The Deadly Secret of Grandfather's Blue Bottle.
The blue glass sputum flask has been forgotten. Almost. Then Ivo Haanstra started researching what appears to be a rather hum-drum subject...
From the discovery of the tuberculosis bacterium by Robert Koch in 1882 to present day, Ivo Haanstra's new book covers in detail a quite remarkable story of this deadly and highly infectious disease and the measures taken to combat it.
The most effective way to stop the spread of the disease was found to be the humble spittoon and Dr. Peter Dettweiler (left), himself a sufferer of tuberculosis, was the first to produce one commercially.
This became known as a Blue Henry, being of a cobalt blue glass - although the real origin of this name is only revealed in the book!
From the Publisher of Blue Henry
How can a book be justified about such an odd subject matter? And one with such a potentially small readership? It was precisely because of the weird and strange nature of the sputum flask that attracted me to the possibility of publishing Blue Henry in the first place. While Ivo and I discussed the book, we both realised it had considerably more potential that we either envisaged: not only does it appeal to glass and medical artifact collectors, but the book would prove highly attractive to medical researchers and museums. Add to this the potential interest from medical research companies, pharmaceutical developers, chemical companies and charitable organisations.
Like most people I was totally unaware of such an item, and Ivo's in-depth history of the flask, tuberculosis and methods to eradicate it, all combined to create a fascinating and engrossing book. Ivo's engaging writing style, with touches of pathos and humour, all make this highly readable.
And if you think that Tuberculosis is a disease of the past, then think again! It is just as prevalent as it always has been and is still a worldwide (and wide-spread) threat. Latest strains are also shown to be deadly – there is no known cure at present and is why pharmaceutical companies should be encouraged to continue research into eradicating Tuberculosis.
As with previous titles, I have called on the services of Christine Hudson to edit the text. Previous readers will know this is a good move...
David EncillCortex Design, publishers of