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Almost every medicinal substance taken in
excess becomes injurious. Just so, a
superabundance of ozone, acting immediately upon
the mucous membranes as an agent of
oxydation, would produce inflammation in the

From these different observations, it would
result that, in hospital wards or sick rooms
occupied by cholera patients, sticks of phosphorus,
half immersed in water, should be
kept exposed in open vessels; the same
preservative measure should also be adopted in
every dwelling-house, in case of any visitation
of cholera, in order to generate a perceptible
and notable quantity of ozone in every
inhabited place within the affected district.

For the grand mass of the population,
enjoying its usual state of health, their
protection from the sources of pestilence, after they
have done all they can to protect themselves,
must come from the grand operations of
nature, as destined by Providence for that
benevolent purpose. When lightning is
produced by the opposite electricities of two
clouds, there is thunder; that is, there is a
loud noise occasioned by the vibration of the
air which is cleft and shattered by the passage
of the electric fluid. When lightning is
the result of the combination of the electricity
of a cloud with the opposite electricity of
bodies on the surface of the earth, the flash
strikes the ground, or, in popular language,
the thunderbolt falls. This phenomenon
frequently happens; and all those who have
witnessed it at short distances invariably
speak of the odour which spreads itself
around the stricken spot. Wafer, who was
surgeon on board Dampier's ship, relates that
when he traversed the Isthmus of Darien,
the squalls which he encountered were
accompanied by lightning and by loud claps of
thunder, and that then the air was infected
with a sulphurous smell strong enough to
choke respiration, especially in the midst of a
wood. When the ship (the Montague) was
struck by lightning, in seventeen hundred
and ninety-four, there was such a strong
smell that the vessel seemed to be nothing
but a mass of smoking sulphur. The same
comparisons were made when the packet, the
New York, of five hundred tons, was twice
struck by lightning on the nineteenth of
April, eighteen hundred and twenty-seven.
De Romas proved himself a more exact
observer, when he compared the smell of
lightning to that given out by electric batteries.
If any further doubt remained that the
nauseous and penetrating odour of air
traversed by lightning was owing to the
formation of ozone, if would be completely removed
by the declaration of Monsieur Buchwalder,
a Swiss engineer, whose functions often
called him to the highest peaks of the Alps. One
day he happened to be on the summit of the
Senlis, near Appenzel, reposing together
with his servant beneath a little tent pitched
on the snow, when they were suddenly both
enveloped in a sheet of lightning which was
flashing about in all directions. The servant
was killed on the spot, and immediately
afterwards the tent was filled with a very
strong and very peculiar smell. At a subsequent
period, Monsieur Buchwalder paid a visit to
Monsieur Schœnbein, just as he was making
experiments with ozone, whose odour then
pervaded the laboratory. The chemist was
not a little surprised to hear the engineer
declare, that he perfectly recognised the
odour as exactly the same which he had
smelt in his tent on the summit of the

It is also found that ozone is manifested, in
very decided quantity, over sheets of water,
as might have been expected. At the
surfaces of contact of either still or running
water with the earth there is a disengagement
of electricity. The earth takes in a
notable excess of negative electricity, and the
water a corresponding excess of positive
electricity. The same phenomenon occurs at
the surface of seas and lakes, where the
evaporation of water is always accompanied
by a chemical disaggregation of the salts
held in solution. We also know that aqueous
surfaces disengage, especially under the
influence of light, a very notable quantity of
oxygen. To comprehend the importance of
the fact, it suffices to call to mind the vast
extent of the oceans, lakes, and rivers, in
comparison with the inferior area of dry land
on our globe. Electricity and oxygen being
thus thrown together in their nascent state,
it is easy to understand the quantity of
ozone that must be formed under such
favourable conditions.

It is some consolation to know that these
wide-spread and various sources of
disinfection do exist; for, whether it be ozone
from thunder-storms, whether ozone from gentler
electric currents, or whether ozone from the
surface of rivers and seas, it is quite clear
that London will stand in need of a liberal
(not an excessive) supply of ozone during the
interval of time which will elapse between
the publication of this paper and the
effectual purification of the Thames.


MY name is Herbert Brown, and my calling
and profession is that of a maker of
poems; however incredible it may appear to
mere money-spinners and prosaic persons of
all sorts, I am perfectly convinced, that I was
born for that express end and object, and any
attempt at persuading me to the contrary
will be thrown away. I don't flatter myself
that I am A bit of a poet; I don't consider
that I have A very pretty talent for making
verses; I don't amuse myself in iny leisure
hours with Culling a chaplet for my brows
from Olympus' top, and wooing the bashful
muse; I cannot find words to express my

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