“Good Cakes Like Us Are Baked With Care and Royal Baking Powder!” (Item of the Month)

By Arlene Shaner, Reference Librarian for Historical Collections

Some of the most engaging materials in the cookery collection of the New York Academy of Medicine’s Library are late 19th and early 20th century advertising pamphlets. Small books of recipes, histories of coffee, tea, spices, and other foods, and brochures touting the health benefits of one product or another offer a window into the changing tastes of the American public, new innovations in the mass production of foods, and the development of mass market advertising. A number of these pamphlets came to us as part of NYAM Fellow Margaret Barclay Wilson’s collection of books on food and cookery, donated to the library in 1929.

RoyalBakingPowderCo_TheLittleGingerbreadMan_1923_cover_watermarkOne charming example is The Little Gingerbread Man, published in 1923 by the Royal Baking Powder Company, located at 108 East 42nd Street in New York. Written in rhyme, the pamphlet tells the story of the land of Jalapomp, where baking has been declared illegal because of the ineptitude of the cook. Poor Princess Posy, whose birthday is approaching, worries that she won’t have a cake. Alerted to the sad state of affairs by a little Flour Fairy, the Queen of Flour Folk sends Johnny Gingerbread and his friends off in a chocolate plane to save the day. Toting a tin of Royal Baking Powder and a copy of the New Royal Cook Book for the cook, the fragrant baked treats convince the king that baking powder and new recipes will set things right before they head back home to Cookery Land.

A tin of Royal Baking Powder features prominently in most of the pamphlet’s illustrations, and the cookbook appears as well. You, too, can try your hand at making some of the Royal treats, as almost every page also contains a recipe for baked goods, including one for gingerbread men. Readers of the pamphlet (or their mothers, since the book itself was clearly meant for children) could obtain free copies of the New Royal Cook Book by writing to the company as instructed on the final page of the story.

Although she is uncredited, the author of the pamphlet was probably Ruth Plumly Thompson, who wrote more than 20 volumes of the Oz series, a continuation the stories told in L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and its many sequels. The illustrations are attributed to Charles J. Coll.

Click the images to read the full pamphlet:

On Paré and Prosthetics

By Johanna Goldberg, Information Services Librarian

Saturday marks the 424th anniversary of the death of Ambroise Paré (1510–1590).

The French army barber-surgeon—and later master surgeon to four French kings and Catherine de Medici—has many accomplishments to his name.1 In 1537, he discovered that dressing gunshot wounds was more effective than the accepted practice of cauterizing them with boiling oil.2 He championed the use of ligatures to control bleeding post-amputation, which became more successful with the gradual adoption of tourniquets. He also developed an early “flap amputation,” saving skin and muscle during surgery.2,3 He authored 25 books with topics ranging from medicine and obstetrics to natural history and demonology (we hold many editions of his works).2

Paré also invented prosthetic devices, including Le Petit Lorrain, “a mechanical hand operated by catches and springs worn by a French Army captain in battle.” His above-the-knee prosthetic had properties still used today—“a locking knee and suspension harness.”1

Le Petit Lorrain. From  our 1633 edition of Les oeuvres d'Ambroise Paré.

Le Petit Lorrain. From our 1633 edition of Les oeuvres d’Ambroise Paré.

Artificial arm in use. From  our 1633 edition of Les oeuvres d'Ambroise Paré.

Artificial arm in use. From our 1633 edition of Les oeuvres d’Ambroise Paré.

Paré's  above-the-knee prosthetic. From  our 1633 edition of Les oeuvres d'Ambroise Paré.

Paré’s above-the-knee prosthetic. From our 1633 edition of Les oeuvres d’Ambroise Paré.

Perhaps more surprisingly, he also developed artificial noses:

Artificial noses. From  our 1633 edition of Les oeuvres d'Ambroise Paré.

Artificial noses. From our 1633 edition of Les oeuvres d’Ambroise Paré.

To celebrate Paré and his contribution to the field, we are featuring images of prosthetic devices throughout the centuries from items in our collection.

1696

Dutch surgeon Pieter Adriaanszoon Verduyn (ca. 1625–1700) developed the first below-knee prosthetic that allowed for knee movement and developed one of the first “true flap amputations,”3 as described in his Dissertatio epistolaris de nova artuum decurtandorum ratione of 1696.

Verduyn's below-knee prosthetic. In Dissertatio epistolaris de nova artuum decurtandorum ratione, 1696.

Verduyn’s below-knee prosthetic. Table VII in Dissertatio epistolaris de nova artuum decurtandorum ratione, 1696.

1718

In 1718, French surgeon Jean-Louis Petit (1674–1750) developed an effective tourniquet, allowing for more successful control of bleeding during and after amputation.3 He wrote about his achievement in Traité des maladies chirurgicales, et des opérations qui leur conviennent.

