This pint glass features the African American chemist, Alice Ball, known for developing an injectable treatment for leprosy. Chaulmoogra oil had been previously used to treat leprosy, but it provided inconsistent results and was very painful for patients. Ball discovered a water-soluble form of the oil that could be dissolved in the bloodstream. This became the most effective treatment for leprosy until the 1940s when sulfonamide drugs were developed. Even though Ball was the first woman and first African American to receive a masters degree from the University of Hawaii, the first female chemistry professor there, and made significant contributions in her field, some guy tried to take credit for Ball’s work after her death. Luckily, however, this man was corrected and we can now say ‘cheers’ to Alice Ball on February 29th – Alice Ball Day.
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