PDT3K: Still Arguing Against Miasma in 1901

In our latest installment of Public Domain Theater 3000, we read an article that still has to argue against the miasma theory of disease even as late as 1901. It also gives some interesting DIY techniques for fighting mosquitoes that you should NOT try at home!

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Main Sources

Jeliffe, S. E. (1901, August). “Insects as Carriers of Disease.” Munsey Magazine, 707-713.



2 thoughts on “PDT3K: Still Arguing Against Miasma in 1901

  1. Hi,

    fascinating stuff. I grew up in New Guinea and malaria was a constant threat so its a bit of a fascination for me. We used to be given quinine tablets once a week – tiny yellow bastards so bitter you could taste them crushed in a spoonful of honey. I can still taste it 30 years later. I take my quinine in a gin and tonic these days.

    Here in Oz it used to be standard practice to tip a litre or two (call it half a gallon for those stuck with pre-Napoleonic measures) of kerosene into the rain water tanks that were ubiquitous both country and suburbs. I know people who still do it. Given that at the time that article was written kerosine “hit and miss” engines were common in agriculture, I’m guessing the petroleum referred to would have been kerosene, or “kero” as its known locally. Think low grade jet fuel.


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