An exhibition of material from the Monash University Library

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57. Stopes, Marie Carmichael, 1880-1958.

A banned play and a preface on the censorship : Vectia / by Marie C. Stopes. (Sydney : Hal & Lew Parks, [1932?])

This was not published, nor the play performed, in London. [The BIBAM copy]

58. Sexual Reform Congress (3rd : 1929 : London, England)

Sexual Reform Congress, London 8.-14:IX:1929 : World League for Sexual Reform : proceedings ... / edited by Norman Haire. (London : K. Paul, Trench, Trubner, 1930)

Norman Haire graduated from the University of Sydney in 1915 as Norman Zions; he changed his name when he went to London. As Frank Forster pointed out to me, Haire’s father was originally called Zajac which, in his native Polish, means ‘hare.’ Haire became a prominent figure in sexual matters, and championed, among other things, the Steinach operation, a vasectomy done with the aim of restoring male sexual vigour to men; the most famous patient was the writer W. B. Yeats. The 1929 meeting was a high point in sexual reform; this copy belonged to Dr Eustace Chesser (1902–1973), noted psychiatrist and social reformer

59. Oxoniensis.

Early marriage and late parentage : or, Was Malthus wrong? ... / by Oxoniensis. Australian ed. (Melbourne : Saunders, [1898?])

‘Oxoniensis’ is the pseudonym of David George Ritchie (1853–1903). The aim is to show “how the working classes may at once achieve the radical improvement of their condition.” Among other things, he recommends that marriage licences should be issued only to people who have been certified by a medical board to be fit and healthy. His book contains many gems for the right-thinking person, such as “Think of the hopeless ugliness, the hideous vulgarity of an age and civilization which has produced (1) London; (2) The modern Music-hall; and, (3) The Salvation Army!” This local reprint has an advertisement for J. C. Henry on p. 129. [The BIBAM copy]

60. Wood-Allen, Mary, 1841-1908.

Almost a woman / by Mary Wood-Allen. (Melbourne : Echo Publishing Co., [1902]) [the BIBAM copy]

61. Wood-Allen, Mary, 1841-1908.

Almost a man / by Mary Wood-Allen. (Melbourne : Echo Publishing Co., [1902]) [not in BIBAM]

Sex education in Australia is an enormous topic; there are 520 items in this collection alone. Because of their ephemeral nature, they tend not to survive, so finding this pair on separate occasions gave special pleasure. Ellen G White, a co-founder of Seventh-day Adventism, lived in Melbourne from 1891 to 1900. She oversaw the publication of The Bible Echo and Signs of the Times, which came weekly from their press in North Fitzroy, the Echo Publishing Co. When the Seventh-day Adventists moved to Warburton, the name was changed to the Signs Publishing Co., which has published reliable information on health and sex topics ever since.

Flat Case 6

Infectious Diseases

62. Hackett, C. J. (Cecil John), 1905-1995

Boomerang leg and yaws in Australian Aborigines / by Cecil J. Hackett. (London : Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 1936)

Hackett graduated MB BS from the University of Adelaide in 1927. He went to London in 1930 studying tropical medicine, and in 1932 returned to Adelaide to convalesce from tuberculosis. In 1933 he took part in an expedition to the Musgrove and Mann Ranges, learning how the Pitjantjatjara aborigines (who looked after them) live and fight disease. He returned to London, where he stayed. His studies form the basis for this book. His 1963 article on the origin of the trepanematoses (pinta, yaws, endemic syphilis and venereal syphilis) has been described as “perhaps the most scholarly investigation of the origin of syphilis.” [GM 5308.2] It is also to be remembered that another treponeme, leptospira, was the particular interest of Solomon Faine, the Professor of Bacteriology at Monash University from 1968 to 1991.

63. Thomson, William, 1819-1883.

The germ theory of phthisis verified, and illustrated by the increase of phthisis in Victoria / by William Thomson. (Melbourne : Sands & McDougall, 1882)

William Thompson was a fervent advocate of the germ theory of disease. This is the reprint of a review of his work The germ theory of phthisis verified (1882) which appeared in the Journal of Science, London, in December of that year. Thomson had claimed priority from Koch for his discovery of the bacterial origin of tuberculosis, in studies that he had published in 1876, six years before Koch. Thompson's influence was no doubt very great at the time, but he trod on so many toes that he received scant acknowledgement at the time. [Ford 2252]

64. Dew, Harold R. (Harold Robert), 1891-1962

Hydatid disease, its pathology, diagnosis and treatment / by Harold R. Dew. (Sydney : Australasian Medical Pub., 1928)

