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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 73.djvu/165

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161
SOILED PAPER MONEY

three or four other species were observed. No animal inoculations were made.

Writing on "Money as a Carrier of Infection,"[1] in 1895, C. I. Wendt says: "A thoughtful man and careful student will want some positive information on this subject." He reports upon the experiments of Professor Bolton, on coins, showing that when a coin is placed in the center of a sterile Petri dish, and agar which has been inoculated with pathogenic organisms is poured over it, the medium immediately surrounding the coin reveals no growth, but remains sterile, due to the slight solution of copper, as shown by the potassium ferro-cyanide reaction. These experiments should prove of some interest and value by setting at rest any fears which might have been entertained as to the power of coins to act as carriers of disease germs, and by reason of grease and dirt on them, to allow of bacterial growth.

Thus we see that this subject has received no truly scientific study, and those investigations that have been made show little or no merit. Of the various forms of bacteria found upon the dirty bills only Bacillus subtilis was identified, and no trace of any pathogenic forms could be found, through either cultures or animal experiments. Inoculations were made in only a few cases, and these all proved negative. In the study upon coins no attempt was made to find what forms of bacteria are common on them, and the results given above do not show coins to be incapable of carrying disease germs, but merely indicate that coins placed in certain media yield enough copper for solution to prevent the growth of bacteria. Coins, as we handle them, do not usually have moisture upon them, and the dry alloy has no antiseptic action; so we should expect to^ find some bacteria upon coins, as on the bills.

My attention was first called to the present agitation for clean money by articles appearing in the New Haven Register and other papers, some weeks after the beginning of this study. Reference was made to "Clean Money Morrison," whom I found on inquiry to be A. Cressy Morrison, of New York, and the origin of all the articles in the daily press and magazines of the country, to be his pamphlet "Clean Money—Can We Have It? If Not, Why?" Inquiring of Mr. Morrison for reference to any work that he might have done along this line, I was referred to an enclosed copy of his pamphlet and circular letter. This pamphlet was "offered to a carefully selected list of 1,000 of the leading newspapers and magazines of the country, . . . and, with a view to the great value of simultaneous publication, a date of release was placed upon the article, . . . it being presented for editorial comment, judgment and criticism, with the hope that all or part of it be printed."

  1. Hahnemannian Institute, Philadelphia, Vol. II., No. 4, p. 4, February, 1895.