spread the disease, and lastly, that some kind of a disposition must exist in the person infected; for here, of many who had eaten of the diseased flesh, only a few contracted the malady. The whole report teaches us how careful we have to be, and how necessary is the appointment of skillful experts by the State to inspect all food offered for sale.—Med. and Surg. Reporter.
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NEW METHOD OF REDUCING FEVER.
For many years eminent medical savants have sought earnestly through the vegetable and mineral worlds for some substance by means of which the high temperature often prevailing in typhoid, malarial, and other fevers might be reduced with rapidity and safety to the patient. A few substances have been found which produce a decline in temperature when administered in enormous and frequently repeated doses; but such administration has often been found to be decidedly detrimental to the patient, producing not infrequently serious injury to the stomach, kidneys, and sometimes the nervous system. So great is the danger of such injurious results, few careful practitioners have cared to adopt the heroic "antipyretic" medication recommended by experimenters, preferring to allow their patients to burn with fever, mitigated only by such simple means as are commonly employed by nurses, than to require them to combat the poisonous influences of a drug in addition to the morbid element of the disease.
Happily, however, it is not necessary to leave the patient to the unaided efforts of nature. By cool sponging of the surface, persistently and thoroughly applied; by large, cool compresses placed over the abdomen and chest, or even the whole front of the body, and changed as often as warm, or every three to five minutes; by frequently repeated cool packs; by cold water drinking; by ice-packs to the spine; by constant application of ice or frozen compresses to the head; by forcing perspiration by copious hot drinks and a warm blanket pack—by any or all of these means the temperature may be reduced with promptness in nearly every case. However, cases will now and then occur in which the temperature remains dangerously high, notwithstanding the thorough application of the above means. What shall be done?
Several years ago our attention was called to a series of experiments made by Dr. Winternitz, Professor of Hydropathy in the Medical University of Vienna, for the purpose of determining the influence upon temperature of enemas of water of different temperature in cases of fever. The results claimed by Prof. Winternitz were so striking that we improved the first opportunity to repeat his experiments, and with such results as have justified the continued use of this means of lowering temperatures in fever, in cases in which the ordinary measures were not efficient. The only objection we have found to the method has been the inconvenience to the patient occasioned by the frequent use of the bed-pan. In a recent case in which we found it necessary to resort to this method, the nurse observed that if the tin can of the fountain syringe used in administering the enema happened to be lowered below the level of the bed on which the patient lay, water which had previously been introduced into the rectum returned readily through the tube into the can. On learning this fact, the attendants were instructed to employ the enema in this way. From one to two pints of water, of 70 deg. or 75 deg. F. temperature, were allowed to pass into the bowels; and after being retained for five or ten minutes, or until the patient experienced uncomfortable sensations, it was made to pass out through the tube by simply lowering the reservoir to the level of the floor. A new supply of water of a proper temperature being introduced into the reservoir, it was again raised to the proper height, and the operation so continued until six quarts of water had been used. Then the patient was allowed to rest half an hour or an hour, according to the height of the fever, and the same process was repeated. Careful record was made of the temperature of the patient just before the treatment and immediately after. It was found to be invariably reduced from one to one and a half degrees by each treatment. The temperature, which had been exceedingly obstinate previous to the employment of this method, ranging from 104 deg. to 105 deg., during the intervals between the treatments would, of course, rise somewhat; but each time it stopped short of the point reached during the previous interval, so that in the course of a few hours the fever was brought down to very nearly a normal temperature. The temperature of the water, when taken after passing through the bowels, was found to have risen each time from 10 deg. to 13 deg..
The great capacity of water for absorbing heat renders it one of the most useful of all substances for lowering the temperature; and it is readily apparent that, by the means described, heat may be abstracted from the body almost ad libitum, and the temperature may thus be controlled with a rapidity and a degree of certainty which cannot be approached by any other method. In a still more recent case, in which the same treatment was employed, the temperature of the patient had reached 106 deg. F., in spite of the vigorous application of ordinary measures of treatment, such as cold compresses, etc.; but it was, in four or five hours, brought down to nearly 100 deg. by the use of the cold enemas.