1862

Douglas Bly’s new and important invention, advertised in pamphlets from 1859 and 1862, offered a “ball and socket ankle, which were made of an ivory ball resting within a rubber socket,” and allowed for increased mobility.4 Bly publicized his leg throughout the Civil War, but the U.S. government found it too expensive to provide to wounded soldiers. Instead, the government offered to pay the difference between a government-issued limb and Bly’s higher-end model.4

Pages one and two of Douglas Bly's "A new and important invention," 1862.

Pages one and two of Douglas Bly’s “A New and Important Invention,” 1862. Click to enlarge.

Amputated, in stockings, and pants rolled up to show the artificials. On page 24 of Douglas Bly's ""A new and important invention," 1862.

Amputated, in stockings, and pants rolled up to show the artificials. In Douglas Bly,  “A New and Important Invention,” 1862, p. 24. Click to enlarge.

1885/1889

Henry Heather Bigg published Artificial Limbs and Amputations in London in 1885, almost exactly thirty years after the Crimean War (1853–1856). Our library holds the 1889 edition. Bigg illustrates advances he witnessed at the Royal Hospital at Netley.

Regulation box leg and regulation boot. In Henry Heather Bigg, Artificial Limbs and Amputations, 1889, p. 110 and 111.

Regulation box leg and regulation boot. In Henry Heather Bigg, Artificial Limbs and Amputations, 1889, p. 110 and 111. Click to enlarge.

Regulation common stump arms. In Henry Heather Bigg, Artificial Limbs and Amputations, 1889, p. 122 and 123.

Regulation common stump arms. In Henry Heather Bigg, Artificial Limbs and Amputations, 1889, p. 122 and 123. Click to enlarge.

1906-1926

The A. A. Marks Company of New York regularly released A Manual of Artificial Limbsour library holds seven editions, published from 1906 to 1926. There are only slight variations in the volumes, most notably the mention of services for Great War veterans in the later editions. The manuals aim to convince customers of the value of the devices throughout a person’s daily tasks and career (even when performing a magic show).

"It never occurs to anyone that his lower extremities are not real." A. A. Marks Co., Manual of artificial limbs, 1906, p. 108-109.

“It never occurs to anyone that his lower extremities are not real.” A. A. Marks Co., Manual of Artificial Limbs, 1906, p. 108-109. Click to enlarge.

"I am a professional prestidigitateur." A. A. Marks Co., Manual of artificial limbs, 1906, p. 265.

“I am a professional prestidigitateur.” A. A. Marks Co., Manual of Artificial Limbs, 1906, p. 265. Click to enlarge.

1945

Atha Thomas, associate professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of Chicago School of Medicine, and Chester C. Haddan, president of the Association of Limb Manufacturers of America, co-wrote Amputation Prosthesis, published in 1945 and heavily influenced by both world wars. They conclude their first chapter: “Where amputations were once considered only as a life-saving measure they are now performed yearly by the hundreds in a deliberate attempt to substitute a useful prosthesis for a useless, unsightly, or hopelessly deformed extremity” (12).

"Below-knee prosthesis equipped with rubber foot." In Thomas & Haddan, Amputation Prosthesis, 1945, p. 97.

“Below-knee prosthesis equipped with rubber foot.” In Thomas & Haddan, Amputation Prosthesis, 1945, p. 97.

"Great dexterity is possible also with this type of mechanical hand."  In Thomas & Haddan, Amputation Prosthesis, 1945, p. 212-213.

“Great dexterity is possible also with this type of mechanical hand.” In Thomas & Haddan, Amputation Prosthesis, 1945, p. 212-213. Click to enlarge.

1954

In 1945 the U.S. National Research Council established the Committee on Prosthetic Devices, later called the Advisory Committee on Artificial Limbs. The Committee published Human Limbs and their Substitutes in 1954, describing such progress as the electric arm, new methods of knee stabilization, and advances in suction sockets.

An electric arm. In National Research Council, Human Limbs and their Substitutes, 1954, p. 398.

A suction socket leg. In National Research Council, Human Limbs and their Substitutes, 1954, p. 665.

1962

In Upper and Lower Limb Prostheses (1962), author William A. Tosberg includes a brief history of the materials used in prostheses: after WWII, plastics predominated. The post-WWII era also lead to professional certifications and education programs for prosthetists (no longer called “limbmakers,” as they are by Thomas and Haddan) and orthotists.

Cosmetic hand for partial amputation. In William A. Tosberg,  Upper and Lower Limb Prostheses, 1962, p. 17.

Cosmetic hand for partial amputation. In William A. Tosberg, Upper and Lower Limb Prostheses, 1962, p. 17.

Adjustable above-knee leg. In William A. Tosberg,  Upper and Lower Limb Prostheses, 1962, p. 67-68.

Adjustable above-knee leg. In William A. Tosberg, Upper and Lower Limb Prostheses, 1962, p. 67-68.

