History of Medicine Blog
It’s the fourth Friday of the month, so it’s time for another trip to the Rubenstein Library Test Kitchen!
The History of Medicine Collections has a number of popular medicine guides, truly some of my favorite material in the Rubenstein Library’s holding. When I use such items in undergraduate instruction sessions, I refer to them as the Web MD of the late 19th/early 20th centuries. Then we all chuckle and talk about how Web MD is terrible because no matter what you type into the search box, it tells you you’re dying.
So it’s refreshing to consult 19th century popular medicine guides that don’t tell you you’re going to die and instead give you home health remedies, tips on teaching your children sex education, and recipes for healthy cooking. For my participation in the Rubenstein Library’s Test Kitchen, I chose one such popular medicine guide, Dr. Chase’s Third, Last, and Complete Receipt Book and Household Physician, or, Practical Knowledge for the People, as my source for culinary delight.
But what to choose? There were hundreds of recipes, including an entire chapter devoted to “Food for the Sick,” which includes recipes for “chicken water” and “corn coffee.” With another chapter devoted to “Culinary Recipes,” I opted to forego those targeting the sick, in an attempt to make something that my family might enjoy.
Having become totally obsessed with the Great British Baking Show, I wanted to try to make a pudding of some sort. Dr. Chase’s book has not one but six apple pudding recipes, and I thought surely I could make something work (even without a pudding bowl). I opted for Apple Pudding-Pie, or Pie-Pudding, No. 2, Yankee Style. The ingredients seemed simple, the directions vague but not totally unclear, and honestly, it seemed like maybe it would be edible. I was also intrigued by this “plan that avoids the soggy and indigestible bottom crust.”
The ingredients were bland enough: apples, flour, baking powder, an egg, butter, and sweet milk. I assumed that I could use evaporated milk for “sweet milk.”
I peeled, cored, and sliced three Granny Smith apples and sprinkled them with cinnamon. Not having a pudding bowl, I opted for a Bundt pan. I whisked the baking powder and flour together and separately melted the butter, then added the egg and evaporated milk to the butter and whisked these together. I added the wet to the dry trying not to over stir. I then had something that looked like Trader Joe’s pizza dough – not a cake batter at all. I spread this over my apples, even though it was hard to do, and put it into the oven at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. As my colleagues have noted, 19th century cookbooks aren’t known for giving tons of details, so I was winging it with the temperature and baking time.
At one point, I opened the oven, and the odor was reminiscent of mothballs. As I stood muttering about how long it should stay in, my husband (a Yankee, no less) quipped, “do you think if you leave it in there long enough it will turn into fudge brownies?” But I decided to wait, and after 45 minutes, took the pan out of the oven. I inverted the pan, and, I have to say, the hole created by the Bundt pan was aesthetically pleasing, and after tasting the pudding pie, this might have been a nice place to put loads of sugary, rich cream. Overall, the crust was indeed not soggy, nor did it have any flavor. And the apples were tasty when scraped off the digestible, spongey crust.
So while I may not be able to recommend this particular recipe, I would recommend this book for a multitude of other reasons, including some great illustrations.
Post Contributed by Rachel Ingold, Curator, History of Medicine Collections
The post Apple Pudding Pie, or Pie Pudding, No. 2, Yankee Style (1896) – Rubenstein Library Test Kitchen appeared first on The Devil's Tale.
Date: Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Time: 3:00 p.m.
Location: Room 217, Perkins Library
Contact: Rachel Ingold, firstname.lastname@example.org or (919) 684-8549
Dr. Putnam has spent several years reviewing the story of Ignaz Semmelweis, a nineteenth-century Hungarian physician and leading proponent of antisepsis. Problematizing a story that many historians think they know is a complex and special challenge, though there is evidence that Semmelweis was more than the ‘hand-washing guy.’ He had a very full, though brief, career as part of a vital and impressive medical community—a part of the tale that is generally ignored.
Dr. Putnam is a medical history researcher and writer from Concord, Massachusetts. Dr. Putnam was awarded a Fulbright Senior Scholar Fellowship to visit Budapest in 2005-2006. Since then, she has returned many times, learning Hungarian in order to make use of several archives.
This event is sponsored by the History of Medicine Collections.
Post contributed by Rachel Ingold, Curator of the History of Medicine Collections.
Date: Thursday, February 12, 2015
Time: 3:30-5:00 PM
Location: Room 217, Perkins Library
Contact: Amy McDonald, email@example.com
Dearest readers and friends, we long to see you on Valentine’s Day. Won’t you please set our hearts a-flutter and come to our Valentine’s Day open house?
