Publisher Information: Cambridge: Harvard U.P., 1922.
Wolbach, Simeon Burt (1880-1954); John L. Todd (1876-1949); Francis W. Palfrey (1876-1953). The etiology and pathology of typhus. Being the main report of the Typhus Research Commission of the League of Red Cross Societies to Poland. x, 222pp. 13 plates in the text plus 34 plates, including 2 in color, at the end; text diagrams. Cambridge, MA: The League of Red Cross Societies at the Harvard University Press, 1922. 267 x 192 mm. Original cloth, some wear at spine and corners but sound. Very good. Presentation Copy, inscribed by Wolbach on the front free endpaper: “Miss Clara A. Ricketts with the compliments of S. B. Wolbach.” Bound in is a typed presentation letter signed from Wolbach to Miss Ricketts dated 23 October 1922, with the postmarked cover laid in loosely.
First Edition of Wolbach’s classic work identifying Rickettsia prowazekii as the pathogen causing epidemic typhus; Presented by the Author to the Sister of Pathologist Howard Taylor Ricketts (1871-1910), whose pioneering researches led to the identification of the Rickettsia genus of typhus- and Rocky Mountain spotted fever-causing bacteria.
Wolbach is best known for elucidating the infection vectors—lice and ticks, respectively—of typhus and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. In the present work, Wolbach and his co-authors definitively identified the human body louse as the vector for epidemic typhus. Working on behalf of the League of Red Cross Societies’ Typhus Research Commission to Poland, Wolbach and parasitologist John Todd carried uninfected lice to Poland to demonstrate that these insects transmit the typhus-causing bacteria Rickettsia prowazekii to human subjects. “The carefully controlled experiments of Wolbach, Todd, and Palfrey eliminated all doubt that R. prowazekii was the causal agent in typhus” (Garrison-Morton.com 5393).
Wolbach’s presentation letter to Clara Ricketts reads as follows:
"My dear Miss Ricketts: I take great pleasure in sending you a copy of the Typhus Report of the League of Red Cross Societies Commission to Poland, as I have learned through J. Christian Bay that you are anxious to obtain one. Sincerely yours, S. B. Wolbach."
Clara Ricketts, a senior assistant at the John Crerar Library in Chicago, would naturally have been interested in Wolbach’s work, which built upon and extended her late brother’s investigations. Jens Christian Bay (1871-1962), mentioned in Wolbach’s letter, served as Chief Librarian at the Crerar Library from 1928 to 1947.Book Id: 45478