References

1. Thurston AJ. Paré and prosthetics: the early history of artificial limbs. ANZ J Surg. 2007;77(12):1114–9. doi:10.1111/j.1445-2197.2007.04330.x.

2. Dunn PM. Ambroise Paré (1510-1590): surgeon and obstetrician of the Renaissance. Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 1994;71(3):F231–2. Available at: http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1061134&tool=pmcentrez&rendertype=abstract. Accessed December 4, 2014.

3. Sellegren KR. An Early History of Lower Limb Amputations and Prostheses. Iowa Orthop J. 1982;2:13. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2328816/. Accessed December 4, 2014.

4. Dr. Bly’s Artificial Leg. The Shelf: Preserving Harvard’s Library Collections. 2014. Available at: http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/preserving/2014/01/13/dr-blys-artificial-leg/. Accessed December 9, 2014.

“FEAR Narcotic Drugs!” The Passage of the Harrison Act

By Anne Garner, Curator, Center for the History of Medicine and Public Health

Ad published in American Druggist and Pharmaceutical Record, volume 36, number 6, March 25, 1900.

Ad published in American Druggist and Pharmaceutical Record, volume 36, number 6, March 25, 1900.

One hundred years ago today, Congress approved the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act. The Act’s passage critically impacted drug policy for the remainder of the century, and the habits of physicians with regard to prescribing and dispensing medicine.

By 1900, use of narcotics was at its peak for both medical and non-medical purposes. Advertisements promoting opium- and cocaine-laden drugs saturated the newspapers; morphine seemed more easily obtainable than alcohol; and widespread sale of drugs and drug paraphernalia gained the attention of medical professionals and private citizens alike.1 State regulations failed to effectively curb distribution and use.2

Physicians and pharmacists recognized they had an image problem. In 1901, the American Pharmaceutical Association formed a committee to study the country’s drug problem and recommended the ban of non-medical drug use.3 The American Medical Association seconded the APA’s pitch and strongly advocated for federal legislation.4

Hamilton Wright. In Morgan, Drugs in America. A Social History 1800-1980.

Dr. Hamilton Wright. In H. Wayne Morgan, Drugs in America. A Social History 1800-1980, p. 99.

This groundswell in support of federal action among local medical professionals also had roots overseas. In the aftermath of the Spanish-American war, the U.S. inherited control of the Philippines, and with it a serious opium problem. An American missionary, Charles Henry Brent, convened a commission in 1903 that recommended narcotics be subject to international control.5 Roosevelt seized on these findings, recognizing an opportunity to improve relations with China. In 1908 he initiated an international conference in Shanghai to talk about the narcotics problem. The President sent Brent and Hamilton Wright, U.S. Opium Commissioner, to represent the U.S.6 Wright, an outspoken, charismatic, and controversial figure, was central to the eventual passage of the Harrison Act.

Passage of a federal law would not be easy. In April of 1910, at Wright’s behest, Representative David Foster proposed a bill banning the non-medical use of opiates, cocaine, chloral hydrate, and cannabis, with harsh penalties for violations. The purchase of patent medicines containing any of these ingredients would require tax stamps and strict record-keeping. Proponents of the bill stressed the link between criminalization and drug use. Despite Wright’s best efforts, the uncompromising Foster bill garnered strong resistance from manufacturers and druggists, and died in Congress.7

A clipping from the library's Healy Collection,  which contains 19th century images, mostly clipped from Frank Leslie’s Illustrated News and Harper’s Weekly. Click to enlarge.

A clipping from the library’s Healy Collection, which contains 19th century images, mostly clipped from Frank Leslie’s Illustrated News and Harper’s Weekly. Click to enlarge.

Two more international conferences followed, at The Hague in 1911 and 1912. Soon after, Wright renewed his commitment to pass federal anti-drug legislation. A new bill proposed by Tammany representative Francis Burton Harrison, again at Wright’s urging, looked very similar to the Foster bill. But after two years of negotiations in Congress, the final legislation incorporated several key compromises. Physicians could dispense medication to patients without record-keeping. Patent medicines with legal amounts of narcotic substances could be sold by mail order or in general stores. Cannabis and chloral hydrate were omitted from regulation. With these concessions, opposition from pharmaceutical and medical professionals softened, agreement was reached, and the bill was signed into law on December 17, 1914.8

The immediate impact of the Act’s passage was confusion. The law offered only vague implementation guidelines. Was it largely a taxation measure, or was it intended to monitor and regulate professional activity? The Act’s major ambiguity related to the authority of physicians to prescribe maintenance doses of narcotics to already-addicted patients. Two 1919 Supreme Court cases clarified the issue. U.S. vs. Doremus found the Harrison Act constitutional and validated the government’s ability to regulate prescription practices for addicts. Webb et al. vs. U.S. denied physicians the power to provide maintenance doses.

