Treasures of the PI Nixon Library Blog

Treasures of the P.I. Nixon

Clara Barton and The Red Cross: A History of this Remarkable International Movement in the Interest of Humanity

 

A brief biography of Clara Barton

 

clarabartonportrait

Portrait of Clara Barton

Clarissa Harlow Barton was born in Oxford, Massachusetts, on the 25th of December in 1821. She was the youngest of six children, and she took a keen interest in education early in her life. When she was a toddler, she was sent to school with one of her older brothers, where she developed a love for reading. When she was ten, her brother fell off the roof of their barn and had to undergo surgery. Clara was dedicated to nursing him back to good health. This event sparked her passion and love for healing others, which would eventually lead to the wonderful legacy she left behind.

Clara decided to become a teacher at the age of fifteen and worked as an educator for several years; eventually, she opened a public school in Bordentown, New Jersey, in 1853. A year after opening the school, Clara moved to Washington, D.C. and worked at the Patent Office. Many people believe that she was perhaps the first woman in the United States to hold a government job. In the early 1860s when the Civil War broke out, Barton was one of the first volunteers at the local infirmary caring for the wounded soldiers. She went on to serve the injured soldiers on the field. She collected supplies and distributed them to the Union Army. She cared for the soldiers during combat in Fredericksburg, Virginia, as well as Antietam. Many soldiers addressed her as the “Angel of the Battlefield.”

In 1869 after the Civil War had ended, Clara visited Geneva, Switzerland, and was introduced to the Red Cross organization. While on her trip, she was asked to be the representative for the American Branch. Upon returning to the United States, she began to lobby to gain some recognition for the Red Cross. In 1881, the American Red Cross Society was founded with Barton serving as President until 1904. After leaving the Red Cross, Clara remained devoted to her philanthropic passion and delivered speeches and lectures concerning public health and health interventions. She also wrote many literary pieces that focused on public health, her experiences as a nurse, and the importance of health on a global spectrum. Barton died in Glen Echo, Maryland, on April 12, 1912.

The P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library owns a copy of The Red Cross: A History of this Remarkable International Movement in the Interest of Humanity, written by Clara Barton and published in the year 1898. The P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library will display a Civil War exhibit on major medical figures of the Civil War from Sept. 15 – Nov. 30. Be sure to come visit our Civil War exhibit and learn more about Clara Barton and her tremendous efforts in starting the American Red Cross Society.

 

redcrossbook

Image of our copy of Clara Barton’s The Red Cross: A History of this Remarkable Movement in the interest of Humanity

Clara Barton was honored with a United States commemorative stamp, issued in 1948

Clara Barton was honored with a United States commemorative stamp, issued in 1948

 

Sources:

Founder Clara Barton. American Red Cross website http://www.redcross.org/about-us/history/clara-barton. Viewed 9/12/2014.

Clara Barton: Relief Organizer/Humanitarian December 25, 1821 – April 12, 1912. Civil War Trust website http://www.civilwar.org/education/history/biographies/clara-barton.html. Viewed 9/12/2014.

Clara Barton. Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clara_Barton. Viewed 9/12/2014.

 Images:

Clara Barton, dated 1904. From the Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs division. No known restrictions on publication.

Postage stamp: U.S. Post Office; Smithsonian National Postal Museum. In the public domain.

 

Thank you for reading my blog post.
Mehak Sumar, Nursing Student

(For more information on the Nixon Library or to set up an appointment, contact Anne Comeaux, comeaux@uthscsa.edu or 210-567-2428 or Mellisa DeThorne, dethorne@uthscsa.edu or 210-567-2470.)

 

 

 

 

Middleton Goldsmith and Hospital Gangrene

Middleton Goldsmith was a surgeon in the Union Army during the American Civil War working primarily in the Louisville, Kentucky area. He was born in Port Tobacco, Maryland in 1818, the son of surgeon Alban Goldsmith. His father was the professor of Surgery at Kentucky School of Medicine in Louisville in the mid-1830s, and Middleton served as his anatomy and surgical assistant. Middle enrolled in the New York College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1837 and graduated in 1840. He was a multi-talented and very popular young man who played guitar and banjo, knew Greek and Latin, and was an excellent storyteller. He cofounded the New York Pathologic Society and in 1844 became Chair of Surgery at Castleton Medical College in Vermont. After 12 years, he succeeded his father as Chair of Surgery at Kentucky School of Medicine, soon becoming the Dean of Faculty. He joined the Union Army at the outbreak of the Civil War as a Brigade Surgeon and was quickly appointed Surgeon-in-Chief of all military hospitals in Kentucky and the Army of the Ohio, supervising the daily operations of multiple hospitals.

 

Sketch of Civil War solider patient with gangrene in arm stump

American Civil War soldier lies in bed with a gangrenous amputated arm

The picture above is a sketch of Private Milton E. Wallen of Company C, 1st Kentucky Calvary, wounded by a Minié ball while in prison at Richmond, July 4, 1863.  He was being treated for gangrene in August 1863 when Edward Stauch traveled from Washington to make this sketch.   By USG [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons.

