Medicine & Anatomy
(European Space Agency) Bjurstedt, Hilding | Biology and Medicine in Space
First and only edition of this uncommon volume on the biological research opportunities offered by Spacelab, the modular laboratory planned for the Space Shuttle as a joint project of NASA and the ESA. The lab was designed as a collection of components that could be used in various configurations according to the needs of each flight. There were twenty-two major Spacelab missions between 1983 and 1998, with individual components flying on a number of other missions.
The contents explain the areas of opportunity for biologists and medical researchers in orbit, including human calcium metabolism, the cardiovascular system, the senses, and the musculoskeletal system, cell and developmental biology, microbiology, botany, radiobiology, the effects of cosmic rays on organisms, the role of gravity in organogenesis and behaviour, bioengineering, the origin of life on earth, and whether life can exist in other parts of the universe.
As the introduction explains, this volume represents “an invitation to biological, medical, and behavioural investigators in Europe to participate in the planning and execution of experiments in the Spacelabs of the 1980s. These manned, earth-orbiting laboratories will offer a working environment which is biologically unique in its absence of effective gravity, a condition which cannot be produced on earth. Spacelab heralds a new era of opportunity for investigating problems of a fundamental nature, making possible a better understanding of life processes on earth”.
...Research Opportunities offered by Spacelab. Invitation to European Investigators. Edited by Hilding Bjurstedt, First Chairman of ESA Life-Sciences Working group (1974-1977). Paris: European Space Agency, August 1979.
Tall quarto, 56 pages. Original yellow wrappers printed in black and white, stapled. Illustrations and diagrams throughout the text. With two copies of the original order form loosely inserted, one having been cut off at the halfway line for posting. Wrappers lightly rubbed and toned at the edges, with some mild spotting to the lower edge of the upper wrapper. Excellent condition.
19th-Century Chinese Pharmacy Sign
An attractive mid-19th century Chinese pharmacy sign advertising deer musk and turtle-based medications. The wooden sign is carved and lacquered in red and black, and features the original, decorative iron handle.
China, [circa 1850].
Carved wooden hanging sign (67 x 16 cm). Lacquered and with the original decorative iron handle. Some wear, particularly at the ends and sides, and peeling of the lacquer across the face, some rusting of the iron handle which is still strong.
Apothecary Bottle in Wooden Case |
- An attractive glass apothecary bottle in a wooden traveling case, both dating to the late Victorian period.
- Glass apothecary bottle with glass stopper in wooden case, unsigned, circa 1890s. 90 mm in height, 20 mm in diameter. Excellent condition.
Apothecary Bottles |
- A set of three handsome late-Victorian or Edwardian glass apothecary bottles with red frosted labels. The labels indicate that these bottles stored nitric acid and hydrochloric acid.
- 3 late-Victorian or Edwardian glass apothecary bottles with red frosted labels. Each bottle approximately half a litre and 175 mm in height. Slight burn damage to labels of two jars. Excellent condition.
Audios | Early-20th century telescoping ear trumpet in faux tortiseshell
An elegant telescoping ear trumpet produced by the French firm Audios, which specialised in hearing aids during the first half of the 20th century. Like many of their models, this example is made of celluloid designed to mimic tortoiseshell, though it appears from online records that this delicate telescoping model is much less common than the company’s standard makes. This particular ear trumpet is in superb condition, particularly considering the delicate nature of its mouth and the telescoping sections. A superb example of early-20th century audiological design.
France: Audios Marque Deposée, c. 1920s-1930s.
Articulated ear trumpet in tortoiseshell patterned celluloid. The diameter of the mouth is 70mm, the length when closed is 140mm, and the length when fully extended is 300 mm. Audios Marque Deposée ear logo in blind. Superb condition, with just a little minor wear commensurate with use.
Barthez, Paul-Joseph | Nouvelle Méchanique des Mouvements de l'Homme et des Animaux
First edition of this important work in the history of neurophysiology by the French physician Paul-Joseph Barthez (1734-1806), who “demonstrated through very intricate anatomical analysis that the simple hydraulic explanations offered by the iatrochemists (particularly Borelli) would never explain the delicate balance and control of muscles that are needed for such motions as walking and swimming” (Dictionary of Scientific Biography I, p. 479). An attractive copy in contemporary mottled calf.
Carcassonne: Pierre Polere, 1798.
Quarto (258 x 195 mm). Contemporary mottled calf, spine gilt in compartments, red morocco label, triple gilt fillets, gilt turn-ins, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. Small abrasion where an signature has been removed from the verso of the front free endpaper, a few tiny spots to the title and occasionally to the contents. Mild rubbing and scuffing of the binding. An excellent, unsophisticated copy.
Brazier, Mary A. B. | A History of Neurophysiology in the 19th Century
First edition, first printing. Presentation copy inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “For Edward & Marthẽ, my great friends, Mary A. B. Brazier”.
Author Mary Brazier (1904-1995) was an internationally recognised neurophysiologist who also became a respected historian of science in later life. She was educated at Bedford College in London, and did important research on the nervous system, including electrical activity in thyroid disease, nerve injuries, “war neuroses”, and the effects of anaesthesia on the brain. Following the Second World War she worked with Norbert Weiner at MIT, where they developed an analog correlator to analyse EEG and other nerve potentials, then joined the Brain Research Institute at UCLA, where she continued pioneering the use of computers in neurology. “As editor of the important new journal in her field, she published an important bibliography of EEG publications ranging from 1875-1948... Her later work on the history of her field explored these early publications and extended back into the beginning of neurophysiology in the seventeenth century” (Ogilvie, pp. 174-175).
New York: Raven Press, 1988.