The Supreme Court decisions forced addicts to locate new sources. They turned to the black market, where they paid top dollar. Petty crime increased.9 Penalties for violation of the Harrison Act were harsh. In the early years of the law, conviction numbers were relatively low—most years fewer than 500—but by 1919, the year of the Supreme Court rulings, convictions showed a marked upward trend. By 1923, convictions were approaching 5,000 per annum.10

The effect of the legislation on addicts was not viewed unsympathetically by the medical establishment, or even by law enforcement. Even the head of New York’s dope squad, Lieutenant Scherb, seemed concerned: “Many of [the addicts] are doubled up in pain at this very minute and others are running to the police and hospitals to get relief….the suffering among them is really terrible.”11 Beginning in 1919, authorities and public health officials cooperated to develop 44 addiction recovery facilities. These new facilities were short-lived, and most had closed by 1921. Unpopular with the public, many shut down because the lion’s share of patients found themselves back on the streets again.

NYAM holds a scrapbook of newspaper clippings from 1926-1927 illustrating that drug abuse was still front and center in America’s mind well after the Harrison Act’s passage.12 Most articles framed narcotic users as criminals: what was once a legal pastime was now seen as a major threat to American society. One clipping quotes Harvey Waite of the Association for the Prevention of Drug and Narcotic Addicts of Michigan: “Drug addicts are a menace to the peaceful citizens of the United States because from them come the most notorious criminals and lawbreakers.”

From the library's scrapbook of 1926-1927 newspaper clippings. Click to enlarge.

From the library’s scrapbook of 1926-1927 newspaper clippings. Click to enlarge.

The Harrison Act’s most lasting impact was in how it shifted the public conversation from a discussion about regulating a legal activity to eliminating an illegal one. The Act would form the cornerstone of all drug legislation to come, including the Controlled Substance Act of 1970.

References

1. Musto, David F. The American Disease Origins of Narcotic Control. New York: Oxford, 1999. Pp. 3-8.

2. Morgan, H. Wayne. Drugs in America. A Social History 1800-1980. Pp. 101-102.

3. Morgan, p. 102.

4. Musto, p. 56-57.

5. Courtwright, David T. Dark Paradise Opiate Addiction in America before 1940. Cambridge: Harvard, 1982.

6. Morgan, 99-100.

7. Musto, 47-48.

8. Morgan, 106-108 and Musto, 59-61.

9. Hodgson, Barbara. In the Arms of Morpheus. The Tragic History of Laudanum, Morphine, and Patent Medicines. Buffalo: Firefly, 2001. P. 128.

10. Erlin and Spillane, pp. 44-45.

11. The New York Times, April 15, 1915.

12. [Narcotics]. Clippings from newspapers from Dec. 1926-Sept. 1932. [New York?, 1926-1932]. 3 v. Email history@nyam.org to request.

Three Archival Collections Now More Accessible

By Rebecca Pou, Archivist

Three of our archival collections are more accessible: their finding aids are available online, both on our Archives and Manuscripts page and in our online catalog.

MedicalSocietyOfTheCountyofNYCollection_watermarkMedical Society of the County of New York Records, 1806-1989
The Medical Society of the County of New York was founded in 1806 and exists today as the New York County Medical Society. At 68 linear feet, it is one of our largest collections. The records document the society’s changing role over time. In its early years, the society regulated the medical profession in Manhattan; by the 20th century, it focused on education and public health concerns.

The Charaka Club Records, 1898-2012
The Charaka Club is a small, New York-based society of doctors interested in the historical, literary, and artistic aspects of medicine. The collection contains minutes, correspondence, publications, talks, and other materials. The talks, some which were not published in the club’s Proceedings, may be especially interesting.

Physicians Relief Fund Records, 1974-2005
The Physicians Relief Fund was a charitable organization that provided financial relief or loans to physicians and their dependents in times of need.

If you are interested in using any of these collections, please contact us at history@nyam.org. More finding aids will become available online in 2015.

Thomas Gallaudet and the Identity of Deaf Culture

By Paul Theerman, Associate Director, Center for the History of Medicine and Public Health

Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, n.d., in Henry Barnard, Tribute to Gallaudet. (Hartford: Brockett & Hutchinson, 1852), frontispiece.

Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, n.d., in Henry Barnard, Tribute to Gallaudet. (Hartford: Brockett & Hutchinson, 1852), frontispiece.

Today’s blog post commemorates Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, born December 10, 1787. A founder of the American Asylum for Deaf-mutes (now the American School for the Deaf) in Hartford, Connecticut, Gallaudet was a pioneer educator. His name lives on through Gallaudet University of Washington, D.C., the only U.S. institution of higher learning for the deaf.1

Gallaudet and Laurent Clerc, a Parisian instructor from the French National Institute of Deaf-Mutes (Institution Nationale des Sourds-Muets à Paris), became founding figures in the creation story of deaf culture. As Oliver Sacks put it in his 1989 book, Seeing Voices, both were instrumental in nurturing American Sign Language, a rallying point for the deaf community.