 

Over 700,000 combined Union and Confederate soldiers perished in the 4 years of that war – more than in all other United States conflicts up to the Vietnam War, combined. More than two thirds of those succumbed to disease and surgical infection, not to direct battlefield trauma. Surgeons faced the formidable problem of treating the infections of wounds sustained during battle, and hospital gangrene was the worst.

British surgeons with experience during the Crimean War a decade earlier recommended patients should have at least 1600 cubic feet to themselves to prevent the spread of gangrene between patients. In some Union hospitals, the space per patient was only about 175 cubic feet, less than a six-foot cube, nearly 10 times less than the British recommendation. Attempts to improve ventilation for gangrene soldiers in such crowded conditions prompted surgeons to cut holes in ceilings or walls to draw the air through. This often backfired, allowing the microbes causing the gangrene to spread to patients in other areas of the hospital.

Many gangrene treatments were tried, including hand washing between patients, whiskey, cathartics, balanced diets, and topical agents applied directly to the gangrenous wound along with debridement, which was often too late or spread the infection. Experiments with poultices of mud, flaxseed, slippery elm, or charcoal were tried. Chlorinated soda water, extremely strong sodium hypochlorite solutions, nitric acid, tinctures of iodine and iron, and turpentine were applied, often in combination and often overpowering and painful and difficult to tolerate and usually without the desired effect of curing the infection or curing it but causing even more damage to healthy tissue.

When Goldsmith found himself surrounded by many hospital gangrene patients in Kentucky, he focused on the problem. He reviewed many of the documented outbreaks from early in the war and theorized that the three diseases of gangrene, erysipelas, and pyaemia were in some way connected, although his lack of knowledge of the “putrefactive agent” made his task very difficult. He reviewed the curative agents then in use and concluded that corrosive acids such as nitric acid stopped the gangrene but were also very destructive of living tissues and were impossible to administer safely. He also noted other topical remedies like poultices did not arrest the infection and the consumption of coffee and whiskey did nothing.

 

Picture of pages from Goldsmith's book discussing various treatments for gangrene

Discussion by Goldsmith of various treatments for gangrene (Click to enlarge)

 

Goldsmith noticed that in hospital wards where bromine was used as an aerosolized deodorant, gangrene patients seemed to recover more than in other wards. He recommended the placement of volatile bromine in all patient wards. He developed a method of applying bromine deep into muscular layers after wound debridement then injecting bromine subcutaneously and applying it topically to exposed surfaces. A second application was only applied in cases where the gangrene odor returned.

 

In an independent report of Goldsmith’s method by another surgeon, G. R. Weeks, it was noted that of 104 patients receiving a bromine-based treatment, there were only 3 deaths, which were due not to gangrene but to pyaemia and cellulitis after the gangrene was improved. Weeks concluded the treatment was 100% successful in preventing death in hospital gangrene patients while other treatment regiments averaged around 25% mortality. Patients recovering with other treatments averaged 15 days convalesce, those with weak bromine 9 days, and pure bromine only 2 days. Similar results were reported by other observers such as John H. Brinton, another high-ranking Union surgeon.

 

Picture of title page of Goldsmith's report

Title page of Goldsmith’s report on Hospital Gangrene

Goldsmith thoroughly documented his investigations in his report to the Surgeon General entitled A Report on Hospital Gangrene, Erysipelas and Pyaemia, as observed in the departments of the Ohio and the Cumberland, with cases appended. This 1863 report included colorfully detailed case reports and a foldout table containing all his research data, as well as his correspondence with other surgeons. The data collected included patient’s name, rank, company, regiment, when wounded, where and when gangrene began, tissues involved in the wound, region of wound, general treatment, local treatment, when infection arrested, duration of gangrene, and hospital. His precise data collection and reporting allowed him to claim near complete eradication of hospital gangrene from his wards.  Only 8 of his 304 patients receiving bromine-based therapy died, a mortality rate of 2.6 per cent. The overall mortality of hospital gangrene cases from the Civil War has been reported as 45.6 %. By the end of the war, surgeons applied variations of his bromine treatment throughout the country.

Case report of Wilbur F. Nichols, first patient treated with Bromine for gangrene

 

Picture of table from Goldsmith's book showing results of various treatments for gangrene

Condensed Table of Results of Various Gangrene Treatments (Click to enlarge)

 

Goldsmith died in 1888.  He greatest achievement was his contribution to surgical antisepsis and his revolutionary bromine therapy. His work predated Joseph Lister’s 1867 paper linking microbes and surgical infection and preventive measures.

Note: Most of the material in this article, other than illustrations, was summarized from John Trombold’s excellent article on Middleton Goldsmith’s research on gangrene therapy. (See sources below.)  Book illustrations were scanned from the Nixon Library’s copy of Goldsmith’s book.

