In a recent letter from one of our correspondents, it was ELSserted that Prof. A. J. Bellows had charged that the preparation for raising bread, patented by Prof. Horsford, was poisonous in its nature, that it was simply phosphorus disorganized, whatever that may mean, and as such, as dangerous as any other poison,etc., etc. To this statement, which we published without comment we say that after taking time to consider the possibility of the occurrence of free phosphorus during any stage of the process from the bones to the bread, we see no room for admitting any such possibility on chemical grounds. Second, we have eaten of bread, pastry, etc., prepared by this method, for months and do not find ourselves poisoned so far as we are able to discern. Third, the testimony of many eminent chemists, among whom Liebig stands first as undoubted authority on a question of this kind, not only declares it harmless, but beneficial to health. And we have no hesitation in saying that all statements to the contrary have no scientific or practical foundation, and they could not be made by a scientific chemist, who, in addition to learning, possessed that other essential of reliable judgment—candor. Do Animals Think ? We have been asked to give our opinion upon this subject which has been recently debated in Tennessee. There has been no doubt in the minds of many eminent thinkers and observers that animals think and reason. We fully coincide in this belief, and think that a careful examination of their habits and acts will convince any candid observer that they are not wholly, although doubtless to a great extent, governed by instinct. Those to whom our columns are familiar will recollect a number of articles containing facts which go to prove the reasoning power of animals. The Board of Trade of St. Louis has appointed a committee of twelve to raise by subscription $120,000 to build an iron sea-going propeller to inaugurate direct trade between St. Louis and foreign ports. The vessel will be of 1,000 tuns capacity, and will not draw over six feet when light. It is stated that one hour after the gas of London is lighted the air is deoxidized as much as if 500,000 people had been added to the population.
This article was originally published with the title "Prof. Horsford's Method for Making Bread" in Scientific American 21, 10, 152 (September 1869)