Australians have contributed greatly to the understanding and management of this disease, where the parasite passes from the definitive host (dogs) to the intermediate host (sheep or cattle) and thence to humans. Monographs by S. D. Bird (1874), J. D. Thomas (1884) and A. A. Lendon (1896) are in this collection, but I chose Dew’s account because it is the authoritative source, and summarises his many contributions to the study of the disease. During the mass chest x-ray campaign of the 1950s, more cases of pulmonary hydatid cyst were found than cases of the target tuberculosis. [GM 5352]

65. Archbishop Mannix and the Victorian Government : no popery and the Spanish influenza. (Melbourne : Australian Catholic Truth Society, [1919])

The “Spanish influenza” – another example of scapegoating – refers to an outbreak of unprecedented severity in 1918-1919, accounting for 550,000 deaths in the United States, and more than 21 million worldwide. There was a second, less virulent wave in 1920. What made it the worst disease shock humans had faced was its rapidity (it did most of its killing in 6 months, compared with years for the Black Death) and its predilection for children. The pamphlet on display deals with sectarian opposition to an offer by Mannix to provide voluntary nursing staff for the temporary hospital at the Exhibition Buildings. [The BIBAM copy]

66. Fenner, Frank, 1914-

Myxomatosis / by Frank Fenner and F. N. Ratcliffe. (Cambridge : [Cambridge] University Press, 1965)

In the late 1950s and early 60s, I used to have holidays on my uncle’s property in the Western District of Victoria. Each morning we would do a round of the sheep and cattle, with a .22 rifle in the Jeep. We would arrive at a paddock that was alive with rabbits, but as soon as one was shot, the others would disappear underground. One year, things were very different: there were only a few rabbits, and those we saw were in a pitiful state. I particularly remember one rabbit, made blind by the huge tumours in its eyes, which limped along until it stumbled into the tyre of the stationary Jeep. It left a great impression on me, and for this reason myxomatosis has always had a special place in my memories. This is a wonderful account of the planning and prosecution of the biological war on the rabbit plague, and its benefits.

Flat Case 7


67. Physician

Experience versus theory in the practice of medicine : being notes on medical practice and medical education ; a peep behind the scenes / by a Physician. (Melbourne : Melville and Mullen, [1904?])

It is not known who the author is; the NLA attribution to L J Jarvis Nye is incorrect. The point is that the relationship of the front-line practitioner and the academic (“town versus gown”), and the desirability or otherwise of curriculum reform, is always a hot topic. [BIBAM – 1 copy]

68. Reeves, Charles Evans, 1828-1880. The Queen v. Beaney : extraordinary charge of murder against a medical man, in consequence of a diseased womb being ruptured after death / with medical notes and observations by C.E. Reeves. (Melbourne : W.B. Stephens, 1866)

This is the report of the two trials of J. G. Beaney for the murder of Mary Lewis by procuring abortion. The death was allegedly caused by rupture of the uterus, with a hung jury in the first trial and a verdict of not guilty in the second. [Ford 1776]

69. Webster, Alfred.

Fools, frauds and physicians / by Al Kazaz Emdee. [Perth : A. Webster, 193-]

A satire on the Perth medical scene in the 1930s. This copy, which I believe belonged to Sir Paul Hasluck, has a list that gives the real names of the people mentioned in the book. [The BIBAM copy]

70. McLaughlin, M. A.

Dr. McLaughlin's electric belt. ([Sydney : Dr. McLaughlin Co.], c1901)

71. Wallace, R.

"Pro bono publico." : Read this article. It will pay you well. Some points about the "Dr. McLaughlin electric belts." What they really cost ... [Sydney : Freeman & Wallace Electro-Medical and Surgical Institute?, 190-?]

These two items call to mind the fad of electricity in medicine in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A mild shock, delivered by an electric belt, was reputed to restore health and, more importantly, sexual vigour. The first Freeman and Wallace book, Rescued at last (1900) was so explicit and alarming that the Government required it to be toned down for subsequent editions, appearing as Clinical experiences… We have very little idea of what happens when a new purveyor of quack medicine appears on the scene, which makes the Freeman & Wallace – McLaughlin spat very appealing.

