Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Archival gem

This week, I've been putting the finishing touches on two dissertation chapter drafts! It's been a long haul, and it'll be a longer one yet, but progress is progress.

Because this is so on my mind, I figured I'd share a little gem from the archives that didn't actually make it into my Chapter 3, but that is too funny and quirky to ignore entirely.

This is from the files of Ernest C. Dickson, who was a Stanford University scientist who worked on behalf of the canning industry in order to help make ripe olives safe from botulism (after a big outbreak of botulism poisonings in 1919-1920).

In this document, a California state health official went to investigate a case of poisoning that was allegedly caused by eating canned ripe olives.

He talked to the victim and the victim's wife, the grocer, and the doctor who initially diagnosed the illness. The doctor, one Dr. Grosvenor, didn't seem to happy to talk with the state health official:


"He would take to the woods and [they] could never find him!"

Oh, Dr. Grosvenor, thanks for brightening my day of archival readings!

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