Covid-19 in 2021 and tuberculosis in 1939

Back in 1939 the advice from Everyone’s Best Friendon how to avoid contracting pulmonary TB eerily reminds us of the Government’s warnings on the dangers of Covid-19 today.tuberculosis sanatorium pic

‘ … the sputum usually contains live tubercle bacilli which may be coughed into the air and inhaled by others. Direct contact with  some other infected person can often be traced when a new case occurs. In a child it is often one of the parents, or some other member of the family who has handed on the disease. Nurses in tuberculosis sanatoria are liable to contract the disease from their patients. In London cases of tuberculosis must be notified, and the tuberculosis officer arranges for their removal from households in which there is known tuberculosis. In France an attempt is being made the raise the resistance of children by inoculations with what is known as the B.C.G vaccine. This vaccine is used to vaccinate the children of tuberculous parents, and other children who are likely to be brought into contact with the disease. The value of this vaccination has not yet been proved as it is still too recent a discovery.

All children from doubtful households, as for instance where one parent has had tuberculosis, should be examined at intervals, and if the tuberculin test which is made to discover susceptibility to the disease is positive, the child should be removed to some place of safety.  

However, we at Jot HQ are a little puzzled at the statement that ‘the prevention and cure’ of TB ‘have been taken well in hand ‘. Continue reading

Anonymous book donor revealed

Found in a collection of ephemera this intriguing typed letter from the long vanished New York bookshop Tessaro's. The shop was in Maiden Lane which appears to have been a kind of bookseller's row. The address later housed a rare bookshop called Sabin's. Tessaro's was formerly called Rohde and Haskins who had dabbled in publishing at the dawn of the 20th century.

The letter deals with a request for the identity of the anonymous donor of a book from the recipient - a nurse (presumably) at The General Hospital at Fox Hills.  The shop decided ('we'll take a chance') to reveal the donor's identity. Significantly he was a soldier, as Fox Hills was a very large Army hospital dealing at that time with WW1 casualties. There the story ends. It would be nice to add 'and reader she married him.' The bookshop as go-between must be uncommon and in our cautious times it might not reveal the donor, or possibly send on the request to the donor for permission…

Dear Madam 
Acknowledging receipt of your note of 28th July we would say we do not know that the sender of the book desired it to be known who sent it, but we'll take a chance and say to you, in confidence, that it was mailed to you on the order of Lieut. G.C. Anderson.
Yours very truly,

Fox Hill Nursing Staff (1921) from
Advance Archive Photos (many thanks)