is formed by the action of the sun's rays on a mixture of chlorine and marsh gas; also by the action of caustic potash on chloral or chloracetic acid, or by the action of nascent hydrogen on tetrachloride of carbon. It is prepared on a large scale by distilling water and alcohol with bleaching powder. Chloroform is a colorless, mobile, heavy, ethereal liquid.
The vapor of chloroform, when inhaled for some time, produces a temporary insensibility to pain. Inhaled in small doses it produces pleasurable inebriation, followed by drowsiness; in larger doses it causes loss of voluntary motion, suspension of mental facilities, with slight contraction of the muscles and rigidity of the limbs; then if the inhalation is continued a complete relaxation of the voluntary muscles takes place, but if carried too far it causes dangerous symptoms of apnoea or of syncope, and the patient must be restored by artificial respiration.
Entry from Everybody's Cyclopedia, 1912.