Nitrous oxid was discovered by Priestley1 in 1774, and its anesthetic properties by Sir Humphrey Davy2 in 1800. The first attempt to measure the amount of the gas in dog's blood during anesthesia was made by Jolyet and Blanche3 in 1873, a full century after Priestley's discovery. Oliver and Garrett,4 1893, were the first to analyze all the gases of the blood of the dog, comparing the gas distribution before and during nitrous oxid anesthesia. Unfortunately, their results are subject to serious question, and have not been fully confirmed. In the meantime, thousands of nitrous oxid gas anesthesias were performed, and a large body of symptomatic data was developed before the determination of the scientific physiochemical facts on which their explanation rests. The delay was due in no small measure to the difficulties of method.
The ingenious and very workable micro-apparatus of Van Slyke,5 1914, for blood gas analysis has