Come view Goldsmith’s Report on Hospital Gangrene, Erysipelas and Pyaemia in the P. I. Nixon Medical Historical Library.

Anne Comeaux, Assistant Director for Special Collections

(For more information on the Nixon Library or to set up an appointment, contact Anne Comeaux, comeaux@uthscsa.edu or 210-567-2428 or Mellisa DeThorne, dethrone@uthscsa.edu or 210-567-2470.)

 

Sources:

John M. Trombold, M.D. “Gangrene Therapy and Antisepsis before Lister; Civil War Contributions of Middleton Goldsmith of Louisville. “ The American Surgeon, vol. 77:1138-43, September 2011.

 

Wikipedia contributors, “Gangrene,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Gangrene&oldid=611179702 (accessed June 23, 2014).

The Louis Lapicque Papers

 

Photograph of Louis Lapicque

Louis Lapicque, 1866-1952

The Archives of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library houses a collection of professional papers, research notebooks, and personal manuscripts of renowned, early 20th- century French physiologist Louis Lapicque.

Born August 1, 1866, Louis Lapicque was a pioneer in the field of neural excitability. One of his main contributions was to propose the integrate-and-fire model of the neuron in an article published in 1907. This model is still one of the most popular models in computational neuroscience for both cellular and neural networks studies and in mathematical neuroscience. The Lapicque concepts of excitability and nerve transmission form a part of the basic framework of modern neurophysiology.

Louis Lapicque completed his doctorate at the Paris Medical School. He married Marcelle de Heredia, one his notable students, on May 14, 1902. Their only son, Charles Lapicque, was born Oct. 6, 1898, before their marriage. Marcelle completed her doctoral studies under Lapicque in 1903, concentrating on the nerve impulse. Charles trained as an engineer but later gave up engineering in 1940 to become a painter.

Lapicque and his wife worked closely together for nearly fifty years in the Sorbonne Laboratoire de Physiologie, publishing over 80 articles. They devoted their life work to the study of what they termed the chronaxie of the nerve – the nerve response over time under various physiological conditions. Louis held a professorship at the Museum d’Historie Naturelle and then at the Sorbonne. From the 1910’s to the late 1930’s, he was seen as the most important French physiologist of the time. Marcelle assisted him and was eventually named associate director of the laboratory.

 

Illustration of La Sorbonne from 1893.

La Sorbonne, 1893

Professor and Madame Lapicque attracted and trained a host of pupils from France and many other countries, such as the United States and Japan. They were excellent hosts and well-loved and respected by their pupils. Together they brought physiology in France to world recognition. Lapicque’s interests were broad, but in later years he concentrated principally upon problems of excitation. He was also interested in history and published many articles about his deceased colleagues.

Photograph of yacht from 1892

Louis Lapicque was an ardent yachtsman and an accomplished navigator. He and Marcelle sailed across the English Channel to attend conferences in their yacht, rightfully named the Axon. His experience later proved beneficial during the occupation of France by Germany during World War II. Lapicque was imprisoned by the Gestapo for helping the resistance. During his three months’ incarceration, he authored his final book entitled La Machine Nerveuse, which was published in 1943 and in which he credited his wife with 40 years of collaboration, in addition to her own important individual research.

Louis Lapicque died in Paris on December 6, 1952. Marcelle de Heredia Lapicque took over the directorship of the Sorbonne Laboratoire de Physiologie until her death in 1962.

Held in the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library’s Archives, the Louis Lapicque Papers contain original handwritten lab books, journals of travel, a ship log for Lapicque’s yacht, manuscripts for papers, journal reprints, bibliographies of the research work of Lapicque and Alexandre Marcel Monnier, obituaries and biographical articles written by Lapicque and Monnier, and correspondence with both Lapicque and Monnier. For a detailed description of this collection, see the Guide to the Louis Lapicque Papers.

 

Scan of page containing data and graph from Lab Notebook Experiences du Bresil, dated 1927.

Data and Graph from Lab Notebook: Experiences du Bresil, 1927

The P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library’s Special Collections owns a copy of Notice Sur les Titres et Travaux Scientifiques de M. Louis Lapicque. This volume published in Paris includes the original 1908 edition, as well as the two subsequent supplements from 1919 and 1928, all bound together. Its bibliographic listings reveal Lapicque’s extensive and wide-ranging scientific interests.

To obtain more information or to access this collection in the Archives, contact Mellisa De Thorne at dethorne@uthscsa.edu, (210) 567-2470 or Anne Comeaux at comeaux@uthscsa.edu, (210) 567-2428.

~Lisa Matye Finnie, Assistant Records and Archives Librarian, finnie@uthscsa.edu, (210) 567-2406

 

Sources:

“Lapicque, Marcelle (de Heredia) (1873-ca. 1962).” The Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science, edited by Marilyn Bailey Ogilvie and Joy Harvey. New York: Routledge, 2000, Vol. 2: L-Z, pp. 745-746.