Tall quarto. Original burgundy boards, titles to spine gilt. Illustrations throughout the text. Spine very slightly rolled, lower corner bumped. An excellent copy in the lightly rubbed jacket with a short closed split at the bottom of the lower panel and a few tiny creases.
Catalogue and Report of Obstetrical and Other Instruments Exhibited at the Conversazione of the Obstetrical Society of London.
First and only edition of this “key reference source for mid-19th century [obstetrical] instruments. Many of these instruments became incorporated into the Museum of the Obstetrical Society of London, the contents of which became the property of the Royal Society of Medicine, who in turn presented it as a loan collection to the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 1912... Regrettably this outstanding collection was almost totally destroyed by bombing during the Second World War” (Hibbard, The Obstetrician’s Armamentarium pp vii-ix). WorldCat locates a number of institutional copies, but this book is uncommon in trade.
- ...Held, by permission, at the Royal College of Physicians, March 28th, 1866. With numerous illustrations. London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1867. Octavo. Original green pebble grain cloth rebacked with the original spine laid down, title to spine and Obstetrical Society device to upper board gilt, cloth elaborately blocked in blind. Engravings throughout the text. New endpapers, edges of boards and corners worn, some loss of cloth from the head and tail of the original spine, contents fresh. Very good condition.
Giles, Arthur E. | Anatomy and Physiology of the Female Generative Organs and of Pregnancy.
Second edition of this uncommon flap anatomy. Anatomical flapbooks have been popular since the 16th century, but it was the introduction of mechanised printing and chromolithography that made the 19th and early 20th centuries the format’s golden era. This example is by a well-known obstetrician at the Chelsea Hospital for Women, which was opened in 1871 and operated until 1988. It depicts the female reproductive organs and lower gastrointestinal tract, and also includes a static illustration of fetal anatomy and the placenta. The twelve pages of corresponding text are attached to the verso of the upper board so that they can be read while the flaps are viewed. The content includes detailed information on the anatomy of the female pelvis, reproductive organs, the role of menstruation, and changes that take place during pregnancy. Though much of the information is still considered accurate, Giles argues that ovulation probably occurs during menstruation and not, as we now know, about two weeks later.
- ...Second Edition. London: Ballière, Tindall and Cox; George Philip & Son, 1903. Octavo. Original olive boards printed in black, red cloth backstrip. The text gathering is attached to the verso of the upper board and the anatomy flaps are attached to the verso of the lower board. Chromolithographic flaps depicting the female reproductive organs and lower gastrointestinal tract. Small pencilled ownership inscription to the lower board. Boards rubbed and a little marked with a few short splits and nicks, corners bumped, contents a little spotted, particularly the title, minor crease affecting the first three flaps. Very good condition.
Hingston & Company | Trade card of Hingston & Company, Chemists and Druggists
An attractive trade card for the chemists Hingston & Company of Cheltenham, “opposite the Plough Hotel. Prescriptions accurately prepared with drugs and Chemicals from Apothecaries Hall”. The text is elaborately engraved and the card features a well-executed bust of Hippocrates and staff of Asclepius. The Science Museum in London has a copy of the same trade card, and the National Archives hold the company’s day book and bankruptcy papers from 1837-1839.
Cheltenhem, c. 1837. Trade card (90 x 61 mm). Elaborate copperplate engraved text and illustrations of a bust Hippocrates and staff of Asclepius. A few tiny, light spots, adhesive marks to verso.
Martius, Ernst Wilhelm | Neueste Anweisung, Pflanzen nach dem Leben abzudruken
First edition of this rare work on nature printing, an unsophisticated copy in the original wrappers, with four delicately produced plates, an unusually high number. Of the copies in institutional catalogues with plate counts listed, that in the German National Museum contains four plates, the Bavarian State Library copy contains three plates, those at Strasbourg, Munich, and Harvard have two plates, and the Bonn copy has only one.The plates provided are not always the same, with those present here being bittersweet, club moss, lilly of the valley, and belladonna.
Author Ernst Wilhelm Martius (1756-1849) was a Regensburg apothecary, university instructor, and founding member of the Regensberg Botanical Society. He “devised a better way of inking leaves on a polished copper plate: the copper shining through made it easy to see whether any areas were underinked. Martius’s largest work containing nature prints was Icones Planatrum Originales (Original Images of Plants), issued in 1780. His method of working was shown in his Neueste Anweisung, Pflanzen nach dem Leben abzudrucken (New Instructions on Taking Fresh Prints from Plants) published in Wetzlar in 1784” (Cave, Impressions of Nature, p. 52). Of particular interest in Neueste Anweisung is the illustration on the title page depicting the press Martius devised, and the work also includes a history of nature printing (based on that of Beckmann) and a list of subscribers.
...Nebst einigen abgedrukten Pflanzen. Wetzlar: Winkler (for the author), 1784.
Octavo. Original grey wrappers. 4 folding plates, engraving depicting Martius’s press to the title, headpiece and tailpiece. Contemporary inked shelf number “244” to spine. Wrappers foxed and a little creased at the extremities with short closed tears at the ends of the spine, spotting and toning to contents, small square area on the back wrapper which may be an old repair. A very good copy.
Michael Birk | [Art Nouveau chromolithographic pharmacy catalogue] Katalog No. 4.
A superb, unused Art Nouveau chromolithographic catalogue issued by the German pharmaceutical and medical supply firm Michael Birk, probably in the 1890s.
