Wednesday, December 02, 2009

The Royal Society has a stunning, involving collection of scientific papers, books and illustrations dating back to the 17th century online.

It's beautifully presented. Take a look here.

This is one of the hundreds of online exhibits : 'Captain James Cook's Methods For Preserving The Health Of His Crew' by Sunetra Gupta, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford :
‘We had on board large quantities of malt, of which was made sweet-wort ... and given from one or two pints in the day to each man’. So writes Captain James Cook in this article to explain how he lost not a single man to scurvy on this, his second, voyage (1772–1775). As late as 1740, long sea voyages were losing in the region of two-thirds of their sailors to scurvy. Cook also discusses the merits of ‘sour krout’ (i.e. pickled cabbage), ‘portable broth’ and, more familiarly, ‘a rob of lemons and oranges’ (although he had ‘no great opinion’ of the latter and considered them too costly). While we are still in doubt whether it was the malt, which Cook reckoned to be the best anti-scorbutic, or simply the practice of frequently replenishing the ship’s fresh food that caused this dramatic decline in deaths from scurvy, it remains one of the earliest triumphs in the study and endorsement of proper nutrition.

The Full Article By Captain James Cook Can Be Read Here, As It Was Originally Published In 1776.