I came upon the following interesting note in Geo. Gray's Confidential Report to the Trustees for March 1946 (p. 11):
"Dr. John A. Ferrell of the IHD staff first suggested the method of delousing by blowing insecticides into the clothing
without disrobing, and this technique was worked out by the members of the staff in North Africa"
Old JAF suffered from so much undeserved obloquy when he was eased out of the IHD into premature retirement that I would hate
to rob him of any real deserts. What is the story on this?
Thanks for your letter. I am in fine fettle just now and, following doctors' advice, have tilt down on animal fats and
increased the consumption of liquor.
Warm regards to you both from
This is being answered during a budget session of the PASB/WHO staff.
To the facts, as I remember them: In October or November 1942, shortly after I had been assigned to the problem of war and
post war Typhus, a discussion occurred of my future activities in a group of which JAF was a member.
At that time Dr. Sawyer had specifically indicated that I should be working in Iran. In a jocular mood, JAF spoke up and
said he could just see Soper in the Moslem harems running a tube into the loose and flowing garments of the bodies of the
harem and blowing louse powder freely therein. This comment really had no immediate result and it was only when we found
in August 1943 that the Arab women of Algeria would not take off their clothing, that we tested the pumping of the powder.
I believe I was responsible for remembering the remarks of JAF when I later reported on this work.