This remarkable, 320 page catalogue catalogue contains 15 double-sided plates of elaborate chromolithographic, metallic, and embossed designs for product labels, as well as another 290 pages advertising an incredible array of other products. The chromolithographic labels could be ordered in bulk to be used on bottles and jars filled in person by the pharmacist, and some could be personalised with the shop’s name and address. The catalogue was evidently designed for international distribution, as the examples are shown in a variety of languages, including Arabic. Some of the products include lemon and orange syrup, ginger ale, Egyptian nerve tonic, quinine, toothpaste, cod liver oil, antiseptics, a wide variety of alcoholic beverages including wine, port, rum and rum punch, champagne, and gin, and cosmetics products such as eau de cologne, agua de florida and scented waters. Most of the labels are very elaborate, with colourful designs echoing the origins or contents of the products, some with an exotic or Orientalist flavour, and others using historical imagery. Some are plainer, giving only the product name or a number. Nine pages of labels incorporate fine metallic and die-cut and embossed cameo-like decoration - of note are the two pages of delicate perfume bottle labels.
The remainder of the catalogue details a variety of products, all depicted in large and well-executed engravings. They include bottles, pots, boxes, tubes and dispensers, including decorative bottles and perfume atomisers, and display units. For the use of the pharmacist are moulds, rollers, mortars and pestles, scales, laboratory glassware, bunsen burners, alembics, and ovens. And there are sections for medical dressings and devices, generators of therapeutic electricity, and all types of surgical and dental tools, including large items such as chairs, tables and boilers. A superb catalogue encompassing all of late-19th century pharmacy and medicine.
Tuttlingen, Germany: Michael Birk, [c. 1890s].
Quarto. Original limp cloth wrappers blocked in gilt, grey, black, and white, blue endpapers, blue top-stain. 15 double-sided leaves of chromolithographic, metallic-printed, and embossed decoration, of which 6 are folding, engravings throughout the other 290 pages. Minor bumps at the corners. A superb, fresh copy in unused condition with many of the leaves unopened and still delicately adhering to each other at the edges.
Mid-century teaching collection of cooking ingredients
A remarkable, home-made collection of 160 samples of cooking ingredients housed in individual glass vials in a portable case, together with a binder of typed notes on the properties and uses of each ingredient. The collection is in excellent condition, with all the fragile glass vials intact and most of the ingredients in good condition, save for a few with mould and one, the french yeast, which is empty and may have leaked.
The collection dates from the mid-20th century, likely the 1950s, and was probably connected with a high school home economics class or a culinary or catering school. Neither the creator nor the institution is named, and it is unclear whether it was designed by a teacher for use in the classroom or compiled by a student as a major project. The largely well-preserved samples include herbs and spices, flours, nuts, beans, grains, infusions, cake decorations, and dried and crystallised fruits and flowers. The accompanying notes have been typed by hand on ruled paper, and are organised by fabric tabs corresponding to the organisational scheme of the samples in the case. The text seems to have been taken largely from reference sources, most notably Margaret Grieve’s A Modern Herbal, originally published in 1931, though none are specifically cited by the creator.
The text emphasises the culinary, practical, and nutritional aspects of the ingredients collected here. The entry for cocoa describes the processing of chocolate nibs into culinary chocolates and lists the constituents of cocoa powder, “Fat 50% (about 30% left in commercial powder), Starch: 16%, Theobromine (an alkaloid): 2-4%, Caffeine, Sugar, Colouring matter and Ash”. Camomile tea is “made from the dried flowers and is reputed to be very good for the complexion. It is so much drunk by American women after lunch instead of coffee that it is now obtainable at most fashionable English hotels. A teaspoonful of the dried flowers is allowed for every cup of water. The boiling water is poured on the flowers, as on tea”. Potato is “useful as a thickening agent for soups, stews, broths, etc. Also for croquettes, rissoles. Can be used for making scones, and potato cakes”.
Medical uses are included where relevant: “Gelatine is known as a protein saver; it has stimulating properties, and helps the flow of gastric juice and thus indirectly aids digestion”, and there are occasional cultural and historical asides. Clary sage “was first brought into use by the German Wine Merchants, who employed it as an adulterant, infusing it with Elder Flowers and then adding the liquid to the Rhenish wine”. “The French use Dill seeds for flavouring sauces, but their use of them does not appeal to us in this country.”
Descriptions are generally at an introductory level, as to be expected from material taken directly from reference works such as encyclopaedias. Ginger, for example, is described as “the underground stems and root of a plant with a hot, spicy flavour. When preserved or crystallised, it is used as a sweetmeat... or as an ingredient of cakes, ginger-bread or biscuits”. Occasionally entries are more technical, such as those for the raising agents. Baking powder “consists of an acid (cream of tartar or tartaric acid) and an alkali (bicarbonate of soda) use (sic) in the proportion of twice the amount of acid to alkali... Immediately it is moistened, the alkali and acid combine to form a salt, and the gas, carbonic acid gas is given off”.
Though most of the samples are fairly standard ingredients found in British kitchens, others are less familiar, or used in unexpected ways. Mate tea, still many decades out from its status as a hip lifestyle drink, is included, the notes merely stating that it is “obtained from a shrum (sic) grown in Paraguay”. Raspberry leaves are “supposed to keep up the strength of the expectant mother”. The “pawpaw melon tree is a native of tropical America but is cultivated in China and other parts of the Tropics. The flavor is that of a bad melon and a white juice exudes from the rind and this juice should not be taken unless under medical supervision.”
Interestingly, the entry for raisins states that, “in latter years there has been a scarcity of this type of dried fruit as it has not been imported in large quantities nor very frequently”, probably due to rationing.
United Kingdom, [c. 1950].
Naugahyde case with handle and steel fittings, containing 160 glass sample bottles sealed with corks and held in place by metal spring clips, typed labels in red and black ink. Accompanied by a Twinlock ring binder of typed notes on the contents and their uses, the leaves on lined paper with fabric tabs at the fore-edge. The original key attached with string to the handle. Steel fittings of the case are rusted, small corroded spot behind one vial (french yeast), possibly where the ingredient has leaked, otherwise all the vials are intact and full. Mild toning of the notes and light rubbing at the tips of the ring binder. Excellent condition.
