The Influence of the Blue Ray of the Sunlight and of the Blue Colour of the Sky [Blue and Sun-Lights: Their Influence Upon Life, Disease &c.]
...In Developing Animal and Vegetable Life; In Arresting Disease, and in Restoring Health in Acute and Chronic Disorders to Human and Domestic Animals. As Illustrated by the Experiments of A. J. Pleasonton, and Others, Between the Years 1861 and 1876.
Second edition, 1877. This printing features a new preface and novel effect--with the exception of the tinted frontispiece, the entire work is printed on blue paper in a supposed effort to avoid the negative effects of reading by gaslight and to promote his theory that all things blue were inherently beneficial to health. VG+ with minor soil/mottling to cloth and a halo of sunning around the edges of the textblock.
Pleasonton was a former Union Army general who left the service to practice law, but ultimately become obsessed with the amateur scientific investigations he undertook on his farm outside Philadelphia. He was convinced of a connection between blue light and the development of organisms. In 1861, a blue glass house was built for an experiment in cultivating grapes, then livestock, and ultimately applied to humans. The apparent success of his endeavor led to a "blue glass craze" that crested with Pleasonton's publication in 1876, then fizzled after years of criticism built to a definitive debunking of the theory by Scientific American in 1877.
As summarized in Pleasonton’s obituary in the New York Sun: “The basis of General Pleasonton's theory was the difference in the action of the various rays of the spectrum. In his lecture he said the sky was remarkably blue at the equator and in the Arctic regions, and the exuberance of vegetable growth in the region of the former and the rapid growth of vegetable life in the latter were said to be unequalled in any other portions of the globe. From this the lecturer said it would be easy to imagine the enormous influence exerted by the blue of the sky, combined with the sun's white light and heat and the moisture of the regions. As an example of this influence, General Pleasonton brought forth the subject of the green color of the leave of plants. Blue combined with yellow makes green, being darker when blue predominates and the reverse when yellow is in excess.”
Ownership markings of A. Frederick Collins, to the front flyleaf. Archie Frederick Collins was a pioneer in wireless telephony who published technical material critical to disseminating knowledge about advances in radio technology. He also authored science discovery and technical activity books for children. He claimed the title "Inventor of the Wireless Telephone 1899" and gave the first public demonstration of wireless telephony between two ferryboats in the North River (NY) in 1903. His success in science and business was curtailed in 1913 when he served a year in prison for mail fraud resulting from misrepresentation in a stock scheme. The ordeal left him embittered, causing his wife to divorce him in 1917, though he still went on to publish a number of books promoting scientific investigation in young adults and published the essential Radio Amateur's Hand Book in over 15 editions through the end of his life.
Read more about Pleasonton here.