Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1836-1922 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
Newspaper Page Text
'POISON NEEDLE AGITATION IS ALL HYSTERIA
BY HERBERT QUICK.
(Copyright, 1913, by the Newspaper
I'm sure, we are all greatly inter
ested in ttie letter of Miss Nixola
Greeley-Smith on the. "poisoned nee
dle," but I for one desire to fo on
record as-a skeptic.
Have you ever seen the giving of
a hypodermic injection of any sort?
Most people have in these days. The
nurse or. physician has to take be
tween his thumb 'and finger a pinch
of the flesh. Then he carefully in-
Berts' the needle into and through the
And this hurts the patient it hurts
horribly. Sometimes when the pa
tient is suffering some excruciating
agony he does not mind it much, be
cause the leaser hurt of the needle
is swallowed up in the greater pain
of the disease or. injury. But I have
had a hypodermic given me in cold
blood, and when I was. feeling pretty
well, and I can state withont any
qualification that it hurts.
Then the element of time is neces
sary. The piston of the needle has to
be presse'd down and the liquid forced
out into the ,flesh. It doesn't flow out
of its own accord, but has to be
squeezed out. The tissues at the point
of the needle have to be torn apart
by the pressure of the liquid injected.
It takes a moment of time for this
to be done and while the tissues are
being separated the operation hurts.
If it were spirited into the flesh with
an instantaneous thrust, it would
hurt still more if it could be done at
These are mere truisms of common
There is no drug which can be
smeared on the point of a needle, and
pricked into the flesh, which will pro
duce the results described in this poi-soned-needle
hysteria. Any drug so
smeared on a needle would be wiped
off in passing through the clothing.
And there is no such drug.
The poisons Used by the savages
who tip their arrows with venow are
so deadly that they produce death.
That's what they are used for. There
are several virulent poisons which
may be shot into the flesh on an ar
row; but they must go with a con
siderable wound and they kill. A
dead girl is of no use in "The white
Those hysterical people who have
been -deceived by this outcry have
mentioned hyoscine as the drug used;
but no physician has been found who
has not said that a dose of hyoscine
which would stupefy would either kill
or cause a long and deadly illness.
Moreover, its action is quite unlike
the symptoms described.
Please picture yourself, my sensi
ble girl reader, as sitting still while a
hypodermic of anything is given you '
in a street car or theater! Imagine'
yourself, my sympathizing male read
er, sitting with a hatpin jabbed into '
your flesh a quarter or half an inch
without your knowing that some
thing severe was being done to you,1
and just about what it was! 1