Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Reports of Visits to Foreign Laboratories, vol. 7 (1932-33) [Illustrated Typoscript in 7 volumes] Reproduced with the kind permission of Dr. Cecil E. Leith
Benedict, Francis Gano
Lg-bpyatoire de la Société Scientifique d*Hygiene Alimentaire 
et d1Alimentation Rationnelle de l'Homme. 
Pypfggsor J. Lefèvre. Monsieur J. Alquier, and Mme. Radoin. 
Professor Lefèvre’s apparatus is as imposing, complicated, 
impracticable, and useless as ever. Now he is working with geese. 
He states that the apparatus is working, but I was interested to 
see that he had given up the frightfully expensive electric furnace 
he formerly had to burn the "methane" which he maintained was given 
up by man and geese. He had these furnaces but I found by conversation 
that he had not used them even in studying sheep, when he should have. 
The use of air current to bring away the heat makes possible a self- 
regulating humidity, but the volume of air needed to bring away all 
the heat is tremendous. 
In his apparatus one-fifth (approximately) of the air passes 
through four trains of absorbers for carbon dioxide, which is weighed 
in a closed circuit and the heat brought out by the air current is 
calculated. By passing one-fifth of the air in this way he holds 
the carbon dioxide to a fairly constant level. In other words, 
there is five times more air, if not a greater amount, than is needed 
to hold the carbon dioxide constant. The regulation of the temperature 
is very perfect and it is a real feature of the apparatus. The 
hygrometers used, which were arranged to make electric contacts, thus 
turned dry cool or dry hot air into the chamber. There was a large 
cooling machine and brine tank which was expensive to run. 
On the afternoon that we were first there at a special reception 
Lefèvre gave a description of his apparatus with his usual very 
clear, didactic manner. He was extremely pleased. We had tea in 
the laboratory with Senator David, who I found out was blind. On 
the afternoon of the tea the apparatus was first functioning with a 
man inside reading a paper. When we came back after the tea the man 
was riding a stationary bicycle which was constructed so as to have 
a vertical shift come out on top of the calorimeter and the heat of 
the ergometer was generated outside the calorimeter. The whole 
calorimeter is built upon a tremendous amount of theory, bulky, but 
full of impracticable conceptions. 
I found on another day he was having geese experiments. He 
had no use for "stuffing". He maintained it was not normal., and it 
was not physiological. Lefevre is very strong for the normal phases 
of life. I then suggested, based upon our experience with the 
Rhode Island Red roosters, that he let them fast and then let them 
eat all they will. It was amusing to see how pleased this old chap 
was at this suggestion, i.e., normal self-stuffing. In his experimental 
plan his whole experiment of 2 to 4 hours was based on (1) one 
combined weighing of one-fifth of the carbon dioxide, (2) calculations 
of the remaining four-fifths, and (2) oxygen admitted from a cylinder 
through a gas meter. But there was only one respiratory quotient


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