The French sign system imported by Clerc rapidly amalgamated with the indigenous sign languages here—the deaf generate sign language wherever there are communities of deaf people; it is for them the easiest and most natural mode of communication—to form a uniquely expressive and powerful hybrid, American Sign Language (ASL).2

Edward Miner Gallaudet, 1864, in Maxine Tull Boatner, Voice of the Deaf: A Biography of Edward Miner Gallaudet (Washington, D.C.: Public Affairs Press, 1959), opposite page 3.

Edward Miner Gallaudet, 1864, in Maxine Tull Boatner, Voice of the Deaf: A Biography of Edward Miner Gallaudet (Washington, D.C.: Public Affairs Press, 1959), opposite page 3.

In the mid-19th century, American Sign Language flourished at Hartford and its daughter schools, including Gallaudet University, founded in 1864 by Thomas’s son, Edward Miner Gallaudet.3 But the educational world was divided, and some—notably Alexander Graham Bell—favored teaching the deaf to lip-read and to speak, and actively discouraged signing. At the International Congress on Education of the Deaf, held in Milan in 1880, the proponents of “oralism” carried the day. Gallaudet held out as one of the few places where sign continued, but by the 20th century, only as “signed English,” not ASL.4 Yet sign language was the common language of the deaf. It reemerged, first as a topic of linguistic study in the 1950s and 60s by Gallaudet professor William Stokoe,5 and then in art, in places like the National Theater of the Deaf, founded in 1967.6 Finally ASL became a rallying point for political action.

Gallaudet students in 1886, in Maxine Tull Boatner, Voice of the Deaf: A Biography of Edward Miner Gallaudet (Washington, D.C.: Public Affairs Press, 1959), opposite page 114.

Gallaudet students in 1886, in Maxine Tull Boatner, Voice of the Deaf: A Biography of Edward Miner Gallaudet (Washington, D.C.: Public Affairs Press, 1959), opposite page 114.

In 1988, Gallaudet’s board of trustees selected a hearing president, the only non-deaf candidate of the three finalists. Gallaudet students shut down the university in the “Deaf President Now” movement. ASL carried their protests. They prevailed: within a week, the new president and the chair of the trustees were both gone, and the school’s first deaf president was appointed.7 Eighteen years later, students blocked another prospective president from taking office at Gallaudet; among the reasons was that, though deaf, she lacked fluency in ASL.8 The revolution in teaching the deaf that Gallaudet started in the first decades of the nineteenth century continues to this day.

References

1. Henry Barnard, Tribute to Gallaudet. A Discourse in Commemoration of the Life, Character and Services of the Rev. Thomas H. Gallaudet, LL.D., Delivered before the Citizens of Hartford, Jan. 7th, 1852. With an Appendix, Containing History of Deaf-Mute Instruction and Institutions, and Other Documents (Hartford: Brockett & Hutchinson, 1852). Gallaudet passed away September 10, 1851. Gallaudet married one of his students, a deaf woman, Sophia Fowler. Among their children were The Rev. Thomas Gallaudet (1822–1902), who also married a deaf woman, Elizabeth Budd, taught at deaf institutions in New York City, and established a religious congregation for the deaf, St. Ann’s, which continues in New York. Another son was Edward Miner Gallaudet (1837–1917), founder of Gallaudet University.

2. Oliver Sacks, Seeing Voices: A Journey into the World of the Deaf (Berkeley/Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1989), p. 23. Overall, a lucid and insightful introduction to the shifting fortunes of the deaf up to 1988, the year of Gallaudet’s “Deaf President Now” movement.

3. Edward Miner Gallaudet, History of the College for the Deaf: 1857–1907, Lance J. Fisher and David L. de Lorenzo (Washington, D.C.: Gallaudet College Press, 1983). The institution was originally chartered as the Columbia Institution for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind. Its college department was renamed for Thomas Gallaudet in 1894. In 1954 the whole institution received that name officially, which changed to Gallaudet University in 1986. See also “Gallaudet University,” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gallaudet_University, accessed December 2, 2014.

4. Sacks, p. 148; see also “Second International Congress on Education of the Deaf”, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_International_Congress_on_Education_of_the_Deaf, accessed December 4, 2014. For Bell’s opposition, see: Alexander Graham Bell, The Mechanism of Speech; Lectures Delivered before the American Association to Promote the Teaching of Speech to the Deaf, to which is Appended a Paper Vowel Theories Read before the National Academy of Arts and Sciences. Illustrated with Charts and Diagrams (New York and London: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1907); Gallaudet, pp. 182–83; and Maxine Tull Boatner, Voice of the Deaf: A Biography of Edward Miner Gallaudet (Washington, D.C.: Public Affairs Press, 1959), chapter 13, “Fathers and Sons.” In Bell’s family were deaf persons; his telephone was intended in part as a way to help ease that limitation.

