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Were carbolic acid and hydrogen peroxide used as antiseptics in the post–Civil War West?  Dates of use?

Frank Coombs

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Dear Mr. Coombs,   Hydrogen peroxide had been known since 1818—although a process for mass-producing it in pure form had to wait until 1894—and carbolic acid’s properties had been known since at least 1865. Therefore, those antiseptics may well have found their way “out west,” depending on the doctor’s credentials and the means of transport to make them available.



Jon Guttman
Research Director
World History Group
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