I promise something more substantive soon…but in the meantime, revel in the weirdness that is/was/will be the U.S. Senate:
Mr. Lumpkin presented the petition of Boyd Reilly, praying Congress to purchase the right to use his invention for the application of vapor or gas to the human body, in the medical departments of the army and navy, and in the penitentiaries of the United States; which was referred to the Committee on Naval Affairs.
~Senate Journal, 25-3, 19 December 1838, p.55.
No, I have no idea, either.
Image cite: Photos8.com, “War Gas Mask by Photos8.com,” Flickr, CC License