5. William Stokoe, Sign Language Structure: An Outline of the Visual Communication Systems of the American Deaf, Studies in Linguistics: Occasional Papers, No. 8 (Buffalo: Dept. of Anthropology and Linguistics, University of Buffalo, 1960). William C. Stokoe, Dorothy C. Casterline, and Carl G. Croneberg, A Dictionary of American Sign Language on Linguistic Principles (Washington, D.C.: Gallaudet College Press, 1965). See also Sacks, pp. 77–78.

6. Sacks, pp. 145–47.

7. See “Deaf President Now—25th Anniversary,” http://www.gallaudet.edu/dpn25.html, accessed December 2, 2014. For news footage, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eyWea_S0VIo.

8. “Gallaudet Names New President,” The Washington Post, May 3, 2006, at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/03/AR2006050300920.html, accessed December 2, 2014.

From Master Dissector to Accomplished Author: Johann Gottlieb Walter

By Tatyana Pakhladzhyan, Rare Book Cataloger

Johann Gottlieb Walter, born on July 1, 1734, was a German physician and anatomist. He was born in Königsberg, studied medicine there, and received a medical degree at Frankfurt (Oder) in 1757. Walter continued his study in Berlin under Johann Friedrich Meckel the Elder, who appointed Walter prosector in the anatomical theater of the Medico-surgical College in 1760. After Meckel’s death in 1774, Walter became the college’s first professor of anatomy and obstetrics. He also held the chair of anatomy at Frankfurt University. Walter died in Berlin on January 4, 1818.1

The title page of Tabulae nervorum thoracis et abdominis. Click to enlarge.

The title page of Tabulae nervorum thoracis et abdominis. Click to enlarge.

In 1783, Walter’s Latin-language Tabulae nervorum thoracis et abdominis was published in Berlin. He had reputedly dissected more than 8,000 cadavers, and he maintained a collection of nearly 3,000 anatomical specimens purchased by the King of Prussia for the Anatomical Museum of the University of Berlin.2 Walter’s great skill as a dissector and his ability is well demonstrated in the illustrations of this text.

Walter dedicated this work to William Hunter, John Hunter, and Petrus Camper. William Hunter (1718–1783) was a Scottish anatomist and physician. He was a leading teacher of anatomy, who guided and trained his more famous brother, John (1728-1793), one of the most distinguished scientists and surgeons of his day. The Hunterian Society, founded in 1819, was named in John’s honor, and the Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons of England preserves his name and his collection of anatomical specimens. Petrus Camper (1722–1789) was a Dutch physician and anatomist interested in comparative anatomy and paleontology; he also invented the measure of the facial angle. Camper was also a sculptor and a patron of art.

This book contains four numbered plates depicting the nervous system of the thorax and abdomen, each accompanied by an outline drawing. All plates are signed by “I.B.G. Hoppfer, ad nat. delin” and “I.H. Meil, sculp.” “Ad nat. delin” indicates that Hoppfer drew from nature, while “sculp.,” or sculptor, would today mean “engraver.” Plates I-II are dated 1777; plates III- IV were completed in 1778.

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An English-language translation of Walters’s Tabulae was published in 1804, entitled Plates of the Thoracic and Abdominal Nerves, reduced from the original as published by order of the Royal Academy of Sciences at Berlin. The NYAM library owns this English translation as well.

The 2014 New York State Discretionary Grant for the Conservation and Preservation of Library Research Materials funded the conservation and rehousing of 24 oversize 19th-century German illustrated medical atlases, including Johannis Gottlieb Walter Tabulae nervorum thoracis et abdominis. Although all of the atlas volumes were represented in the library’s card catalog, they had not been entered into NYAM’s online catalog prior to the grant’s completion.

References

1. Julius Pagel: Walter, Johann Gottlieb. In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Band 41, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1896, p. 26.

2. Bibliographic note in NYAM’s copy of Tabulae nervorum thoracis et abdominis.

Innovation in Digital Publishing

By Lisa O’Sullivan, Director, Center for the History of Medicine and Public Health

Here on the blog we normally write stories based on the content in our collections, upcoming events, and other issues related to the history of medicine and health. However, we are also deeply interested in the issues facing libraries and the people who use their services.

By now it’s axiomatic that the digital world poses new opportunities and challenges for researchers, libraries, educational institutions, and publishers, which must be engaged with digital formats in a sustained and thoughtful way. The realities of this landscape encompass challenges to traditional models of publication and new expectations around access to both historic collections and new research literature. Open Access (OA) publishing and archiving is a central one of these challenges. In December 2013, we hosted an informal meeting around questions of OA at The New York Academy of Medicine.