“Louis and Marcelle Lapicque.” For Better or For Worse? Collaborative Couples in the Sciences, edited by Annette Lykkness, et. al. New York: Springer Basel, 2012, pp 66-67.

“Louis Lapicque, 1866-1952.” J Neurophysiolog 16:97-100, 1953.

 

Illustration of La Sorbonne, 1893 is available under Licence Ouverte courtesy of La BIU Santé.

Photograph of Louis Lapicque courtesy of académie Nancy-Metz.

Photograph of Yacht, 1892 is in the public domain and retrievable from Wikipedia Commons.

Anthropometamorphosis: Man Transform’d: or, the Artificiall Changling

Portrait of John Bulwer

Portrait of John Bulwer

John Bulwer was born in London in 1606, the only surviving son of an apothecary named Thomas Bulwer and Marie Evans of St. Albans. He continued to work and live in London until his death in October 1656. Although information about his education is unclear, he was probably educated in Oxford (no degree) in the 1620s, and later, between 1650 and 1653, acquired a Medicinae Doctor (M.D.) degree at an unknown European university. In 1634 he married a woman known only as the “Widow of Middleton.” They had no children, and she predeceased him. Later in life Bulwer would adopt a girl named Chirothea Johnson, and, as he states in his will “bred her up from a child as my own.” She may have been deaf.

During the English Civil War Bulwer stopped working as a physician and concentrated on his study and writing. All his written works were created between 1640 and 1653. In total Bulwer published five works, all of which were either early examples or the first of their kind.

Anthropometamorphosis was Bulwer’s most popular work, reprinted at least three times in his lifetime. The first edition was published in 1650. The second edition of 1653, which is owned by the P. I. Nixon Medical Historical Library, was much enlarged and illustrated with many woodcuts. A third printing was a reissue of the second edition retitled “A view of the People of the whole World”. Considered to be the earliest book on tattooing and body mutilations, the book is a mixture of fact and fiction, some from traveler’s tales, some from early literature.

 

Frontspiece to Anthropometamorphosis

Frontspiece to Anthropometamorphosis

 

The title literally means “humanity-changing.” It is one of the first studies in comparative cultural anthropology and included a strong tone of social commentary. The full title, “Anthropometamorphosis: Man Transform’d, or the Artificial Changeling. Historically presented, in the mad and cruel Gallantry, foolish Bravery, ridiculous Beauty, filthy Fineness, and loathesome Loveliness of most Nations, fashioning & altering their Bodies from the Mould intended by Nature. With a Vindication of the Regular Beauty and Honesty of Nature, and an Appendix of the Pedigree of the English Gallant,” reflected Bulwer’s views condemning practices that disfigured the human body and his intent to guide the reader towards keeping the normal body created by God. The frontispiece to the 1653 edition shows a European woman, a hair-covered man and a South American Indian with full body paint standing side by side. They are being judged by Nature, Adam and Eve and a body of disapproving magistrates (including the ghost of Galen) for transforming their bodies, while the devil flies above them laughing and saying, “In the image of God created he them! But I have new-molded them to my likeness.”

 

The abundant woodcut illustrations in the book show all the manners known to Bulwer of decorating or transforming the human body, whether ancient or modern, New World or Old.   The main body of the text consists of 23 sections, of which 15 are concerned with deformations or modifications to the head or face. These included artificially produced square heads, long heads, round heads, dog heads, high foreheads, broad foreheads, large noses, shovel noses, and noses lacking or with slit nostrils. He describes the use of lip rings and lip spikes and other lip fashions; hair, eyelash, and beard customs; cultures favoring long necks or no necks; tattooed faces and painted faces and bodies; and customs dealing with the “privy parts.” He also described naturally occurring abnormalities such as two headed people, dwarfs, giants, etc.

 

The appendix, entitled “The pedigree of the English gallant,” looks closely at how fashions in England have been influenced by practices in remote parts of the world. Bulwer uses the universal nature of body modification to demonstrate similar behaviors of humans everywhere. Bulwer may view some practices of remote tribes as laughable or barbaric, but no more laughable or barbaric than those of the “civilised” world.

 

Pedigree of the English Gallant

Pedigree of the English Gallant

 

Bulwer is best known today for his work in educating the deaf and his advocacy for an educational institution he called “The Dumbe mans academie.” He was the first person in Britain to discuss the possibility of educating deaf people. In his book Philocophus: or, the deafe and dumbe mans friend he collects information about deaf people living in Britain at that time. Through observations that some deaf people can “hear” the vibrations produced by musical instruments by bone conduction through the teeth, Bulwer came to believe that the body had a commonwealth of senses, for instance the eye could be used to perceive speech by lip-reading. He advocated setting up an academy to teach the deaf to speak and to educate them. Chirologia: or the naturall language of the hand focuses on hand gestures used in speaking. It is a compendium of manual gestures, citing their meaning and use, and the handshapes described in Chirologia are still used in British Sign Language.