The advantages of this method are: 1. It may be employed without wetting or moving the patient; very frequently a patient will sleep continuously during the administration of the treatment. 2. It seldom causes chilliness, which is frequently a disturbing symptom, especially in fevers of a low type, and even, when the temperature is alarmingly high, causing the patient to dread the employment of sponging with cool or tepid water. 3. It is not necessary to employ cold water, a temperature of 80 deg. or even 85 deg. being thoroughly efficient. In the majority of cases, however, water of 70 deg. or even 60 deg. may be employed without danger. The water comes in such immediate contact with surfaces filled with large blood-vessels that a temperature but a few degrees below that of the body is more effective than very much colder water applied to the surface.
In cases in which the use of the cool enema is attended by chilliness, this uncomfortable symptom may usually be relieved by the application of a hot bag or fomentations to the spine or to the pit of the stomach.
The simple measures of treatment we have described will be found more effective in lowering the temperature than any or all other remedies which have ever been recommended for this purpose.—Good Health.
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THE CROWN DIAMONDS OF FRANCE.
According to a recent law of Parliament, a large part of the crown jewels of France is destined to be sold. The exhibit that has been made of these riches for the last two months at the National Exhibition of the Industrial Arts, in the State Hall of the Louvre, has excited a lively interest among the visitors. Here are to be seen, heaped up in a large octagonal show-case, incomparable treasures, whose value exceeds quite a number of millions. According to the inventory of 1818, the 52,000 precious stones of the crown of France were estimated as worth more than 20 million francs ($4,000,000); but since that epoch the stones have increased in number, and money has singularly diminished in value, so that the total at present would be much less.
In order to publicly exhibit so valuable treasures it was necessary to take precautions against thieves and fire, and this was done in a very sure and ingenious manner. The collection of crown jewels is distributed over the eight faces of an octagonal truncated cone, which is supported by a framework about three feet in height at the lower part. The stand is exhibited every day, at ten o'clock in the morning and six in the evening, under an elegant octagonal show-case surmounted by a high bronze statue of Fortune by Barbedienne. The whole is covered with a canopy, as shown in Fig. 1.
A force of guardians of the Treasury is detailed to watch over the crown jewels, and it is to them that is confided the care of operating in the morning and evening the safety mechanism that we shall describe. The object of this mechanism is to lower into and lift out of the strong-box the entire stand with all its jewels.
A winch, shown at A to the right of the engraving, sets in motion a system of gear wheels keyed at an angle, at B and C, upon intermediate shafts that transmit motion to the four vertical threaded rods of the frame, D. All these shaftings are 11/2 inch in diameter, and the cog-wheels, twenty in number, are about 5 inches in diameter.
The well is formed of an octagonal wall of fire-brick, and is 20 inches thick and 6 feet high. In the center of this masonry is embedded very thick iron plate. The bottom of the well is isolated from the flooring of the Exhibition hall by a thickness of boiler plate, by a filling of tire bricks, and finally by a second thickness of boiler plate. The well is closed by means of a large plate of iron 6 inches thick, 10 feet in length, and 88 feet in width. The winch which maneuvers this mass is placed at E. It actuates a system of bevel wheels, keyed at F, which transmit motion to two horizontal screws (hidden under the stage) that actuate the plate, H. This latter is provided with two parallel series of five rollers each that revolve over long and strong pieces of wood covered with rails. Electric alarms are located near the winches.
A fire-engine station is located at within twelve or fifteen feet of the exhibition building.
A committee composed of competent jewelers and mineralogists has been appointed to make an appraisement of the diamonds and to indicate such as should be withheld from sale on account of their scientific, artistic, or historic interest. The members of the committee propose to preserve the following objects:
1. The "Regent" (Fig. 2), by reason of its mineralogical value, the perfection of its cutting, the purity of its water, its incomparable luster, and its great size, it being the largest brilliant as yet known.
