Ergot should be kept in stoppered bottles in order to preserve it from the attacks of a species of mite, and to prevent the oxidation of its fatty oil.
Van Leeuwenhoek discovered bacteria, and it was soon found that however carefully organic matter might be protected by screens, or by being placed in stoppered receptacles, putrefaction set in, and was invariably accompanied by the appearance of myriads of bacteria and other low organisms. As knowledge of microscopic forms of life increased, so the apparent possibilities of abiogenesis increased, and it became a tempting hypothesis that whilst the higher forms of life arose only by generation from their kind, there was a perpetual abiogenetic fount by which the first steps in the evolution of living organisms continued to arise, under suitable conditions, from inorganic matter.
The substance is weighed into a small stoppered bottle, which is then placed beneath the mouth of the barometer tube.
Solids may be directly admitted to the tube from a weighing bottle, while liquids are conveniently introduced by means of small stoppered bottles, or, in the case of exceptionally volatile liquids, by means of a bulb blown on a piece of thin capillary tube, the tube being sealed during the weighing operation, and the capillary broken just before transference to the apparatus.