 

Hand gestures from Chirologia

Hand gestures from Chirologia (U.S. Public Domain)

 

Chironomia: or, the art of manuall rhetoricke, was published in the same volume but with different pagination and is a manual for the effective use of gesture in public speaking. Pathomyotomia, or a Dissection of the significant Muscles of the Affections of the Mind was the first substantial English language work on the muscular basis of emotional expressions.

 

After the publication of Anthropometamorphosis, his last book, Bulwer returned to his practice as a physician.

I hope you enjoyed this blog. The book is available in the Nixon Library for those wishing to study it in more detail.

Anne Comeaux, Assistant Director for Special Collections,210-567-2428 or comeaux@uthscsa.edu.

Sources:
John Bulwer,” Wikipedia.
John Bulwer, Anthropometamorphosis.” Posted by Oklahoma University’s History of Science Collections, June 16, 2010.
John Bulwer, Gesture and Education of the Deaf.” June 27, 2010 post in blog Res Obscura: a catalog of obscure things.
For they are very expert and skillful in Diabolical Conjurations: Lionel Wafer in Central America, 1681.” April 20, 2011 post in blog Res Obscura: a catalog of obscure things.

All illustrations were directly digitized from the book except where otherwise noted.

Dr. John Harvey Kellogg – Inventor of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes

John Harvey Kellogg

John Harvey Kellogg

When eating your breakfast cereal of corn flakes or granola, have you ever wondered who came up with the idea of manufacturing these foods? It might surprise you to know that they were invented by a 19th century physician and surgeon who was devoted to healthy living and the use of natural remedies.

John Harvey Kellogg grew up in Battle Creek, Michigan, the son of a family of small shopkeepers and devoted Seventh-Day Adventists. As a youth, he worked with James White, the principle founder of the church, to publish the Health Reformer, a monthly publication for Adventists. Many of the articles in the publication were on health and hygiene and advocated temperance, vegetarianism, and the use of natural remedies. In 1872 the Church sent him to study at the Hygieo-Therapeutic College in New Jersey. After 5 months, Kellogg enrolled at the University of Michigan Medical School and then at Bellevue Hospital Medical College in New York City. He received an MD in 1875 and later studied surgery in London and Vienna, qualified as a surgeon, and performed 22,000 operations during his career, which lasted until he was 88.

Kellogg became editor of Health Reformer in 1874, changing its name to Good Health in 1879, and serving as editor of the journal until his death in 1943. He also published 50 books on various aspects of healthy living and advocating vegetarianism; regular exercise; plenty of fresh air and sunshine; drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water a day; and abstinence from alcohol, tobacco, tea, and coffee.

 

Battle Creek Sanitarium

In 1876 Dr. Kellogg became the superintendent of Western Health Reform Institute, a small  medical institution of 20 patients run by the Adventists. By 1900, it had been renamed the Battle Creek Sanitarium, and was a health spa that promoted a vegetarian diet and forbid its guests from drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes. By 1920 it had expanded to 1200 patients, some of them prominent industrialists and politicians. Kellogg invented a range of exercise equipment for his patients and sought to improve the patients’ diet. He developed and patented a variety of new foods including Granola and Corn Flakes, peanut butter, soy milk, and imitation meats.

 

Postcard showing breathing exercises at Battle Creek Sanitarium, circa 1900.

Postcard showing breathing exercises at Battle Creek Sanitarium, circa 1900.

 

Granola

While a medical student in New York City in 1874-75, Kellogg became convinced there existed a widespread need for ready-cooked foods, at least ready-to-eat cereals. At the Sanitarium, he applied this idea in the production of Granola, which consisted of a mixture of oatmeal, corn meal and wheat meal made into cakes with water and exposed to a temperature sufficient to dextrinize the starch to make it more readily digestible. The product was ground to give it a granular form convenient to eat with milk, cream, or fruit juices. This product became the forerunner of several other similar products similarly dextrinizining the starch content of cereals. This was considered important as certain forms of indigestion were relieved by the use of dextrinized foods, although the reason then was not wholly clear. After trying granola at the sanitarium, many guests wanted to eat the cereal at home, so Kellogg established the Sanitas Food Company to make and sell the product. Dr. Kellogg had help running Sanitas from his younger brother Will Keith (W. K.) Kellogg.

 

Corn Flakes

Dr. Kellogg also became convinced that indigestion and decay of the teeth were encouraged to a marked degree by failure to use the teeth sufficiently in the thorough mastication of food. Accordingly, he made it a practice to require his patients to begin each meal by chewing slowly a small slice of dry zwieback. One day a patient came into the office complaining the zwieback had broken her teeth, making it apparent that zwieback as a dry food was impractical in several classes of patients – those with artificial teeth, with sore teeth or diseased gums, or without teeth. They needed something they could chew without running the risk of injury to their teeth or other inconvenience. Kellogg experimented with producing toasted or dextrinized cereals in a form which, while dry and crisp, could be properly offered to such persons without the addition of milk or cream, which would destroy the value of the dry food’s capability to stimulate an abundant flow of saliva. After some months, he developed the process for making toasted cereal flakes, which became widely used in the manufacture of toasted corn flakes, toasted rice flakes, wheat flakes, etc. Wheat flakes were produced first, quickly followed by toasted rice flakes and other cereal flakes.