2. The military sword of Charles the Tenth's coronation, the hilt of which is entirely of brilliants mounted by Bapst with wonderful art.
3. The jewel called the "Reliquary," of the 15th century.
To these riches must be added the following interesting objects: the Dey of Algiers' watch; the Elephant of Denmark; the decorations, etc., of foreign orders; crowns and diadems of sapphire; rubies; pearls that afford curious specimens of French art at the beginning of our century; one of the Mazarins bequeathed by the celebrated Cardinal; and lots of colored stones destined for our national museums.
The same exhibition alluded to above contains a number of other collections of great interest that it would be unjust to pass over in silence, such as the exhibit of the French diamond mines of the Cape, where one may see all the details of this prosperous exploitation by means of photographs and specimens. The art bronzes, the objects of jewelry, of goldsmith's work, and of morocco work, the music boxes, Trouve's and Aboilard's electric jewelry, and the retrospective art collections especially attracted the attention of the public.—La Nature.
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A NEW MODE OF TESTING THE ECONOMY OF THE EXPENSES OF MANAGEMENT IN LIFE INSURANCE.
How to determine the general ratios of the expenses of management of life insurance companies has hitherto been an unsettled question, and I think no serious attempt has been made before my own to study this question exhaustively, and reach a scientific conclusion.
Believing that, one is contained in the following statement, I respectfully submit it to the criticism of others.
It has generally been taken for granted that the measure of economy of life insurance expenses may be expressed by the single ratio of expenses to one feature of the business, such as the premium income, or the total income (premium and interest), or the mean amount of all policies outstanding. But this is not the case. No exhaustive reason has been shown for preferring one of these bases of ratio to another, and, indeed, no reason well supported by argument has been shown for employing either. On the other hand, no better evidence is needed of the importance of establishing a uniform and demonstrably sound basis, than the fact that it is common for companies to refute one another's claims to superior economy, and totally confuse the public, by opposing ratios found in one way by ratios found in another—that one of two companies which appears the most economical according to one test being apparently the least so according to another.
The economy of the expense of any transaction, or work, can only be intelligently judged by the value of the result. This truth is too well recognized to need illustration, and it only needs to be called to mind, to perceive both the error of ratios of expense based on premium, which is not the result but the raw material, so to speak, of insurance transactions; and what, on the contrary, the true basis is.
It is thus clear that in insurance the economy of expense must be judged, not by comparison with the premiums paid, but by comparison specifically with the resulting advantages in fact secured by such payments. Now these are of two kinds: which may be called the insurance advantage and the investment advantage.
(1) Each death claim paid is an insurance advantage, though it is so only to the extent of the excess of the amount of the policy which has become a claim over its premium reserve, or value, for the latter being the balance (with interest) of the policy holder's own premium money, could have been left or secured to his representatives without the intervention of the policy and company.
It is true that the advantage or benefit of insurance does not consist in adding anything to the wealth of a company, but only consists in drawing from the premiums paid into its treasury by the policy holders generally, to meet each death claim which arises; or can only be called an advantage of distribution, or process of collecting aid from the living members, to assist the representatives or dependents of the deceased ones; but it is not the less on this account an advantage worth same expense in securing.
(2) Interest realized by the investment of premium while it is in the keeping of a company is an advantage; in every sense so, since it comes wholly from outside sources, and accrues proportionally to all members; it may be called, as above, the investment advantage, and of course justifies some expense to secure it.
Hence the expenses incurred by any company in a given; time must be divided into two parts, one being the expense incidental to insurance, and the other that incidental to investment, which parts are to be compared respectively with the insurance claims met, and interest receipts of the company for the same time; or what is equivalent in the latter case, the net rate of interest earned after deducting the incidental investment expense may be found.
