Medicine: Cotton v. Catgut

A new excuse for growing cotton was put forward in the South last week. Dr. Edward Willam Alton Ochsner, highly respected surgeon of Tulane University, wrote Governor Thomas Bailey of Mississippi that cotton is the best material for stitching up wounds.

Doctors at the New Orleans Charity Hospital had found that wounds stitched together with "ordinary cotton thread" were less likely to become infected than those sutured with catgut or silk. Another advantage: cotton is not absorbed and will hold when a wound takes a long time to heal—catgut may disappear in a little over a week, especially if a...