Why is OA such a critical concern for libraries, researchers and publishers? (And why should you as a reader care?). As participants in our 2013 event discussed, issues of access to information have, ironically, been exacerbated by the growth of digital journals and electronic resources. Access to new research, whether in the sciences or humanities, is often prohibitively expensive for individuals and institutions. Authors struggle to make their work accessible to the broadest possible readership. Jill Cirasella at CUNY has produced an excellent summary of what’s at stake in discussions of OA.

The Wellcome Trust has been at the forefront in supporting open access to the research it funds in biomedical science and medical humanities, from its support of the open-access eLife journal to ensuring that all research funded by the Trust is made freely available to users. As such, we’re delighted to be working with the Trust to coordinate a panel called Innovation in Digital Publishing in the Humanities at the American Historical Association Annual Meeting taking place in New York in January.

Our panel will examine OA from a number of perspectives. However the potentials (and associated challenges) of digital publishing go beyond OA to broader opportunities for readers, publishers, and writers in the digital world, whether relating to new ways of presenting archival material online, new ways of doing and sharing research, or new ways to engage larger audiences, and we will explore some of these as well.

The panel will be chaired by Stephen Robertson, professor and director of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History & New Media at George Mason, whose Digital Harlem project has won multiple awards for innovation in digital history. We’ve asked our speakers to start the conversation early by giving their thoughts on the biggest challenge or opportunity facing digital publishing.

This week, we’ll start with two perspectives on Open Access and its implications, from Cecy Marden (Wellcome Trust) and Lisa Norberg (Barnard College Library). We will publish thoughts from Martin Eve (University of Lincoln and Open Library of Humanities), Kathleen Fitzpatrick (Modern Language Association), and Matthew K. Gold (New York City College of Technology and City University of New York, Graduate Center) over the next few weeks. Visit our Innovation in Digital Publishing section to read them all as they go live.

Feel free to pose questions to the participants individually or as a group; they will respond here and take your thoughts into consideration for the panel itself.

Canapé Parade

By Johanna Goldberg, Information Services Librarian

Thanksgiving means many things: spending time with family, reflecting on what you’re thankful for, looking back at American history. But the essence of the holiday can be stated in three words: food, football, and parades.

Our collection contains a whimsical pamphlet that combines two of the three (sorry, football fans): “Canapé Parade: 100 Hors d’Oeuvre Recipes,” published in 1932. (We have the fourth printing, from November of that year.)

The cover of Canapé Parade. Click to enlarge.

The cover of Canapé Parade.

The personality-filled canapés from the cover reappear throughout the pamphlet, illustrating recipes like bloater paste, Japanese crabmeat, herring, and marrons in brandy. Unfortunately, the pamphlet does not credit the illustrator.

None of the recipes specify ingredient amounts, “as the consistency and proportion of ingredients used will vary according to the individual palate.” The recipes take a semi-homemade approach, adding minimal fresh items to packaged food before spreading on crackers. The cookbook also advises that “the majority of these hors d’oeuvres also make excellent sandwich fillings to be served between thinly sliced bread at afternoon tea or buffet suppers.”

Enjoy the recipes on parade below (click to enlarge and view the gallery):

For more traditional Thanksgiving recipes, read Thanksgiving, 1914 Style.

Tobaccoism: “Rapidity in the Spread of a Disease-Producing Vice”

By Danielle Aloia, Special Projects Librarian

SmokeoutLogoThe third Thursday of November was designated the Great American Smokeout back in 1976. Since then it has gained national attention and helped precipitate smoke-free policies in public spaces and workplaces. It is a day to commit to quitting smoking with the theory that if you can last one day without lighting up, then you can last a lifetime.

Efforts to end tobacco consumption have a long history. Cigarettes grew in popularity during the 1850s, in tandem with the rise of Antitobaccoism movement.1 This movement was taken on by Seventh-day Adventists, whose most outspoken figure was Dr. John Harvey Kellogg.

John Harvey Kellogg, MD (1852– 1943). E. E. Doty, photographer. Source. Prints and Photographs Collection, History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine.

John Harvey Kellogg, MD (1852– 1943). E. E. Doty, photographer. Source. Prints and Photographs Collection, History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine.

The Adventists believed in a healthful lifestyle, including abstinence from coffee, alcohol, tea, and tobacco. Kellogg termed this “biologic living.”2 He and his compatriots established the American Health and Temperance Association in 1878 to expose the health risks of tobacco and other stimulants. Later, he became a member of the Committee of Fifty to Study the Tobacco Problem, presumably established after the First World War, when a “condition known as ‘soldiers’ heart’” affected British veterans.3 Kellogg also established a hydrotherapy sanitarium and wrote numerous books on healthful living. Today he is best remembered as the co-founder of Kellogg’s, a cereal company that grew out of his sanitarium’s dietary work.