Kellogg's Corn Flakes Advertisement 1910.

Kellogg’s Corn Flakes advertisement 1910.

 

Creation of W. K. Kellogg Company

By 1905, the Sanitas company was also selling corn flakes, producing 150 cases a day. Sanitas had more than forty competitors by then, as other cereal companies sprang up in Battle Creek.   One of Dr. Kellogg’s patients at the Sanitarium was C. W. Post, who later started his own cereal company. Kellogg claimed that Post stole his formula for the corn flakes.   Kellogg’s brother wanted to expand the business even more, but Dr. Kellogg disagreed and also disagreed about adding sugar to the cereals. They ended up starting two different companies when Will left the Sanitarium and started the W. K. Kellogg Company in 1906. With a commitment to advertise heavily, Kellogg first sold his flakes under the Sanitas name. On the box was the slogan “The original bears this signature,” followed by “W. K. Kellogg” in Kellogg’s handwriting. Within a year, Kellogg’s name replaced Sanitas on the box, and sales were climbing.   Kellogg’s success caught his brother’s attention. In 1908, Dr. Kellogg changed the name of his own food company to the Kellogg Food Company and began selling corn flakes overseas in packages similar to those his brother used. Business dealing between the two brothers, based on W. K. Kellogg’s ties to Sanitas, also strained their relationship. In 1910, Kellogg sued his older brother; the court case dragged on for years. In the end, Kellogg won his suit, although he and Dr. Kellogg rarely spoke again for the rest of their lives. Some of the profits of the W. K. Kellogg company flowed into the Race Betterment Foundation, created in 1914 to publicize and promote eugenics, then later into the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.

Books in the Nixon Library

The P. I. Nixon Medical Historical Library owns several books by John Harvey Kellogg. Plain Facts for Old and Young, published in 1879, called attention to the great prevalence of sexual excesses of all kinds, the heinous crimes resulting from some forms of sexual transgression, and the terrible results following the violation of sexual law and had chapters specifically for boys and for girls. It reflected his advocation of sexual abstinence and his severe views on masturbation. Rational Hydrotherapy, published in 1900, described the history of the use of hydrotherapy and a resume of the physical, anatomical, and physiological facts related to its use. It also illustrated and described 200 different hydrothermic procedures and provided a summary of diseases benefited by their application. Light Therapeutics provided a practical manual in the use of the electric light bath in the treatment of disease. The New Dietetics: What to Eat and How, published in 1921, was written to present the known facts at the time relating to human nutrition for the service of “the physician, the trained nurse, the intelligent housewife, and to every student of nutrition, as well as to the professional dietitian.”

Come to the Nixon Library to read Dr. Kellogg’s books to find out more about his theories on nutrition and natural remedies.

Anne Comeaux, Assistant Director for Special Collections, comeaux@uthscsa.edu

 

Sources:

“Harvey Kellogg, MD – Health Reformer and Antismoking Crusader,” Am. J. Public Health: 92(6): 935, June 2002.

“Kellogg Company,” Encyclopedia of Business, 2nd ed., Reference for Business. http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/businesses/G-L/Kellogg-Company.html. Accessed 5/19/2014.

“W. K. Kellogg,” Reference for Business – Encyclopedia of Business, 2nd ed. http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/businesses/G-L/Kellogg-W-K.html. Accessed 5/19/2014.

“Breakfast Cereals,” in Cereals section. John Harvey Kellogg. The New Dietetics: What to Eat and How. Battle Creek, Michigan, The Modern Medicine Publishing Co., 1921, pp. 256-258

“John Harvey Kellogg,” Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Harvey_Kellogg , accessed 5/19/2014.

 

 

All the photographs in this post are in the public domain and were retrieved from Wikipedia Commons.

A Landmark in Anatomical Illustration: Paolo Mascagni and the Lymphatic System

Portrait of Paolo Mascagni.  Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine, History of Medicine Division.  This portrait is in the public domain in the U.S., PD-US.

 Housed in the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library’s Special Collections is Paolo Mascagni’s 1787 Vasorum lymphaticorum corporis humani historia et ichnographia. Recognized as a landmark in anatomical illustration, this large folio edition contains 41 brilliantly executed copperplates, faithfully representing the details of the lymphatic system.  Even with the benefit of modern technology, researchers find it difficult to attain the perfection of his work.  As a professor of anatomy at the University of Siena, Paolo Mascagni (1755-1815) devoted himself to the advancement of anatomical knowledge.  In 1771, when he became prosector, a person who dissects cadavers for the illustration of anatomical lectures, he concentrated his investigative efforts on the lymphatic system.