Pitt-Rivers, Rosalind & Jamshed R. Tata. | The Thyroid Hormones
First edition, first printing of this key work by one of Britain’s leading biochemists. A beautiful copy in the jacket.
Rosalind Pitt-Rivers earned her PhD in biochemistry in 1939 under the supervision of Sir Charles Harington, whose lab at the National Institute for Medical research she then joined. The Second World War interrupted her career, but in 1950 she returned to Harington’s lab. “This move turned out to be a propitious event in her scientific career. Inspired by Harington's major interest in elucidating the structure of thyroid hormones, she became deeply involved with biochemical research on how what was then thought to be the only thyroid hormone, L-thyroxine (T4), was synthesized in the thyroid gland. In 1951 a young Canadian endocrinologist, Jack Gross, joined Pitt-Rivers as a postdoctoral fellow to discover more about an unidentified iodine-containing compound that he had earlier observed in human and rodent blood. Taking advice from experts in analytical biochemistry at that time working at the NIMR (in particular, A. J. P. Martin, A. T. James, and H. Gordon), Pitt-Rivers and Gross very rapidly identified this unknown compound to be 3,3ʹ,5-triiodothyronine (T3), a report of which was published in The Lancet in 1952. At about the same time a group in Paris at the Collège de France (S. Lissitzky, R. Michel, and J. Roche) identified T3 in the thyroid gland and showed that it was made there as a component of thyroglobulin and secreted into the bloodstream. The following year Gross and Pitt-Rivers were able to demonstrate that a large part of T3 in the blood was derived from T4, and that it was considerably more potent than its precursor, thus establishing T3 to be the principal thyroid hormone. The discovery of triiodothyronine quickly brought Pitt-Rivers international recognition, including her election as a fellow of the Royal Society in 1954” (ODNB).
...With a Chapter on Diseases of the Thyroid. New York: Pergamon Press, 1959.
Octavo. Original burgundy cloth, titles to spine and upper board gilt. With the dust jacket. 3 plates, of which 1 is double-sided. Faint partial toning of the endpapers. An excellent, fresh copy in the jacket that is lightly rubbed along the extremities with light toning of the spine panel.
Platt, Julia B. | Studies on the Primitive Axial Segmentation of the Chick.
A rare and important early offprint by one of the first female neuroscientists, with the tipped-in compliments slip of the Alexander Aggasiz, ichthyologist and long-time assistant at the Harvard Museum, which had been founded by his father Louis Aggasiz. WorldCat locates only four institutional copies of this offprint, at the British Library, Bonn, Strasbourg, and Leipzig.
Julia Platt (1857-1935) was raised and completed her undergraduate education in Vermont. “Following her degree, she managed to acquire an unusually thorough training in experimental embryology through advanced graduate studies in both American and German universities. She was willing to seek out important scientists with whom to study... She published research on embryological segmentation of head segments of chick embryos, amphioxus, and other vertebrates” (Ogilvie, p. 1031).
Platt travelled to Europe and became only the second woman admitted to the University of Freiberg. She studied at a number of research centres, including the Naples zoological station and the University of Munich, and completed her PhD on embryological segmentation under August Weismann in 1898. Though Platt was unable to obtain an academic position on her return to the United States, her work “proved to be very stimulating and widely discussed, although its challenges to some aspects of the germ layer theories of the time also made it controversial... During her graduate studies, she published a total of twelve papers, many of which are still cited and evaluated today” (Ogilvie, p. 1031).
...With Two Plates. [Offprint from] Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoölogy, at Harvard College. Vol. XVII. No. 4. Cambridge: for the Museum, July 1889.
20 page offprint, quarto. Original grey wrappers printed in black, hidden staples. 2 folding plates. Shelf number ticket and museum ink stamp to upper wrapper. Vertical crease from folding affecting the wrappers and contents, wrappers rubbed and chipped along the edges, where they are also a little toned. Contents unopened. Very good condition.
Schmid, Bastian | Vergleichende Anatomie der Wirbeltiere: Die Zauneidechse. Lacerta agilis.
Uncommon, early-20th century anatomical relief of the European lizard species Lacerta agilis (the sand lizard). The publisher’s archive copy, in excellent condition in the original box.
This relief was one of a series produced for schools, Vergleichende Anatomie der Wirbeltiere (Comparative Anatomy of the Vertebrates), designed by the German behavioural scientist and educational writer Bastian Schmid (1870-1944) for the major educational publisher J. F. Schreiber. The printed paper label on the back gives the names of the lizards’ body parts and also introduces the diagram, “In the lizard, the anatomical character of the reptiles is expressed in a clear manner. Therefore, a representative of this group, namely our well-known sand lizard, is presented as the fourth type in this series Comparative Anatomy of the Vertebrates...”.
[Comparative Anatomy of the Vertebrates: Sand Lizard. Lacerta agilis.]. Munich: J. F. Schreiber, Early 20th-century.
Painted anatomical relief display in wooden frame (240 x 302 mm). Printed paper label to the rear. Housed in the original box with the stamp of the publisher’s archive and two handwritten labels - one giving the name of the display and the other reading “F22”. Also with the original tissue-covered cotton insert to protect the relief. Some minor spots and scuffs to the frame. Slight damage to the paper backing of the frame not affecting the its integrity. Some wear to the box. Excellent condition.
Schmid, Bastian | Vergleichende Anatomie der Wirbeltiere: Rana esculenta. Wasserfrosch
Uncommon, early-20th century anatomical relief of the European frog species Rana esculenta (the common European water frog, or green frog). The publisher’s archive copy, in excellent condition in the original box.
