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Scott Martin
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Posts: 11377
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 09-20-2015 01:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

June 6, 1896
pg 822


To the Editor of the Medical Record

SIR: I recently addressed a note to the Gorham Manufacturing Company, silversmiths, of your city, directing attention to the wide variation in the capacity of teaspoons and asking if a pattern of uniform and definite capacity could not be adopted by the silversmiths ‘Of the country. This seems almost too much of a trifle to bring to the notice Of your distinguished journal, but insomuch as teaspoons are the universal standard, in domestic use, of measuring doses, and as they vary between the colonial spoon of one drachm and the modern spoon (tea) of two drachms, it might be of sufficient importance, as a matter of convenience to the profession, to invite some co-operation in an effort to obtain a teaspoon of standard capacity. It is manifestly unsafe, at present, to direct doses of a teaspoonful when there is so great a difference as a Drachm in the contents. I have measured probably three hundred teaspoons during the past two years and have found that most of those of recent design hold one and one-half drachms, some two drachms, and none one drachm excepting the very old and rare spoons.

ILION, N. Y., May 18, 1896.

The Druggists' Circular and Chemical Gazette
July 1896
pg 1


In our June issue the story was told of a doctor who exhibited at a Society meeting, a “pocketful of spoons” of such diverse sizes that some were five times as large as others. Since then, we find in the Medical Record a letter from Dr. D. E. Walker, calling attention to the same subject. He says that he has measured probably three hundred teaspoons, during the past two years, and has found that most of those of recent make hold a dram-and-a-half, some of them two drams, and that none are of one dram capacity, that variety being limited to very old and rare Spoon Spoons.

The doctor points out the manifest unsafety of directing doses by the teaspoonful, when so great a difference exists 1n the capacity of the domestic utensil by which the intended quantity is to be measured.

He has suggested to a prominent firm of silversmiths the adoption by manufacturers generally of a common standard for teaspoons as to measure, but We can hardly hope that this suggestion will secure the desired end. The fact that spoons are primarily intended for purposes other than medicine-taking naturally throws that feature of their usefulness into the background.

The use of the measuring glass is the best way out of the difficulty, but, as we have said before, its general adoption can scarcely be hoped for.

The final resource, as we have also said, is for the physician to look to the various spoons used by his patients and govern himself accordingly in directing his doses. This is easy enough to do when his visits are made to the patient; not so easy when the patient visits the doctor; but a word of warning then may answer, at least in a measure, to Secure the end in View.

The pharmacist, too, may often help to secure accuracy in this regard by a timely warning to his customers, but, in such cases, it would of course be necessary for him to make Sure that the doctor had not anticipated him in the way we have suggested and adapted his dose to some modern variety of spoon of more than the ancient average capacity.

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