Vasorum Lymphaticorum

 

Mascagni’s Research

Why is his work considered perfect and so hard to duplicate? Because of the level of accuracy and detail Mascagni was able to attain in replicating the intricacy and complexity of the lymphatic system of the human body.  Using mercury as a contrast medium, Mascagni developed new research methods leading to highly accurate dissection results.  He did this using a tubular needle bent at a right angle at one end and tapered to an extremely fine point.  Mercury was then injected into the body’s peripheral lymphatic networks and flowed through whatever part of the lymphatic system that was under study.  Following the mercury injection with careful dissection, Mascagni obtained magnificent preparations of those networks.

Vasorum Lymphaticorum2

 

The Significance of Mascagni’s Work

Vasorum Lymphaticorum was ground-breaking and opened the way for continued progress in our understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the human body.  He did not limit himself to studying the anatomy of the lymphatic system alone but also studied its physiology and pathology, and emphasized the vital role it plays in maintaining the body’s well-being.  He sought to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the lymphatic networks and advance anatomical knowledge.  And he accomplished just that.  Using his method of research, Mascagni observed, named, and described nearly all the lymph glands and vessels of the human body.  Demonstrating that arterial and venous lymphatics did not exist, this work challenged accepted views of Mascagni’s contemporaries. Mascagni disproved the theory that the lymphatics originated from the terminal arteries and continued in the veins through various, very fine tubules.  Rather, Mascagni concluded that the lymphatic system originates from all the internal and external cavities and surfaces of the body, and is directly related to the function of absorption. Through his research, he also discovered and described lymphatic vessels in regions of the body where they had not previously been known to exist.

Mascagni also refuted the belief that there was an anastomosis, or connection, between the lymphatics and the veins.  Except at the point where the thoracic duct and the thoracic vein merge into the venous system, there is no connection between the two systems. However, his research demonstrated that there is a link between the lymph and serous vessels. He determined that all the lymphatics pass through one or more lymph nodes during their course and provided excellent illustrations to document this fact by means of colored injections.

 

Be sure to check out this amazing illustration of anatomy by visiting the P. I. Nixon Medical Historical Library.  Contact Mellisa De Thorne at dethrone@uthscsa.edu, 210-567-2470 or Anne Comeaux at comeaux@uthscsa.edu, 210-567-2428 for more information or to make an appointment.

 

Trinaé Weldy, Special Collections Intern

 

References and Additional Information:

Eimas, Richard. “The Great Anatomy of Paolo Mascagni.” The University of Iowa Libraries Special Collections and University Archives. The University of Iowa Libraries, Apr 1983. Web. 17 Mar 2014. <http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/scua/bai/eimas.htm>.

“Paolo Mascagni.” Anatomia Universa. The University of Iowa Libraries, 1996-2006. Web. 17 Mar 2014. <http://sdrc.lib.uiowa.edu/exhibits/imaging/mascagni/index.html>.

Investigating the Origins of a Spencer Monocular Microscope

S. Perry Post, M.D., donated this Spencer monocular microscope to the P. I. Nixon Medical Historical Library in April 2001. Little information was provided about the microscope upon its delivery. Dr. Post merely stated that he purchased the microscope, second hand, from an upper classman when he entered medical school (UTMB, Galveston) in 1934. Preliminary research revealed very little following the microscope’s arrival. When the Spencer microscope was donated, both the date of manufacture and the original price could not be determined, and no record of the Spencer Company could be found. But it is still in perfect working condition, though a little dusty. So, exactly how old is this microscope? This is the question surrounding the mystery of the microscope.

             

Pieces of the Puzzle

Initial inspection of the microscope and its accessories revealed a label with “Spencer Lens Company” located on the rack and pinion connected to the body-tube. “Spencer Buffalo U.S.A” is also printed on the lid of the objective lens canisters with the corresponding objective lens size: 16mm, 4mm, 1.8mm.

Recognized as the first American to successfully make microscopes in the U.S., Charles Spencer published his first catalog in 1838. In 1865, he founded the company C.A. Spencer & Sons in Canastota, New York, but moved the business to Geneva, New York in 1873 to manufacture microscopes for the Geneva Optical Co. These instruments were marked “C.A. Spencer & Sons for Geneva Optical Company.” Following the death of Charles Spencer in 1881, the business was carried on by his son Herbert, who moved the company to Buffalo, New York in 1890. From 1890 to 1895, the company was known as Spencer and Smith, but changed to the Spencer Lens Company in 1895. The Spencer Lens Company remained in Buffalo, New York. In 1935, the Spencer Lens Company was bought by American Optical but continued operation under its own name, after the acquisition, until 1945 when it became known as the Instrument Division of American Optical Company.

