IVO HAANSTRA. 2010. Blue Henry: The Almost Forgotten Story of the Blue Glass Sputum Flask. UK: Cortex Design 978-0954919689
Added by: Frank A (25 Jan 2013 11:08:14 UTC) Last edited by: Frank A (04 Feb 2013 00:45:16 UTC)
|Resource type: Book
ID no. (ISBN etc.): 978-0954919689
BibTeX citation key: Haanstra2010
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|Categories: General, Glass Technology, Scientific / Laboratory, Thematic Glass
Publisher: Cortex Design (UK)
Views index: 24%
Popularity index: 6%
|URLs 1. Book details, 2. Publishers site|
While the book is about the flasks, these are used to introduce several interesting sidelines, anecdotes, historical facts, medical information and crazy patents, all of which lead to an examination of the serious worldwide (and wide-scale) problems of TB, MRTB and XRTB.
Blue Henry explores the fascinating history of tuberculosis and the changing insight in cures and prevention in the 19th and 20th centuries. This is a book that is sure to appeal to medical historians, practitioners and collectors. A Grim Subject... But a fascinating history. It also serves to remind us how lucky we are to have such advanced medical science to protect us - but are we?
I suspect that some people might be bemused by the title so I would like to take the opportunity to explain a little.
Those interested in books purely about glass might be wary of buying - after all we are only dealing with one utilitarian glass item here, rather like the history of the milk bottle or the test tube. But a book on test tubes or milk bottles could never carry such drama, such panic, so much human interest as the history of this little flask.
Those interested in medical history may think the book is only about bottles. It is not. The book is about the beginning of the end of the tuberculosis pandemic which killed millions of people; about war and cynicism; about the sanatorium movement; about doctors with inflated egos; about the plight of consumptives and about famous people who were as much affected as the poor.
I thoroughly enjoyed the writing and the research. And yes, I admit - the subject is at times quaint, sometimes bizarre, occasionally macabre but always intriguing. Ultimately however, it shows science and society addressing a deadly illness that still kills today.