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Short Stories of Science and Invention

A Collection of Radio Talks by
Charles F. Kettering

INDEX

Weekly, from September 1942 to July 1945, Charles F. Kettering gave five-minute intermission talks about Science and Invention during the radio broadcasts of the General Motors Symphony of the Air.

Kettering invented the first automobile self-starter, and for 31 years directed a research laboratory for General Motors.

These radio talks are a fascinating legacy from the mind of a prolific inventor. The obvious anachronisms now add a historical perspective of the war-time period in which they were written.

These web pages now preserve some of the most popular stories for a new generation to read The text and art come from a General Motors booklet of selected talks. (Reprint, March 1959)

56.  Purple Dye, Sun Glasses and Malaria
A Radio Talk by
Charles F. Kettering


     This is the story of a battle - a battle which began over a hundred years ago and is still being fought by doctors all over the world. It is the battle of Malaria.

Malaria

     Down through the years we have fought the cause of this disease with sanitation, mosquito netting, by oiling stagnant pools and with insecticides. And we have combatted the disease itself with Atabrine and - quinine. Atabrine is a substitute material but it is not synthetic quinine.

     Today, we all know the importance of quinine, and so did the Belgian, Van der Heyden 300 years ago when he wrote about the healing value of an extract from the bark of the Cinchona tree.

     So did the French chemists Pelletier and Caventou, the first ones to isolate pure quinine from the extract over a century ago. And so did Pasteur when he made quinotoxine from quinine in 1853.



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- 90 -
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- 80 -
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- 70 -
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- 60 -
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- 40 -
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- 30 -
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- 20 -
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- 10 -
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