Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Best Little Bathouse in Texas - Annals of Malaria Prevention

Pictured here, from 1914, one possible solution to the encroaching malaria problem in the UK. (Worriers fear that with global warming that pestilence will reach the shores of the sceptered isle soon).

Here, Dr Charles Campbell perches on the "municipal bat-roost" he championed in San Antonio, Texas. This would be a home, the innovator and epidemiologist claimed, for "one of man's best friends." His idea for mosquito control, at a time when malaria was a major public health problem in the US, was to disguise the roost as a favorite bat habitat--a church steeple, complete with cross. The structure was fitted with a trapdoor and stilts for harvesting bat guano by the wagon-load to use as fertilizer.

Photo courtesy Library of Congress, George Grantham Bain Collection.

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