This relief was one of a series produced for schools, Vergleichende Anatomie der Wirbeltiere (Comparative Anatomy of the Vertebrates), designed by the German behavioural scientist and educational writer Bastian Schmid (1870-1944) for the major educational publisher J. F. Schreiber. The printed paper label on the back gives the names of the frogs’ body parts and also introduces the diagram, “This relief is the second in the series Comparative Anatomy of the Vertebrates and, like the Fish, is intended to be useful both for theoretical instruction and for biological exercises in higher schools. To the left a female, on the right a male animal, both natural size with the brain and spinal cord enlarged. In the female we see the entire intestines, the respiratory system, the heart with its anterior chambers, the aortic arch...”
[Comparative Anatomy of the Vertebrates: Rana esculenta. Water Frog.]. Munich: J. F. Schreiber, Early 20th-century.
Painted anatomical relief display in wooden frame (240 x 302 mm). Printed paper label to the rear. Housed in the original box with the stamp of the publisher’s archive and two handwritten labels - one giving the name of the display and the other reading “F21”. Also with the original tissue-covered cotton insert to protect the relief. A few very minor scratches and spots to the frame. There is some wear to the box and the tissue covering for the cotton padding is torn. Excellent condition.
Skloot, Rebecca | The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
First edition, first printing. A superb copy, signed and dated “3/29/10” by the author on the half title.
In 1951 Henrietta Lacks, a 31-year-old African American woman, died of ovarian cancer at Johns Hopkins. Unbeknownst to herself or her family, doctors used her biopsy to culture a line of cells that revolutionised medicine. Previously, no human cell culture had survived for more than a few days in the laboratory, seriously limiting their usefulness to research. Lacks’s cultures, however, survived for weeks, then months, and eventually decades, becoming essentially immortal. Dubbed “HeLa”, they are now mass produced and have been used to study almost every major medical question of the last seventy years. HeLa cells have been key to the development of vaccines, including the Salk polio vaccine; to identifying and treating AIDS and other emerging diseases; to our understanding of cell biology, genetics, and ageing; and in the development of medications for a range of illnesses.
But this scientific success has a darker side. There are serious concerns about how Lacks’s race affected her medical care and the treatment of her family by the scientific community. Neither Lacks nor any of her relatives provided informed consent for her cells to be retained and studied, much less for them to become a multi-million dollar industry over which they have no control. And her descendants fear the privacy implications of their genome being made public.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks approaches the HeLa cells from this perspective, and is based on nearly a decade of personal interviews and archival research. Skloot focuses in particular on Lacks’s daughter, Deborah, who spent years fighting for access to the full story of her mother’s cells and to ensuring that her life and legacy would be honoured. The book also situates Lacks within the wider context of racism in medicine, and how Black women’s bodies have frequently been co-opted for the benefit of white doctors and patients. Now considered a key work of popular science writing, it spent 75 weeks on the New York Times best seller list and received numerous awards, including the Wellcome Trust Book Prize and the National Academies Best Book of the Year Award.
New York: Crown Publishers, 2010.
Octavo. Original red boards, titles to spine gilt. With the dust jacket. Illustrated title and chapter titles, 8 pages of illustrations from photographs. A fine copy in the jacket.
Société Excelsior | Préservatifs pour Dames
A nice copy of this rare French contraceptives catalogue, first issued around 1907 and decorated in the Art Nouveau style.
At the time this catalogue was published family planning was being championed by French syndicalists as a response to capitalist exploitation, an idea that influenced both Emma Goldman and Margaret Sanger. However, Sanger’s insistence that she was forced to travel to Paris to get information on contraceptives was a clever bit of self-mythologising; despite the passage of the Comstock Act in 1873, resources were available in the United States. It’s therefore interesting to note that the catalogue’s title page advertises “Pessaires Américains”, showing that the exoticising of contraception travelled in both directions across the Atlantic.
Among the articles advertised here are diaphragms (only recently invented), sponges, douches and enemas, belts for sanitary napkins, lubricant (”pommade virginale”), antiseptic creams and artificial breasts, as well as novelties such as chastity belts and intimate perfume. Included are numerous engravings depicting the products, as well as two diagrams of the female reproductive system.
This catalogue is rare; there are no auction records and WorldCat locates no copies with this specific title. Institutionally, there is only one other contraceptives catalogue by the same publisher, at the Bibliothèque Interuniversitaire de Santé, Paris.
...Préservatifs de tous modèles. Insufflateurs de Poudre Anticonceptionnelle. Pessaires Américains. Éponges préservatives. Appareils d’hygiène féminine. Produits et Objets intimes nouveaux. Paris: Société Excelsior, c. 1907.
Duodecimo. 64 page catalogue, original blue wrappers printed in red and black. Orange decorative border to each page, engravings throughout. Wrappers a little rubbed and creased, small white spot to the upper wrapper and a darker spot to the lower, light wear at the spine ends, contents toned and with occasional light spots. Very good condition.
The American Products Company | Zanol. The Better Way to Buy. Catalog No. 20
A beautiful, 78 page chromolithographic catalogue for the American Products Company’s Zanol line of cosmetics, food products, and home goods, including 16 pages in full colour. A superb example of Art Deco marketing design.
The American Products Company was founded in 1907 by three brothers, Albert, Edgar and Clarence Mihalovitch (Albert later changed his surname to Mills), of Cincinnati, who hoped to capture the growing Midwestern consumer market (see “Cosmetics by the American products Company”, Collecting Vintage Compacts blog, January 2012). This catalogue promotes “Shopping in Your Own Home the Zanol Way”, and explains that “the Zanol plan affords you the opportunity of buying the finest products possible to produce, direct from the maker, delivered right to your home, absolutely fresh, unconditionally guaranteed... The complete Zanol line comprises more than 350 products... all of them made from the choicest ingredients in our sanitary, daylight Pure Food Kitchens and Laboratories, under the direction of skilled chemists, chefs, and dieticians”.
