12 June 2008
BEAUMONT, William (1785-1853). Experiments and Observations on the Gastric Juice and the Physiology of Digestion. Plattsburgh: F. P. Allen, 1833.
8o (223 x 135 mm). 3 wood-engraved text illustrations. (Some foxing throughout.) Original cloth-backed drab boards, printed paper spine label (label shipped, wear to joints); cloth folding case.
FIRST EDITION OF "THE MOST IMPORTANT STUDY OF DIGESTION BEFORE PAVLOV" (Garrison-Morton). Alexis St. Martin, a French-Canadian voyager, "had a hole blown into his stomach by the accidental discharge of a musket loaded with duck-shot. The permanent gastric fistula or 'window' that this wound left in St. Martin's abdomen enabled Beaumont to make the first accurate scientific study of the physiological processes of gastric digestion... His researches established the presence and role of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, the temperature of the stomach during digestion, the movement of the stomach walls, and the relative digestibility of certain foods, all findings that revolutionized current theories of the physiology of digestion" (Grolier Medicine). Dibner Heralds of Science 130; Garrison-Morton 989; Grolier American 38; Grolier/Horblit 10; Grolier Medicine 61; Heirs of Hippocrates 1141; Norman 152; Osler 1972; Milestones of Science 19; Waller 805; Wellcome II, p.123.
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