Kellogg wrote Tobaccoism, or How Tobacco Kills in 1922, citing prior studies to document the ill-effects of tobacco on the biological system. This exhaustive account may be the result of his work on the Committee. Tobaccoism likely led Utah Senator Reed Smoot to introduce a bill into Congress including tobacco regulation into the scope of the Food and Drug Act of 1929, an effort that ultimately failed.4

Included in the book are some horrific images of the effects of tobacco on the human body. Unfortunately, the images are not sourced and it is hard to determine their derivation. In the text for the section “Damage Tobacco Does to the Liver,” Kellogg references, among others, a Graziani who showed “tobacco causes changes in the liver, particularly hemorrhages and areas of necrosis.” Part of the text of “Tobacco Cancer” reads: “Dr. Bloodgood, Professor of Surgery in Johns Hopkins University, in the study of 200 cases of cancer of the lip, finds smoking a common factor.”

Kellogg, John Harvey. Tobaccoism or How Tobacco Kills. Battle Creek, MI: Modern Medicine Publishing; 1922.

Kellogg, John Harvey. Tobaccoism, or How Tobacco Kills. Battle Creek, MI: Modern Medicine Publishing; 1922.

Kellogg gave figures for the growth in the tobacco habit by manufactured cigarettes per year, via the Census Bureau (the large increase in production from 1910 to 1920 has a lot to do with the First World War, when soldiers received unrestricted cigarette rations):

1902—2,971,360,447
1906—4,511,997,137
1910—8,644,557,090
1920—62,000,000,000

According to Kellogg, this meant there were 460 cigarettes for every man, woman, and child, a disturbing “rapidity in the spread of a disease-producing vice.”5 He wrote Tobaccoism in part to slow this growth by making sure people understood that tobacco was harmful and its effects irreversible.

Even with a long history of Antitobaccoism, smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., with 443,000 deaths annually.6 In 2011, there were over 290 billion cigarettes sold.7

There’s no better time to quit smoking than right now.

References

1. Reducing Tobacco Use. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2000. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/sgr/2000/complete_report/pdfs/chapter2.pdf.

2. Marino RV. Tobaccoism revisited. J Am Osteopath Assoc 2003;103(3):120-121.

3 Lock, S. (ed.), Reynolds, L.A. (ed.), Tansey, E.M. (ed.). Ashes to Ashes: The History of Smoking and Health. Amsterdam: Rodopi; 1998.

4. Fee, Elizabeth, Brown, Theodore M. John Harvey Kellogg, MD: Health Reformer and Antismoking Crusader. American journal of public health 2002;92(6):935. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1447485/pdf/0920935.pdf.

5. Kellogg, John Harvey. Tobaccoism or How Tobacco Kills. Battle Creek, MI: Modern Medicine Publishing; 1922.

6. Broken Promises to Our Children: The 1998 State Tobacco Settlement Fifteen Years Later. Washington, DC: Tobacco-Free Kids; 2013:87. Available at: http://www.tobaccofreekids.org/content/what_we_do/state_local_issues/settlement/FY2014/StateSettlementReport_FY2014.pdf.

7. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Economic Facts About U.S. Tobacco Production and Use. Smoking and Tobacco Use 2014. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/economics/econ_facts/index.htm#sales.

The Cure for Panic: Ebola in Historical Perspective

This post is part of an exchange between “Books, Health, and History” at the New York Academy of Medicine and The Public’s Health, a blog of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

By David Barnes, Associate Professor of History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania

The illness itself is scary: first the sudden aches, then the spikes of fever and chills, before the massive internal bleeding and copious vomiting and diarrhea. Death comes amid delirium and hemorrhaging from the nose, mouth, and other mucous membranes. A handful of isolated cases in the United States have been enough to spark a nationwide frenzy of fear and recrimination. Imagine what would happen if the nation’s capital lost a tenth of its population to the disease in the space of two months, and another half to panicked flight.  And imagine if it happened again in the same city a few years later, then again, and again—four times in seven years.

The time was the 1790s, and the place was Philadelphia Vice President Thomas Jefferson even called for the city to be abandoned. The disease wasn’t Ebola, but yellow fever, another of the viral hemorrhagic fevers that wreak such terrifying havoc on the body’s internal organs. Yellow fever was also known colloquially by its most distinctive symptom: “black vomit,” which occurred when large quantities of blood accumulated in the stomach. Its ravages in Philadelphia and other seaport cities in the nation’s formative years constituted a serious national crisis.

The public discourse surrounding the ongoing Ebola epidemic has been singularly unedifying. In the United States, news media outlets have eagerly stoked groundless fears, which public officials have rushed to appease with policy responses that will do nothing to stop the disease’s spread. Meanwhile, help has been slow to arrive where it is desperately needed, in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. Rural health centers there turn away patients for lack of staff and equipment, while well-funded American hospitals prepare for an influx of patients that may never come.

>>Read the full post at The Public’s Health.