Advertised here are a wide array of consumables, with a focus on powders and syrups that could be shipped easily and would appeal to an emerging middle class who were time and money-conscious. For the kitchen there are food flavourings and colours, and numerous instant mixes for soft drinks, jams and jellies, icing, cakes, pies, and puddings. Among them are Ezemade pumpkin pie filling (”it is now possible to serve delicious pumpkin pie throughout the year”); Flakykrust instant pie crust; Mapelade instant maple syrup (”now you can afford delicious maple syrup whenever you want it”); and even Ezemade ice cream powder (”just add to a quart of milk and freeze”). The broad selection of home goods include medications and hygiene products, house cleaning and repair supplies, hot water bottles, paints, insecticide, and even a set of salt and pepper shakers. Perhaps the most appealing section is the beauty line, comprising soaps and toothpaste (”don’t envy pretty teeth - have them”); face and body powders; a variety of lotions including almond, lemon and witch hazel, cucumber and benzoine, and “dermaline of roses” (”keep the alluring charms of radiant youth”); shampoos, pomade, and hair tonics; cosmetics including powder compacts and tubes of lipstick; and perfumes, primarily their three main lines, La Bara (named after the silent film “vamp” Theda Bara, best known for playing Cleopatra), Fleur d’Orient, and Dream Girl. There are also a number of gift sets packaging perfumes, soaps and cosmetics, including a shaving kit for men, sets for new mothers, and an attractive La Barra manicure kit.
Edition A. Cincinnati, OH: The American Products Company, May, 1925.
Perfect bound (355 x 280 mm). Original brown wrappers printed in blue and cream, brown cloth backstrip. 78 pages, of which 16 are in full colour and the rest being uncoloured lithographs on single-colour backgrounds. With the original order form loosely inserted. Light rubbing at the extremities, small chips at the ends of the spine. A fresh copy in excellent condition.
Wickes & Co. | Trade card of Wickes & Co., Chemists and Druggists
On Reserve. An attractive trade card for the chemists Wickes & Co. of Cheltenham, in fine condition and featuring elaborate copperplate engraving including illustrations of an alembic and a mortar and pestle. Both the Science Museum of London and the Society of Apothecaries hold copies of this trade card.
- Cheltenham, c. 1825-1835. Trade card (98 x 65 mm). Elaborate copperplate engraved text in an architectural border with the British crest, an alembic, and a mortar and pestle. Fine condition.
Wiener, Norbert | Cybernetics or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine
First US edition, published just a few months after the Paris edition, offset from sheets of that edition and with a new title and half title. With the contemporary ownership signature of a female pharmacologist.
Wiener’s Cybernetics, a treatise on natural and artificial feedback systems, is one of the key scientific works of the 20th century and “the first conventionally published book, rather than a technical report, to include a serious discussion of electronic digital computing” (Origins of Cyberspace 991).
Interestingly, this copy was owned by a female pharmacologist, Nellie Perry Watts, who graduated from Case Western Reserve University and either attended or worked at the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania (where she signed a 1943 petition to Congress in support of female physicians in the Medical Reserve Corps). A significant part of her career was spent in the Department of Therapeutics of the New York University Medical School, and she also worked in the Department of Pharmacology at Abbott Research Laboratories in Chicago. Two of her publications are present in the accessible historical record: “Prophylactic Use of Schistosomal Antigen”, published in the Journal of Immunology in June, 1949, and “Hospital Pharmacist’s Relation to the Medical Intern”, in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association in February, 1945.
New York & Paris: John Wiley & Son, Inc. & Hermann et Cie, 1948.
Octavo. Original red cloth blocked in black and white. With the dust jacket. Contemporary ownership signature to the front free endpaper and an envelope with related clippings tipped-in on the front pastedown. Cloth bright and fresh, minor bumps and light rubbing at the corners and ends of spine, partial tanning of the front endpapers, some spotting of the edges of the textblock. A very good copy in the lightly rubbed and dulled jacket with a ring stain and large spot on the upper panel and some smaller spots on the lower panel.
[Avon] California Perfume Company | Art Deco chromolithographic perfume & cosmetics catalogue for 1926
An early edition of this sumptuous chromolithographic beauty catalogue originally introduced at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition by the California Perfume Company. The firm was founded in 1886 by door-to-door book salesman David H. McConnell and would later become Avon. This catalogue includes 31 plates depicting perfumes and air fresheners, soaps, shampoo, skin creams, shaving kits, toothpaste, gift sets, food flavourings and colours, laundry powder, detergent, and household cleaning supplies. Of particular note are the attractive Art Deco packaging designs, a key aspect of the company’s success.
These catalogues were expensive to produce but extremely successful at promoting the company’s products. Between 1915 and 1917 they were bound with screw-back posts so that pages could be added and removed, but after 1924 the use of screw-back posts was discontinued, so that salesmen were required to buy new catalogues. Price lists were originally issued separately, but this was discontinued in 1919, and this catalogue includes product details and prices interleaved on a lighter paper stock.
New York: California Perfume Company, .
Oblong folio. Original limp black cloth with fold-over lower cover, bound with metal rivets, title and floral design to upper cover gilt. Chromolithographic title and 31 plates depicting beauty products, each chromolithographic leaf with a numbered cloth thumb-tab, interleaved with informational pages on lighter paper stock. With a pink order form dated October, 1926 loosely inserted. Cloth a little rubbed with light wear at the extremities, the gilt title significantly oxidised and rubbed, spotting, discolouration and some short splits to the title, some spotting to contents not generally affecting the illustrations, lacking the final cloth thumb-tab. Very good condition.
