Preparation of them - These directions are of the utmost value in connexion with the Domestic Pharmacopoeia (906) Diseases (1212), Prescriptions (1273) and Poisons (2261). They will be found must important Jot cmigrans, attendants upon the sick, and persons who reside out of the reach of medical aid, sailors, etc, etc. They contain instructions not only for the compounding of medicines, but most useful hints and cautions upon the application of leeches, blisters, poultices, etc. (Sec 158, 1714, 2186, 3313.)
2654. A pestle and mortar of glass or Wedgwood ware, a glass funnel, and glass stirring rods.
2655. A spatula or flexible knife for spreading ointments, making pills, etc.
2656. A set of scales and weights.
2657. A small slab of marble, slate or porcelain, for making pills upon, mixing ointments, etc.
Weights - When you open your box containing the scales and weights, you will observe that there are several square pieces of brass, of different sizes and thicknesses, and stamped with a variety of characters. These are the weights, which we will now explain.
2659. Medicines are made up by troy weight, although drugs are bought by avoirdupois weight, and of course you know that there are only twelve ounces to the pound troy, which is marked lb.; then each ounce, which contains eight drachms, is marked 3i.; each drachm containing three scruples, is marked i.; and each scruple of twenty grains is marked i. The grain weights are marked by little circles, each circle signifying a grain.
Besides these weights, you will find others marked Dss, which means half a scruple; 3ss, meaning half a drachm; and 3ss, meaning half an ounce. When there are ounces, drachms, or scruples, the number of them is shown by Roman figures, thus: - i. ii. iii. iv. v., etc.,and prescriptions are written so.
Liquid medicines are measured by the following table: -
8 fluid drachms. 16 fluid ounces.
contained in and the signs when distingmsn each are as follows; - c, means a gallon; o, a pint; /3, a fluid ounce; /3, a fluid drachm; and in, a minim.
1 fluid drachm. . .1 fluid ounce .. 1 pint. . 1 gallon.
2661. Formerly drops used to be ordered, but as the size of a drop must necessarily vary, minims are always directed to be employed now, for any particular medicine, although for such medicines as oil of cloves, essence of ginger, etc, drops are frequently ordered.
2662. In order that we may measure medicines accurately, there are graduated glass vessels for measuring ounces, drachms, and minims.
2663. When proper measures are not at hand, it is necessary to adopt some other method of determining the quantities required, and therefore we have drawn up the following table for that purpose: -
A wineglass. .. A tablespoon.. A dessertspoon A teaspoon....
usually contains about
.. 10 ounces. . 6 "
.. 2 "
.. 5 drachms. .. 3 " .. 1 "
Some persons keep a medicine-glass, which is graduated so as to show the number of spoonfuls it contains.