From Thetis Sept 16, 1893, Mare Island Cal.
[sometimes hard to decipher writing...]
stores received in Medical Dept
Acidum borainum powdered 200 gram bottles gm 200
Acidum gallicum 25 gram bottles 25
Glycerina 200-cc bottles 600
Hydrarg Chlor cowos 100 gram bottles gm 100
Hydrarg Chlor mit 50 gram bottles gm 50
Lanolin gm 500
Pepsina saccharat 50 gram bottles
Potas arsenit liq 100 cc bottles cc 100
Quininia sulph 0.2 gram ful no 600
Quininia sulph 0.1 gram ful no 600
Acid Oralicum gm 100
Ext of beef 120-cc bottles 10
Scissors no 1
Tumeric paper lot 1
Spoons table no 3
Spoons tea no 2
Tub, foot no 1
Envelopes, official no 25
Envelopes, small no 25
Paper, official half sheets per 5
Paper, ruled, note per 5
Pens, steel box 1
Acidum Borainum - isn't something I'm familiar with, but I wonder if it might not have been Acidum Boracicum, which is boric acid. It would have been brought on board as an antiseptic and/or a treatment for athletes foot. It's still widely used in medicine to this day.
Acidum gallicum - more commonly known as gallic acid. used for writing confidential correspondence (invisible ink) and as an ink remover.
Glycerina - Glycerine. This stuff is used for oh so very much cool stuff, from food to medicine to antifreeze. In the case of coming in 200 cc bottles to the medical department, it was probably a base for medicinal tinctures/syrups.
Hydrarg Chlor - First entry is probably Hydrargyrum Chloride. Corros., which would have been old medical shorthand for Corrosive Sublimate of Mercury Chloride. This... is a syphilis treatment that fell out of favor in the mid 1930's when people realized that mercury is incredibly toxic. It's still in use today, but it's used in the manufacture of PVC plastics rather than medicine. Historically, it was also used as an antiseptic, but it would have fallen largely to the wayside by the 1893 outside of the Arab world.
Hydrarg Chlor - Second entry is almost certainly Hydrargyri Chloride Mite, or Mild Mercurous Chloride. Like the corrosive sublimate, it's *incredibly* toxic, but during the late 19th century, it would have been used in medicine as a diuretic and laxative. This particular compound is now extensively used in electro and photochemistry.
Lanolin - This is actually what got me into chemistry when I was younger, because I always saw it proudly advertised on shampoo bottles, and wanted to know what the heck it was. It turns out to be rather less than spectacular, as it's literally the natural grease secreted by sheep into their wool. For a long time it was thought to actually be a fat oil, but it's chemical composition isn't that of a true fat. It's actually a surprisingly singular substance with more cosmetic uses than I can count. However, a half kilo being in a medical department of a navy vessel leads me to believe that this was most likely used to soothe sunburns and other skin damage associated with being at sea for long periods of time.
Pepsina saccharat - This is, in fact, what you probably think it is. Or rather, the precursor to what typically pops into my head when the word Pepsin rears its head in 19th century texts. This stuff is Wine of Pepsin (probably Lieb's Wine of Pepsin, given its popularity) which was basically uncarbonated Pepsi. It would have been used to treat indigestion. If you're a fan of the drink, you really don't want to know how it gets its signature chemical ingredient. It's pretty disgusting, and turned me off drinking Pepsi products for the better part of a decade.
Potas arsenit liq - also known as liquor of potassium arsenite, which is a fancy way of saying it's a thick, distilled liquid made by combining potassium hydroxide and arsenic. It was used to treat a ton of medical issues, from rheumatism to syphilis to leukemia. It was surprisingly effective in treating indigestion and had some commercial success as a hair tonic (it made horse coats glossy and thick, but didn't really work on humans). However, it turns out that it's carcinogenic, and can be a rather painful way to die in the case of accidental overdose (arsenic poisoning isn't a good way to go). It's still widely used today, but only as a way to kill pests of a furry, chitinous, or leafy variety.
Quininia Sulp. - more commonly known today as Quinine Sulfate. This is, to this day, *the* go to treatment for malaria, and is considered one of the single most important medical discoveries in human history (discovered all the way back in 1632, although it wasn't extracted as a unique chemical until almost 200 years later!). In addition to malaria, it's also used to treat lupus and arthritis, and until recently was used as a treatment for restless leg syndrome. That last bit changed when the FDA issued a warning essentially stating that taking it for restless leg syndrome could be fatal. Fun fact about quinine: it's the reason why tonic water tastes the way it does, and glows a bright blue under ultraviolet light. Fun fact number 2: it's an ingredient in my ancestral homeland's national beverage; IRN-BRU.
Acid of Oralicum: This took me a while to figure out. I think it's referring to Oxalic acid (unless the crew of the Thetis discovered penicillin decades before Fleming). I have absolutely *no* idea why they would have brought it aboard, as the only medical purpose I can fathom for it prior to 1960 is intentionally causing someone's kidneys to fail. Were they perhaps trying to develop a chemical weapon? Or did they figure out the secret to mineral supplement pills 70-ish years early?
Ext of beef - almost certainly beef broth. Kind of a weird way to label it though.
The rest of the stuff on the list is pretty self-explanatory I think.