When this process shows that one company has earned a higher rate of interest than another, at the same time that its insurance expenses bear a lower ratio to its insurance claims paid, there is no escape from the conclusion that during the period under observation it has served its policy-holders more economically, and the test is therefore scientific. Though, if one company shows a higher rate of interest, while the other shows a lower ratio of insurance expense, it will still be necessary, to complete the test, to equate either the rates of interest or the ratios of insurance expense (it does not practically matter which), and note how this affects the relation of the duly corrected ratios on the other score.
To be exact, if the average vitality of the members of the two companies differ (other things being equal, it is always cheapest to belong to that company which has the lowest death rate), the ratios of insurance expense to expected, as well as actual, claims of each must be found, and equated.
The science of this procedure, or mode of testing expenses, and also its practical simplicity, may be more clearly perceived by reference to its practical application in the following table:
Table Exhibiting Ratio of Expense, Determined by the New Mode, of Companies Doing Business in Massachusetts during the Year 1883. Expense Net Rate per $100 of of claims interest Death Estimated Difference Expense paid. Interest Expense earned. Name of Company. Loca- claims Premiums. or Net on the - Receipts. on the tion. paid. Reserve Insurance score of R R score of R R thereon. furnished. Insurance. a a investment. a a t n t n e. k. e. k. - - - - - - - -+ - - Berkshire Mass. $208,147 $46,605 $161,524 $122,779 75.4 14 $194,067 $15,809 5.25 16 John Hancock " 169,604 25,117 144,487 228,566 158.2 24 135,597 11,686 3.65 26 Mass. Mutual " 426,995 86,215 340,780 232,400 68.2 10 428,255 33,176 6.03 7 N. England Mutual " 1,039,694 235,630 804,064 311,879 38.8 3 995,883 69,908 6.40 4 State Mutual " 121,969 22,493 99,476 98,839 99.4 19 143,751 13,057 4.51 24 AEtna Conn. 1,302,807 364,510 938,297 460,014 49.0 6 1,760,372 118,962 6.22 5 Connecticut General " 87,639 15,624 72,015 46,113 64.0 9 95,580 5,407 7.03 1 " Mutual " 2,867,489 881,600 1,985,889 622,941 31.4 1 3,041,125 238,944 5.70 10 Equitable N.Y. 3,072,232 483,950 2,588,282 1,884,108 72.8 12 2,743,024 216,725 5.42 12 Germania " 606,072 149,950 456,122 325,662 71.4 11 508,702 47,193 4.85 22 Home " 205,921 48,603 157,318 155,192 98.6 18 260,506 19,917 4.86 21 Homoeopathic " 35,610 6,340 29,270 48,734 166.5 25 42,814 2,935 6.20 6 Manhattan " 687,171 183,450 503,721 266,305 44.9 5 627,628 44,081 5.82 8 Metropolitan " 638,639 18,322 620,317 1,161,893 187.3 26 106,916 9,098 4.90 20 Mutual Life " 5,172,275 1,407,700 3,764,575 1,480,198 39.3 4 5,042,964 466,739 5.01 19 Mutual Benefit N.J. 2,160,991 550,890 1,610,101 521,829 32.4 2 2,072,629 169,913 5.61 11 National Vt. 174,767 29,127 145,640 77,861 53.5 7 149,010 10,100 5.26 15 New York Life N.Y. 2,408,636 574,150 1,834,484 1,995,102 108.8 21 2,676,592 236,884 5.03 18 Northwest'n Mutual Wis. 990,692 190,500 800,192 630,582 78.8 15 1,200,001 88,527 5.80 9 Penn. Mutual Penn. 601,625 107,600 494,025 309,858 62.7 8 463,567 37,131 5.38 13 Provident Life and Trust " 280,817 49,865 230,952 222,665 96.4 17 340,115 33,294 4.26 25 Provident Savings N.Y. 24,875 1,828 23,047 51,608 233.9 27 4,955 2,579 1.70 27 Travelers' Conn. 235,001 42,243 192,758 144,621 75.0 13 331,623 22,476 6.42 3 Union Mutual Maine 377,547 88,520 289,027 237,913 82.3 16 301,499 28,754 4.66 23 United States N.Y. 283,304 69,245 214,059 277,919 129.8 23 271,594 23,460 5.09 17 Vermont Vt. 13,000 1,542 11,458 13,613 118.8 22 12,917 822 5.33 14 Washington N.Y. 356,289 71,820 284,469 289,461 101.8 20 446,998 32,249 6.78 2 + - - - - - - - - - Totals $24,549,808 $5,753,439 $18,796,369 $12,177,655 64.8 $24,398,684 $1,999,826 5.42
Collective Business of Assessment Societies Doing Business in the State (excepting Secret Societies).