72. Roberts, Charles F. (Charles Frederick)

Iniquities of lunacycraft and hocus-pocus of three learned judges : in the first law case of the kind on this side of the world / by a great victim to them. (Melbourne : Printed and published for the public good, by Charles F. Roberts, 1882-3)

Before the days of proper safeguards, people could be committed to mental institutions, with loss of civic rights, on fairly flimsy grounds. They then had to persuade the authorities that they were sane – and, of course, the more stridently they pushed their claim, the more likely they were to appear unhinged. A dreadful predicament! This case ended in the Supreme Court of Victoria, where Roberts was awarded damages of 1 farthing for wrongful certification. [Ford 1805]

Flat Case 8

Tobacco and Alcohol

73. Campbell, Francis (d. 1877)

A commentary on the influence which the use of tobacco exerts on the human constitution / in a series of letters by (Vox E. Deserto), Francis Campbell. (Sydney : Published and sold by all the booksellers, 1853)

Campbell was a Glasgow graduate was the Medical Superintendent of the Lunatic Asylum at Tarban Creek, NSW. He published it, at first privately, “in the hope that it may be the means of tempering the insane rage for smoking, so epidemic in this colony.” He saw the harmful effects concentrated on the mind, however, and “the stomach and associated organs.” [Ford 483]

74. Molesworth, Francis Hilton (1854-19-?)

The downfall of Demos : he that is not with me is against me, Jesus Christ . Sydney : F.H. Molesworth, 1931?

F. H. Molesworth was born in England but married in Adelaide; at the time of writing, he was a Public Analyst under the Pure Food Act, in Sydney. He wrote this anti-smoking tract so that “the youth of this world may be rendered worthy to gain a place in the next…” [The BIBAM copy]

75. Lucas, Thomas Pennington, LRCP, MRCS (1843-1917)

The true action and physiological results of alcohol / by T.P. Lucas. (London : Wesleyan Conference Off., [1875])

Lucas was a prolific author, campaigning against the immoderate use of alcohol, the Melanesian labour trade in Queensland, and other social aspects of medicine. He is best known now for his championship of paw-paw ferments for the treatment of various diseases: Dr. Lucas’ paw-paw ointment can still be bought. [Not in BIBAM]

76. Local option with compensation : opinions of leading English statesmen, clergy, and other prominent men on the subject. (Sydney : United Licensed Victuallers' Association of New South Wales, [1903?])

The Temperance Movement was active in Australia in the late 19th century – an international temperance convention was held in Melbourne in 1888, for example – and it is especially interesting to see ways in which it was resisted. ‘Local Option’ refers to the choice available to a local Council to accept or reject national legislation dealing with the sale of alcohol. This is a local reprint of a UK publication. [Not in BIBAM]

77. Dry munitions / prepared by John Vale ; foreword and statement of the case for war-time prohibition by R.B.S. Hammond ; State Sections by James Marion ... [et el.] (Melbourne : Australian Alliance Prohibition Council, [1918])

John Vale was the former secretary of the Victoria Alliance and then the Australian Alliance; the graphics emphasize the war being waged by the temperance movement against alcohol. [Not in BIBAM]

[Not in BIBAM]

78. Druitt, Robert, 1814-1883.

Report on the cheap wines from France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Greece, Hungary, and Australia: their use in diet and medicine. 2nd ed. rewritten and enl. (London, H. Renshaw, 1873)

The 1st edition was a reprint of a series of articles in the Medical Times & Gazette, in 1863 and 1864. The 2nd edition gives high praise to a number of Australian wines, including those of Dr. A. C. Kelly of Tintara. [Ford 635]

Flat Case 9

Domestic Medicine

79. Buchan, William, 1729-1805.

Domestic medicine, or, A treatise on the prevention and cure of diseases by regimen and simple medicines ... / by William Buchan. 6th ed., corr., to which is now added a complete index. (London : Printed for W. Strahan, T. Cadell [etc.], 1779)

This book, published in 1769, was the first book written in English to bring together all the components of domestic medicine: hygiene and regimen, description of diseases and their causes, and details of medicaments. It was a huge success; by 1803 it was up to the 18th edition, after which the publishers stopped counting. The book was a model for many imitations in the 19th century, the information being modified, as Blake says, to accommodate the moral conviction or system of medicine of the writer.

80. Elkington, J. S. C. (John Simeon Colebrook), 1871-1955.

Health reader : with chapters on elementary school hygiene / by J.S.C. Elkington ; illustrated by Norman Lindsay. (Christchurch ; Melbourne : Whitcombe & Tombs, [1908?])

Elkington was a great advocate of public health, yet the great thing about this book is not the text, but the illustrations. Elkington had married Mary Parkinson in 1896, and Norman Lindsay married her sister Kathleen in 1900. Elkington helped his brother-in-law to get a job on the Bulletin, and he probably agreed to illustrate this book as a quid pro quo. [Not in BIBAM]

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