Do you fear that you will be too busy penning epistles of undying love to your own beloveds to join us? Ah, but this event is crafted especially for you: we’ll be sharing the most swoon-worthy of love declarations from the Rubenstein Library’s collections, so you may find just the term of endearment you need to woo your mate.
Perhaps a few examples to help the time pass more swiftly until we meet?
We’re charmed by the simplicity of this short note from the scrapbook of Odessa Massey, Class of 1928:From the Odessa Massey Scrapbook, 1924-1928.
Or the more expressive route taken by Francis Warrington Dawson—writing to Sarah Morgan, his future wife–is always sure to succeed:Letter from Francis Warrington Dawson to Sarah Morgan, February 10, 1873. From the Francis Warrrington Dawson Family Papers.
“How deeply should I thank God that he has allowed me to know you, which is to love you, for the sun now has a brighter light & the sky a deeper blue. The whole world seems truer & better, & this pilgrim, instead of lingering in the depths, is breasting the healthy difficulties of existence, with his eyes fast fixed on you. Whatever else may fail, believe always in this devoted & unselfish love of Francis Warrington Dawson!”
Or whose heart wouldn’t melt upon receiving this most adorable valentine, from our Postcard Collection:Valentine postcard, undated. From the Postcard Collection.
And there might even be tips on how to present yourself when you present your valentine!Barbasol advetisement, 1944. http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/adaccess_BH0643/
Have we convinced you yet? What if we mention that there will be chocolate and candy?
Until next Thursday,
Your Rubenstein librarians
As Curator for the History of Medicine Collections in the Rubenstein Library, I often feel I have one of the best jobs in our library. I have the opportunity to work with wonderful people, but also remarkable rare books, manuscripts, and a wonderful collection of material objects.
Over the years, a number of generous donors have given a variety of instruments and artifacts to the History of Medicine Collections. These items are often used in classroom instruction and teaching, and enrich and enliven exhibits and displays. The depth and breadth of this collection represents advances made in science and medicine, and reflect the importance of our historical understanding of material culture.
Artifacts range in date from the 17th century to today, with many aspects of medicine highlighted in the collection: surgery, gynecology, pediatrics, and more. That “more” category includes items like our prosthetic glass eyeballs, the irises of which are all blue. These hand-blown glass items were intended to serve as prosthetic eyes. In a box reminiscent of a Whitman’s sampler, these eyes were made in a variety of sizes with differing tints of yellow and white. This box would have been used and carried by a traveling salesman of sorts – a person who visited doctors’ offices and sold them to patients in need.
A remarkable collection guide is now available to document the range of historical medical artifacts we have in our holdings.
I’m often asked by students and researchers what my favorite item is. It really changes on a weekly basis. Currently, I’m intrigued by our range of microscopes. They are quite beautiful, span several centuries, and some include ivory specimen slides – with specimens!
Box mount microscope
Screw barrel microscope
Some of my other favorites? Female pills and dental keys. Why were these female pills created and what are they? When I ask students, they often answer that it’s really just Midol.
The dental keys really illustrate how medical technology has evolved in tooth extraction. The illustration below shows how a dental key would be used. This image is from the monumental work by J. M. Bourgery, Atlas of human anatomy and surgery, that includes a translation of his work and colored facsimiles. Of note, we also have the nine volume original work of Bourgery.
A tremendous amount of thanks go out to so many people: our donors who have generously given such wonderful materials; previous staff of the History of Medicine Collections who researched these items, provided descriptions, and took photos that we can now share; and current staff from the Rubenstein Library’s technical services department and DUL digital projects – all who have made this guide possible.
What will your favorite item be?
Post by Rachel Ingold, Curator for the History of Medicine Collections in the Rubenstein Library.
The post Glass eyeballs and amputating saws and enema syringes, oh my! appeared first on The Devil's Tale.
The Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture, the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture, the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History, and the History of Medicine Collections will award up to $1,000 per recipient to fund travel and other expenses related to visiting the Rubenstein Library. The Rubenstein also offers the Eleanore and Harold Jantz Fellowship, a $1500 award for researchers whose work would benefit from use of the Jantz Collections.
The grants are open to undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, independent scholars, artists, and activists who live more than 100 miles from Durham, NC and whose research projects would benefit from access to collections held by one of the centers.
More details—and the grant application—may be found on our grants website. Recipients will be announced in April 2015.
The post Now Accepting Applications for our 2014-2015 Travel Grants appeared first on The Devil's Tale.