Pop Culture
Mar 08, 2010, 05:52AM

How we lost the cure for scurvy

By 1750, scurvy had been pretty much universally conquered. But jump ahead to 1911, and suddenly you have Royal Navy surgeons completely ignorant of what causes the disease or how to treat it. 

Recently I have been re-reading one of my favorite books, The Worst Journey in the World, an account of Robert Falcon Scott's 1911 expedition to the South Pole. I can’t do the book justice in a summary, other than recommend that you drop everything and read it, but there is one detail that particularly baffled me the first time through, and that I resolved to understand better once I could stand to put the book down long enough.


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