Chapter 282 Huber the Tuber, Or, Hitler As a Germ

I went out book hunting to cheer myself up after turning down the office space last week, and this is what I found. Somehow, in some strange demented way, it is just what I needed. I laughed for a good long time at this book. I was also happy to learn that my copy is inscribed by the author and hard to find in the dustjacket in any edition.

Wondering if I found a first edition of a cornerstone of American literature?

Not quite.

Brought to you by a guardian of public health, Harry A. Wilmer, M.D., the author of Corky the Killer: A Story of Syphilis (yes, really), it’s Huber the Tuber: A Story of Tuberculosis.

It’s a story book first published in 1942 (my copy is the fourth printing, 1949). It was published by the National Tuberculosis Association in New York to explain to the public what tuberculosis is, how it spreads, and how it can be treated. Check out these endpapers that look like a map of human lungs.

More interesting than the story of tuberculosis is the way in which this story is told. The list of charcters includes tuberculosis germs modeled after the bad guys of the day: Hitler (Nasty Von Sputum), Tojo (Tojotuber), Goering (Gorring), and Goebbles (Gobbles).

The illustrations on each page are quite humorous. These barflies have been served “run and croak” and “synovial fluid”.

There’s Tojotuber at the bottom right.

And there’s Nasty Von Sputum (Hitler) preparing to attack the lungs. Good thing that “Corpuscle” Lipinsky can save the day!

The only sad thing is that the rear interior panel of the dustjacket is missing a significant chunk. In any case, I couldn’t find other copies for sale online inscribed and in a dustjacket.

Feel free to email me at chris AT bookhuntersholiday DOT com if you are interested in more information about this unusual public health book. Keep your eyes open for the sequel, The Lives and Loves of Huber the Tuber (seriously).


Filed under Book Finds

5 responses to “Chapter 282 Huber the Tuber, Or, Hitler As a Germ

  1. matthew

    I just wanted to say I love reading your blog. As someone that has recently decided to step into the book business, your blog is immensely helpful.

    Once I get things moving forward, I can only hope to return this type of favor to the community at large.


  2. Alex Moon

    I have the original 1942 release of Huber; alas .. without dust jacket. I was a child ‘inmate’ of a tuberculosis hospital during the war and every child there with me got a copy of this book.

  3. Too bad it is missing the dustjacket. My dustjacket is quite worn, so it’s not in the greatest condition. What did you think of the book when you received it as a child? Were you aware then that the characters were based on WWII leaders?

  4. Pingback: Eye blog » Graphic and grotesque. Hidden Treasure shows the human body in all its pathos and horror.

  5. Russell

    Absolutely wonderful! Under the cast of characters, Nasty’s cohorts include (Huey Long!, Goebbels, Goering, and Tojo. I got those. But who is Rusty the Bloodyvitch? My nickname is Rusty and I don’t want to be on Nasty’s side.

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