Vorläufige Mittheilung, betreffend Versuche über die Weingährung und Fäulniss;

(Leipzig, Johann Ambrosius Barth, 1837). Without wrappers. In "Annalen der Physik und Chemie. Hrsg. von J.C. Poggendorff", Band 41 No. 5 (= Erstes Stück). 224 pp.(entire issue offered). Schwann's paper: pp. 184-193. Clean and fine.

First printing of Schwann's milestone paper on fermentation and putrefaction in which he shows that is is not air as such that brings about putrefaction in a meat extract but something in the air, which could be destroyed by heat. The "substances " present in air is germs or seeds of moulds and infusoria, and he explains putrefaction as the action of these germs on access to organic material. He further demonstrates that it is the living nature of the agent that creates fermentation, and he presents new evidence for the nature of fermentation. "Schwann was lead to the idea that alcoholic fermentation was related to the metabolism of yeast by his conception that putrefaction was related to the metabolism of live organisms."(DSB XII, p. 242).

"(Schwann) concluded that the processes of putrefaction and fermentation were probably similar in their essence and were due to live agents which obtaineed their sustenance from the fermentible or putrescible materials. It was in the course of these experiments that Schwann discovered and gave an accurate acoount of the yeast plant and its mode of reproducing by budding. In his paper (the paper offered) he anticipated Pasteur's work when he asserted that fermentation of sugar was a chemical decomposition brought about by yeast attacking the sugar and some nitrogen containing substance necessary for its life whereby the elements not used by yeast itself unite to form alcohol. This classical research by him was described by him as 'preliminary' (vorläufige) and at the end of it he promised to return to it. This he did, to a certain extent in his "Mikroskopische Untersuchungen" (1839 - PMM 307 b), and he added new experiments to confirm his view that alcoholic fermentation is due to the activity of the yeast plant."(Bulloch "The History of Bacteriology", pp. 86-87).

Schwann gives the "proof that putrefaction is produced by living bodies. Independently of Cagniard-Latour, Schwann discovered the yeast cell. He is regarded as the founder of the germ theory of putrefaction and fermentation."(Garrison & Morton No. 674).

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