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Dispatches from the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Duke University
Updated: 1 hour 33 min ago

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Mon, 03/16/2015 - 20:30

Date: Monday, March 23, 2015
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Location: Room 217, Perkins Library
Contact: Rachel Ingold, rachel.ingold@duke.edu  or (919)684-8549

Dr. Sabine Hildebrandt

Please join us on Monday, March 23, at 5:30 p.m. for our next Trent History of Medicine lecture. Sabine Hildebrandt, M.D., will present “The role of anatomists in the destruction of victims of National Socialism.”

The history of anatomy during the National Socialist (NS) period from 1933 to 1945  has only recently come under systematic investigation. A majority of German anatomists became members of the NS party, while other anatomists were persecuted for so-called “racial” or political reasons. The traditional legal sources for body procurement included increasing numbers of bodies of victims of the NS system. Anatomists used these bodies for teaching and research purposes, and thus played a decisive role in the NS regime’s intended utter annihilation of its perceived enemies. Current research is focused on the reconstruction of the victims’ identities and their dignified memorialization.

Dr. Hildebrandt is an assistant professor in the department of general pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital and a lecturer on global health and social medicine at Harvard Medical School. After medical studies at the University of Marburg, Germany, and a professional start in experimental rheumatology, she became an anatomical educator. In this capacity she worked at the University of Michigan Medical School from 2002 to 2013, and since then at Harvard Medical School. Her research interests are the history and ethics of anatomy, and specifically the history of anatomy in National Socialist Germany, a field in which she is an internationally recognized expert. She continues to develop her educational work, which integrates anatomy, medical history and medical ethics.

Please note that Dr. Hildebrandt will be giving a related lecture, “From the Dead to the Living: Ethical Transgressions in Anatomical Research in National Socialism” on Tuesday, March 24, 2015, at noon in Duke Hospital Lecture Hall 2002.

Both events are sponsored by the History of Medicine Collections and the Trent Center for Bioethics, Medical Humanities & History of Medicine.

 

The post appeared first on The Devil's Tale.

Apple Pudding Pie, or Pie Pudding, No. 2, Yankee Style (1896) – Rubenstein Library Test Kitchen

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 20:40

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.

Upcoming Trent Lecture on Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis

Sun, 02/22/2015 - 14:20

Date: Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Time: 3:00 p.m.
Location: Room 217, Perkins Library
Contact: Rachel Ingold, rachel.ingold@duke.edu or (919) 684-8549

Please join us on Wednesday, February 25, at 3 p.m. for our next Trent History of Medicine lecture. Constance Putnam, Ph.D, will present “A Revisionist View of the Semmelweis Story.”

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.

The post Upcoming Trent Lecture on Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis appeared first on The Devil's Tale.

Crazies in Love: A Valentine’s Open House

Wed, 02/04/2015 - 17:00

Date: Thursday, February 12, 2015
Time: 3:30-5:00 PM
Location: Room 217, Perkins Library
Contact: Amy McDonald, amy.mcdonald@duke.edu

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

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Glass eyeballs and amputating saws and enema syringes, oh my!

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 20:38

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.

Amputating saw

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.

Glass eyeballs

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.

Enema syringe

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.

Female pills

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.

Dental key

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.

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