Review of Little Blue Book # 1050. X-Ray, Violet Ray and Other Rays, with Their Use in Modern Medicine by Maynard Shipley.
CITATION: Shipley, Maynard (1923).X-Ray, Violet Ray and Other Rays, with Their Use in Modern Medicine (Little Blue Book # 1050). Girard, Kansas: Haldeman-Julius Company.
Reviewer: Dr W. P. Palmer
In order to evaluate this 64 page booklet, it is useful to know a little about the author, Joseph McCabe and his publisher, Emanuel Haldeman-Julius. Haldeman-Julius started his career as a journalist and became a successful publisher as a result of marrying a wealthy heiress. He published more than 2000 Little Blue Books, about 1000 Big Blue Books and numerous magazines. Most aimed to be sold as cheaply as possible at the lowest end of the market on poor quality paper and generally badly printed with Little Blue Books selling at just five cents each. Total numbers printed are said to be 500 million. Although Haldeman-Julius stated aims were cultural and educational but his publishing business made him a millionaire. Most of his publications expressed an atheistic viewpoint and he promoted writing supporting evolution and sexual openness. He died in 1951 as a result of a swimming pool accident. Maynard Shipley was a journalist who became an author of Little Blue Books, probably because he knew Haldeman-Julius when they were both in the newspaper business. He wrote mostly about science topics such as astronomy, evolution, physics, electricity, biology and radium and also hypnotism, music and religion. A listing of the 29 Little Blue Books that Maynard Shipley wrote is provided below. He contributed articles fairly regularly to Haldeman-Julius’ magazinesand edited the eight volume Key to Evolution Series, published by Haldeman-Julius.
‘X-Ray, Violet Ray and Other Rays ...’ is typical of Shipley’s writing. It provides a great deal of information about the topic and it is, as far as can be judged, accurate for his era. In this work he does not evaluate the information very well.There are summaries of much of the research about X-rays, current in the 1920s, but little of this is relevant to our own time because of the vastly improved safety procedures now in place.
The chapters, after a brief introduction, are entitled:
1.Everyday uses of X-rays.
2.Curative value of X-rays.
3.Martyrs to radiology.
4.Discovery and nature of X-rays.
5.Ultra-violet light in health and disease.
Overall the book would only be of value historically to trace some of the research being carried out in the 1920s on X-rays and ultra-violet light. In fairness to Shipley, it should be remembered that even in the present day views are changing about the health and safety procedures needed in using X-rays and ultra-violet light.