[Avon] California Perfume Company | Art Deco chromolithographic perfume & cosmetics catalogue for 1929
An early edition of this sumptuous chromolithographic beauty catalogue originally introduced at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition by the California Perfume Company. The firm was founded in 1886 by door-to-door book salesman David H. McConnell and would later become Avon. This catalogue includes 35 plates depicting perfumes and air fresheners, soaps, shampoo, skin creams, shaving kits, toothpaste, gift sets, food flavourings and colours, laundry powder, detergent, and household cleaning supplies. Of particular note are the attractive Art Deco packaging designs, a key aspect of the company’s success. There are a number of items from the Avon line, which by 1930 had become the dominant products.
These catalogues were expensive to produce but extremely successful at promoting the company’s products. Between 1915 and 1917 they were bound with screw-back posts so that pages could be added and removed, but after 1924 the use of screw-back posts was discontinued, so that salesmen were required to buy new catalogues. Price lists were originally issued separately, but this was discontinued in 1919, and this catalogue includes product details and prices interleaved on a lighter paper stock.
New York: California Perfume Company, .
Oblong folio. Original limp black cloth with fold-over lower cover, bound with metal rivets, title and floral design to upper cover gilt. Chromolithographic title and 35 plates depicting beauty products, all save the last two with with a numbered cloth thumb-tab, interleaved with informational pages on lighter paper stock. With a pink slip on the amount that a sales associate can expect to make loosely inserted. Significant vertical crease affecting the entire catalogue, a little toning of the non-illustrated pages, chromolithographs fresh and clean. A very good copy.
[Fioravanti, Leonardo] Falloppio, Gabriele | Secreti Diversi & Miracolosi
A rare early edition, likely the fifth in the original Italian, of a significant book of secrets first published in 1563 and attributed to the anatomist Gabriele Falloppio (1523-1562), though probably written by the iconoclastic physician Leonardo Fioravanti (1517- c. 1588). The first five editions were all printed in Venice, with the book given its lasting form by the editor of the 1565 second edition, Borgaruccio Borgarucci. Copies of the first five editions are well-represented institutionally but rare on the market, and only two other copies have appeared at auction in recent decades.
Books of secrets, compilations of natural and technical knowledge, were a popular medieval and early modern genre with roots stretching back to the Hellenistic period. As William Eamon, one of the foremost scholars of the subject, writes in Science in the Secrets of Nature, “Underlying these works was the assumption that nature was a repository of occult forces that might be manipulated, not by the magus’s cunning, but merely by the use of correct techniques. The utilitarian character of the books of secrets gave concrete substance to this claim. Unlike the recondite treatises on the philosophical foundations of magic, which barely touched base with the real world, the books of secrets were grounded upon a down-to-earth, experimental outlook: they did not affirm underlying principles but taught ‘how to.’ Hence they seemed to hold forth a real and accessible promise of power... What they revealed were recipes, formulas, and ‘experiments’ associated with one of the crafts or with medicine: for example, instructions for making quenching waters to harden iron and steel, recipes for mixing dyes and pigments, ‘empirical’ remedies, cooking recipes, and practical alchemical formulas such as a jeweler or tinsmith might use... By the eighteenth century such ‘secrets’ were techniques and nothing more. In the sixteenth century, however, the term was still densely packed with its ancient and medieval connotations: the association with esoteric wisdom, the domain of occult or forbidden knowledge, the artisan’s cunning... and the political power that attended knowledge of secrets” (Eamon, Science and the Secrets of Nature, pp. 4-5). This particular volume explores a wide range of secrets, the first chapter covering medicine, the second wines and spirits, and the third alchemical and metallurgical recipes, including producing gold and silver from lead; working with precious metals, iron, and copper; producing cosmetics (”red for women’s faces”); and also includes more unusual recipes such as how to carve letters into marble without iron and how to make an inextinguishable candle.
Books of secrets were often spuriously attributed to famous doctors, philosophers, and occult figures as a marketing strategy. When Secreti Diversi et Miracolosi was first published in 1563 its Venetian printer Marco di Maria explained that the compilation had “fallen into his hands” after the great anatomist’s death, and that the contents were the results of Falloppio’s own successful experiments. However, Eamon cautiously attributes the text to Leonardo Fioravanti. “Indeed, the work praises the Bolognese surgeon so effusively that it reads like an extended advertisement for Fioravanti’s books” (Eamon, pp. 166-167). Fioravanti’s “marvellous” ability to cure syphilis, his treatments for wounds and leprosy, and his most recent books are all promoted. In 1563 Fioravanti was still a young man establishing himself, hence the need for promotion. But he eventually became well-known, an outspoken critic of contemporary medicine and “one of the wonders of the age” whose “skill as a surgeon and unorthodox medical practices made him the focus of a cultlike following” (Eamon p. 168).
Bibliography: USTC 828720, Welcome I, 2161; Thorndike VI, p. 218
...Racolti dal Falopia, & Approbati da altri Medici di Gran Fama. Novamente Ristampati, et à Commun Beneficio di Ciascuno, Distinti in Tre Libri... Venice: Alessandro Gardane [for Giacomo Leoncini], 1578.
Small octavo (145 x 90 mm). Early-18th century vellum, paper covered spine with manuscript library label, blind fillets, red speckled edges. Publisher Giacomo Leoncini’s woodcut device to title page and the verso of the final leaf, 5 woodcut initials. Some contemporary or near-contemporary pen marks and short notes in the margins, many partially trimmed, more significant 12-line manuscript note to the recto of the final leaf, and pen trials, a partially illegible name, and a child’s doodles to the verso of the same leaf. Vellum peeling a little from a corner of the upper board, some marks and spots to the vellum, minor area of insect damage to pastedowns and early and late leaves only slightly affecting the text, ink stain to K2 and adjacent leaves. Very good condition.
