The reviewer, suddenly realizing that he saw his first Merck Manual more than 40 years ago, volunteered to review this twelfth edition for Pediatrics, provided the Merck, Sharp and Dohme Company would send him some background information. They did.

From information thus received, it appears that the reviewer's Manual of the late 1920s must have been the 592-page fifth edition. He remembers that it fitted without difficulty into the pocket of his white suit, and was often removed for prompt help with such matters as the conversion of centigrade into fahrenheit, the incubation periods of infectious diseases, the normal values of laboratory tests, the chemical symbols of the less commonly encountered elements, and the caloric values of the common foods.

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