Medicine: Sodium Rhodanate

Professor Wilder Dwight Bancroft, 67-year-old Cornell University chemist, dislikes doctors as scientists. His immediate reason is that they refuse to concede that he has discovered an elixir of long life, a panacea for insomnia, alcoholism and sciatica, a preventive of "nervous breakdowns," hardening of the arteries and common colds, a cure for manic depressive insanity and epilepsy.

Identity of his four-powered substance is sodium rhodanate, a crystallized compound of soda, sulphur and cyanide, otherwise called sodium thiocyanate.

Professor Bancroft's thesis is that the thread-like nerve ends clot when exhausted by wakefulness or worry or poisoned by sedatives, hypnotics, narcotics, anesthetics or alcohol. He...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!