[Hardouin Brothers] | Zodiac man from a French book of hours
Illuminated zodiac man from a 16th-century French book of hours printed on vellum, probably from the workshop of Germain and Gillet Hardouin.
During the late 15th and early 16th centuries printers often borrowed stylistically from manuscripts, and used vellum and colourful illuminations to increase the cachet of printed books. In France this trade was dominated by the Hardouin brothers, who were active between 1510 and 1550. Gillet was a printer, and unusually, all the illuminations were overseen in-house by his brother Germain, who was registered with the Guild of Illuminators.
The “Homo anatomicus”, bloodletting man, or zodiac man — a type of diagram that codified the relationship between the microcosm of the human body and the divine macrocosm — had its origin in classical thought and was a feature of European and Middle Eastern books of hours, almanacs, and medical texts throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance. This example depicts man as a corpse surrounded by text explaining the relationship between the signs of the zodiac, the parts of the body, and the four humours. The temperaments associated with the four humours are depicted in the smaller illuminations. Clockwise for the top left they are: the choleric temperament symbolised by a warrior with lion; the sanguine, with a hawk and monkey; melancholy surrounded by stars; and the phlegmatic with a lamb.
Paris: Hardouin, early 16th century.
Single leaf from a French book of hours, printed on vellum and hand illuminated (185 x 115 mm). Professionally mounted, framed and glazed using archival materials. On the recto, a depiction of the “anatomical man” as a skeleton surrounded by information about the humours, the zodiac, and the best times for bleeding, surrounded by an elaborate, uncoloured border. On the verso, the calendar for January with an elaborate border of acanthus leaves and human figures and an illuminated initial. Trimmed closely at the top edge and gutter side, wrinkling and spotting of the vellum. Very good condition.
[Woodhead, Joseph] | Catalogue or Guide to the Liverpool Museum of Anatomy.
The rare catalogue of the Liverpool Museum of Anatomy, describing in detail the Museum’s contents and policies, and illustrating its interior by an engraving on the lower cover.
The Liverpool Museum of Anatomy was one of a number of such museums in the UK and US that specialised in wax anatomical models and, unlike many of the museums of professional medical organisations, were open to the public. Though the stated goal was always education, particularly regarding reproduction and the dangers of sexual vice, these museums also traded on the shock or titillation value of their exhibits and some were targeted by the medical establishment as purveyors of vice and quackery.
The proprietor of the Liverpool Museum was the physician Joseph Thornton Woodhead, who describes himself as “having spent thirty years in the study and treatment of diseases affecting the mental and generative organs, nervous and dyspeptic debility, either constitutional or acquired, decline of physical vigor, loss of mental energy, and the numerous concomitants to sexual disorganisation” and writes that those afflicted can consult him “personally at his establishment daily from 11am till 9pm, Sundays excepted”, while those living outside town could write (p. 63).
The Liverpool Museum offered a wide variety of exhibits on the human body, including most of the internal organs; the skeleton; digestion (”articles of human food, and what they are converted into”); common surgical procedures such as the removal of kidney stones; and the usual exhibits on STDs, obstetrics (including a caesarian section model and anatomical venuses), masturbation, circumcision, hermaphrodites, and “freaks of nature”. The admittance of women into such museums was controversial, but defended by many proprietors as an important educational opportunity for women who cared for their families’ health. This booklet advertises the Museum’s hours of admission for ladies as being Tuesdays and Fridays from 2-5pm, and also offers a course of six lectures on midwifery (p. 26). One of the exhibits aimed specifically at women was on the “dreadful effects of tight lacing”, being “a magnificant full-length figure in wax, the model of a young lady... who having from her earliest childhood accustomed herself to the pernicious habit of tight lacing, suddenly dropped down dead in the arms of her partner while dancing” (p. 52).
The Museum’s timeline is difficult to determine from historical sources (and it seems to have moved between Liverpool and Manchester several times), but in this booklet Woodhead claims that it had already been open for forty years. It appears to have been tolerated by the medical establishment until 1874, when Woodhead was prosecuted under the Obscene Publications Act. “To Woodhead's justification ‘that the Royal College of Surgeons possesses, and admits the public to, an exhibition similar to his own”’, the magistrate replied that ‘he could understand museums of the character of the defendant's being connected with the hospitals and medical colleges, but when they came into the hands of private individuals they were likely to produce serious evils’ (Bates, “Indecent and Demoralising Representations: Public Anatomy Museums in mid-Victorian England”, Medical History vol. 52, January 2008). The Museum was closed and the exhibits sold to Louis Tussaud’s waxworks show.
This catalogue is rare. A search on WorldCat locates only four copies, at the Wellcome Library, Harvard, the University of Rochester, and the Getty Research Institute.
Bibliography: Hoolihan, An Annotated Catalogue of the Edward C. Atwater Collection of American Popular Medicine & Health Reform S-741.1
...29, Paradise Street. This superb collection with all the latest additions, comprising upwards of 1000 models and diagrams, procured at the anatomical galleries of Paris, Florence, and Munich. Now forms the largest collection of anatomical preparations in England, with one exception only, namely of the Royal College of Surgeons’ Museum...
Liverpool: Matthews Brothers, Printers, [c. 1870s].
64 page pamphlet. Original light blue wrappers printed in black. Engraving depicting the museum on the lower wrapper, 1 engraving within the text. Wrappers rubbed, dulled, and spotted, minor crease to the upper corner slightly affecting the contents. Very good condition.