Featured In the Year of the Plague: Biology, Life Science, and Medicine on Money

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by kaparthy, Apr 5, 2020.

  1. kaparthy

    kaparthy Supporter! Supporter

    (It is known that some ancient Roman coins have medical instruments on them. My only image of a microscope on a coin is a Zeiss commemorative that I do not own. My Zeiss commemoratives are postage stamps, a different collectible entirely. Just to say that these examples are circulated world banknotes but the topic is open.)

    Biologists on Banknotes.jpeg
    Darwin is iconically famous. Pasteur is well known but well worth reading more about as you wish. He was a chemist who took an interest in a problem with wine and went from there to anthrax and rabies.

    Oswaldo Gonçalves Cruz is less well known.
    "Cruz found the seaport of Santos ravaged by an epidemic of bubonic plague that threatened to reach Rio de Janeiro and engaged himself immediately in the combat of this disease. The mayor of Rio de Janeiro authorized the construction of a plant for manufacturing the serum against the disease which had been developed at the Pasteur Institute by Alexandre Yersin and coworkers. He asked the institution for a scientist who could bring to Brazil this know-how. The Pasteur Institute responded that such a person was already available in Brazil: Dr. Oswaldo Cruz." -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oswaldo_Cruz

    Collectors of American coins may know John Leonard Riddell, chief melter at the New Orleans Mint and the author of Monograph on the Silver Dollar which identified many circulating counterfeits of the 1840s. Riddell was a scientist, inventor of the binocular microscope and a firm advocate of the germ theory of disease at a time when it was argued against. (See, also, the professional life of Pasteur.)
    1 Riddell Contagion Cover copy.jpg m.

    1 Riddell Sanitary Commission Cover copy.jpg

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  3. kaparthy

    kaparthy Supporter! Supporter

    The Great Plague 1665-1666

    "All trade with London and other plague towns was stopped. The Council of Scotland declared that the border with England would be closed. There were to be no fairs or trade with other countries. This meant many people lost their jobs – from servants to shoemakers to those who worked on the River Thames. How did Londoners react to this plague that devastated their lives?"

    I found two items on VCoins, both very nice and about $1500 from World Money Shop that came from 1665 in Great Britain.

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    Screen Shot 2020-04-05 at 5.54.26 PM.png
  4. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    Here's one. I tend to like these, paper money issued for a leper colony. This one isn't mine, but I do have a full set of this currency.

  5. Magnus Maximus

    Magnus Maximus Dulce et Decorum est....

    Wonderful write up!
    It really can not be overemphasized how much Louis Pasteur changed humanity with his definitive evidence that disease was caused by microorganisms. In my opinion there should be statues erected to Pasture, Koch, Lister, Salk and Hillerman et al. in every city with over 100K people. My reasoning is that our modern cities would simply not exist with out the revolutionary public health discoveries of those men.
  6. kaparthy

    kaparthy Supporter! Supporter

    Dont' forget John Leonard Riddell.

    Riddell rejected the “miasma” theory of disease, the claim that unhealthy vapors cause sickness; and believed firmly that diseases are caused by “animiculae” or “germs.” (Although microscopic “animiculae” were known from 1670, they were thought to be a consequence of the illness. Most people, including doctors, believed that sickness is caused by a miasma, hence "malaria" or "bad air.") In arguing for this theory, he engaged every tool and trick known to rhetoric and debate.

    His talk in Cincinnati was delivered in 1836. (Pasteur was born in 1822.) Similarly, he served on the Sanitary Commission in New Orleans in 1853 when they were struck by yellow fever. People tried to fight the plague by firing cannons into the air and lighting asphalt fires to fight the "miasma." Riddell kept pressing for the germ theory of disease. He also invented the binocular microscope.
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  7. Magnus Maximus

    Magnus Maximus Dulce et Decorum est....

  8. George McClellan

    George McClellan Active Member

  9. kaparthy

    kaparthy Supporter! Supporter

    Last edited: Apr 12, 2020
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