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February 19, 1944

Notable Contributors to the Knowledge of Syphilis

JAMA. 1944;124(8):542. doi:10.1001/jama.1944.02850080070038

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To the many volumes covering the history of the most protean disease comes this selection of brief biographic notes. It seems strange to find Gutenberg, inventor of the printing press, included, because textbooks on syphilis were the first books to be printed while the authors were still living. Christopher Columbus gets five pages, which he probably merits, but Cellini gets only five lines because he had syphilis himself in 1532. The mention of Daniel Turner fails to include his contribution on the condom as a method of prevention. By the time the twentieth century is reached the names become so numerous that there is no longer even a line for a biographic note.

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