The value of linseed oil and cotton, for burns has long been known. Here is a case of its use, which shows the danger ot binding it too closely, when placed upon a wound : a child, in Fredericton, N. B., a short time since, burned its leg against a stove; the mother im mediately applied linseed oil and cotton- wool, with a tight bandage over all; in a short time the screams of the child induced the mother to remove the bandage, when it was discover ed that the cotton-wool had taken fire and had considerably increased the size of the burn. The reason of this spontaneous combustion was the free exposure of the oiled surface to the atmosphere. Oils and grease spread over an extensive surface, and exposed freely to the atmosphere, oxydize so rapidly as to en gender great heat, and ignition, producing what is termed” spontaneous combustion.” Oiled cotton put on burns, or used for any pur pose, should be secluded from the atmosphere. The Postmaster General in his report states that” the service between New York and Washington, though much improved, is still defective and unsatistactory. The endeavors to improve this service, have been rendered abortive by a want of unity among the rail. road companies running between Philadelphia and New York.-i These railroads are the Jersey ones then; what an accommodating set they must be.
This article was originally published with the title "Burns and Spontaneous Combustion" in Scientific American 8, 14, 107 (December 1852)