Since 1874, when Professor Kolbe, of Leipsic, first published his results on the antiseptic action of salicylic acid, he has made many efforts to apply this acid to the preservation of meat, but he has invariably found that after the lapse of a few days an unpleasant flavor has been developed, which is not that of putridity. If putrid changes be noticed, it is a sign that salicylic acid is in insufficient quantity, for where it has turned putrid the meat is found to be no longer acid, but alkaline. This leads to the assumption that meat is protected from change by acids, even by gases of that kind; and in fact it was noticed that beef--from 2 to 5 kilos. being taken--when placed in an earthen vessel and loosely covered with a wooden cover, was long preserved from putridity if the bottom of the vessel contained some hydrochloric acid, nitric acid, or aqueous sulphurous acid. The meat, however, no longer had the taste of fresh meat, but of such as had long lain in ice. Experiments were therefore made with carbonic acid, and these proved highly successful. The meat was placed in a cylinder of metal plate, and suspended from a rod which crossed the upper part and the lower part. A small tube serves to admit a current of carbonic acid from a Kipp's apparatus.

The lid, which rested in a circular trough of glycerine, was traversed by a similar tube in its center, and both tubes could be closed with India-rubber tubing and screw taps as soon as sufficient carbonic acid gas had traversed the apparatus. At the end of seven, fourteen, and twenty-one days it was found that the meat was still quite good, and the soup prepared from it was in every respect excellent. At the end of the fourth or fifth week the meat thus preserved in the gas was still quite free from all putridity; but the broth prepared from it no longer tasted so well as fresh bouillon. The experiments were not extended over a longer time. Carbonic acid is thus shown to be an excellent means of preserving beef from putridity and of causing it to retain its good taste for several weeks. Mutton does not preserve so well. In eight days it had become putrid; and veal is by no means so well preserved as beef. The comportment of beef in an atmosphere of carbonic acid, to which carbonic oxide has been added, is curious.

A number of cylinders were filled in the usual way with such a mixture and opened at the end of two or three weeks; in each case the flesh had the smell and taste of good, pure meat, but it was not of the gray color which meat preserved in carbonic acid gas gradually takes, but appeared in the interior, as well as on the outside, of a bright flesh-red color, and on the surface here and there, there were white round masses of fungoid growth of the size of a 20-pfenning piece, which were removed with the slightest rubbing. The flesh lying just below these was found to have the same bright red color as that already described. Meat which had been for three weeks in such a gas mixture gave a broth which, in good taste and freshness, could hardly be distinguished from freshly-made bouillon; and the boiled meats could not be distinguished either in appearance or taste. The property of carbonic acid to preserve meat suggests a use for the large supplies of this gas evolved from the earth in many localities.

And it is as interesting to determine in how far the gas could be of service as an antiseptic during surgical operations.