46 Societies $735,383 $237,770 32.3 -
[Footnote 7: Including industrial business.]
[Footnote 8: Includes $18.867 depreciation.]
The figures given in this table are drawn from the last annual report of the Insurance Commissioner of Massachusetts, excepting the premium reserve on death claims, which, as well as the division of the total expenses of each company into insurance and investment expenses, I have estimated on a uniform rule. This was for lack of the actual data in these particulars, which the report did not give, as it is desirable that future ones may.
This, however, does not injure the value of the table for illustrating the mode of procedure, for which purpose mainly it is presented. The companies whose figures I have used, moreover, have no occasion to complain of this, as my estimate certainly gives all ratios of insurance expense lower than they would appear if I had known, and used, the exact actual premium reserve on death claims, and all probably bear nearly the same ratio to each other as they would in that case.
As the object of this statement is to explain the new method, and not to defend my particular estimates in applying it, I forbear to state on what rules I have made them. Expense which is not ascribed to insurance must be ascribed to investment, and as in comparing any two companies, their two ratios of one kind or the other must be equated, to decide the question of economy between them, it may well be left to any company to say what the fair division of its own expenses is.
Moreover, there can be but little motive to make a false division; for to successfully compete for business, a company having large investments has as much need to show a high net rate of interest earned as a low rate of insurance expense. Again, it is not my purpose to pass judgment on the economy or extravagance of any ratio of expense shown in the table. It is not a fact exhibited for the first time by my figures, that the ratios of some companies are more than double those of others. The same fact would be displayed in about as high a degree by ratios based on premium income, or any other incorrect basis. Custom, the balance of opinions, and competition may well be left to decide what ratios of expense are high, and what are average, or low. And their decision is to be gathered only from statistics.
What I do claim is that the mode of determining ratios herein explained is the only intelligible and scientific one, and the only one proper to employ in statistical tabulations and investigations.
As such, it calls attention to the fact that the amount of insurance claims met, and of interest receipts, are limits which the corresponding expenses cannot exceed, certainly for a series of years together, without making the expense more than the advantage of the business. To keep this fact in view, as a preventive of extravagance, is not the least valuable service the new mode may render. It may be seen that there are eight cases in the table, in which the ratio of insurance expense points to expenses exceeding the insurance claims met in the same time, yet the reader need not hasten to conclude that the same companies will permanently show similar ratios, or have no good reasons to give for the ones which now appear. I may remark, however, that it is an evidence of the scientific mode in which the figures are presented, that it facilitates such explanations as are pertinent of any of the ratios.
For instance, some of the ratios are undoubtedly affected by the fact that the claims for the year of the company in question have been exceptionally high or low, or that the company (being of recent organization perhaps) has just incurred exceptional expense to increase its business, the advantage of which will appear later, etc. But I leave to the companies themselves to show to what extent such circumstances have affected their ratios; except that, in regard to the several net rates of interest earned, it is proper to say that in all cases in which they considerably exceed the average of 5.42 per cent. it will be found, by referring to the details of interest receipts reported to the Commissioner, that the excess is owing to the fact of exceptional profits by the sale of stocks, or recovery on investments previously reckoned as loss.
WALTER C. WRIGHT.
Medford, Mass., Sept., 1884.
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