What does this mean for our Spencer monocular microscope? It means that it could have been manufactured any year between 1895 and 1934. To add more mystery to the microscope’s history, a mechanical stage adjustment with a “C” mount is attached to the stage of the Spencer microscope. “Bausch & Lomb Optical Co. Rochester, N.Y. U.S.A.” is engraved on the mechanical stage adjustment. B&L Optical Co. was established in 1874 and patented the mechanical stage “c” mount in 1897. The “c” mount may have been attached to the Spencer microscope following its production. Since the “c” mount is adjustable vertically and horizontally, it was adjusted to reveal two holes on the stage. These two holes indicate that the original stage clips may have been removed and replaced with the mechanical stage.

Spencer Monocular Microscope, mechanical stage "c" mount and holes for the original stage clips

 

Was the Spencer microscope manufactured after 1897, when the mechanical stage “c” mount was available? Or, was the Spencer microscope manufactured before 1897? The microscope’s owner may have replaced the original stage clips with the mechanical stage “c” mount after its purchase. A precise date of manufacture has yet to be determined.

 

 

 

 

Physical Description

Housed in a well-built wooden case, the microscope is black and bronze and has a rectangular pillar that sits on a horseshoe base and supports the limb and the fixed stage. The body-tube has a rack and pinion for coarse focusing and carries objective lenses with different focal lengths screwed into a circular, triple nosepiece. The micrometer screw on the bottom of the limb (under the pinion for coarse focusing) is used for fine focusing. The swing out substage consists of a condenser, iris diaphragm and filter holder. The swing out double mirror is attached beneath the stage. The microscope stands approximately 10″ in closed position and approximately 14″ fully extended.

In addition to the monocular microscope, the case houses a four-hole, eye-piece container holder, and an objective lens canister holder with three objective lens canisters. These canisters are used to immerse the eye-piece (objective lens) in oil or water. For high magnification applications, an oil-immersion objective or water-immersion objective has to be used. The objective is specially designed. Refractive index matching oil (or water) must fill the air gap between the front element and the object to allow for greater resolution at high magnification.

How old do you think this Spencer monocular microscope is? If you have a guess or any comments or questions, please contact Mellisa De Thorne at dethorne@uthscsa.edu or call 210-567-2470.

 

Trinaé Weldy, Special Collections Intern

 

References and Additional Information:

“995.3.1: Microscope, Monocular, c. 1890.” British Columbia Medical Association: Medical Museum. British Columbia Medical Association, 2007-2008. Web. 21 November 2013. <http://www.bcmamedicalmuseum.org/object/995.3.1>.

“American Optical/Spencer.” Robert A. Paselk Scientific Instrument Museum. Humboldt State University, Department of Chemistry, R. Paselk, 04 Feb 2009. Web. 18 November 2013. <http://www.humboldt.edu/scimus/Manufac/AmOptCo.htm>.

Van Vleck, Richard, ed. “Bausch & Lomb – Microscope Makers.” American Artifacts: 19th Century American Microscope Makers. American Artifacts, 1999. Web. 20 November 2013. <http://www.americanartifacts.com/smma/micro/bausch.htm>.

Van Vleck, Richard, ed. “Charles A. Spencer – Microscope Maker.” American Artifacts: 19th Century American Microscope Makers. Greybird Publishing, 1999. Web. 20 November 2013. <http://www.americanartifacts.com/smma/micro/spencer.htm>.

The Life and Experiences of Dr. John Matthews

 

The medical bag and instruments below belonged to Dr. John Matthews, an ophthalmologist whose practice was held in the Nix Medical Arts Building (now the Emily Morgan Hotel), in San Antonio.  Dr. Matthews was a prominent member of San Antonio’s medical community. As a physician and active member and leader in local medical organizations, Dr. Matthews played a significant role in the establishment of the South Texas Medical Center. On the board of the San Antonio Medical Foundation and President of the Bexar County Medical Society, Matthews secured the endorsement of the Texas Medical Association, initiating the development of a medical center in the 1950s. Once appropriate requirements were met and important decisions made, Governor Preston Smith signed the bill approving the Medical Center’s construction in Northwest San Antonio.

Contents of Medical Bag: (from left) Diagnostic set, 2 Tonometers, metal syringe, box of Heat Sterilized Catgut Sutures, double-set case for 1 Cystotome and 1 Von Graefe's cataract knife, surgical kit, stethoscope, 2 Binocular Loupe (1 is a pair of bifocals)              From Left: Diagnostic kit, 2 Tonometers and surgical kit.

The University Archives houses an oral history with Dr. Matthews conducted by David LaRo on February 10, 1995.  Approximately 87 years old at the time of the interview, Dr. Matthews discusses various aspects of his life, his experiences as a physician, and the changes he had seen, and hoped to see, within the medical field.

Born in San Antonio December 15, 1908, Dr. Matthews spent his childhood in Eagle Pass, Texas only to move to Laredo, Texas in 1919 after his father lost his job at the Border National Bank. Not until 1922 did Matthews return to San Antonio, where he would retain a permanent residence. Matthews first decided to pursue a career in medicine under the influence of Dr. Homer T. Wilson, a general practitioner who had a background in surgery. The guidance of Dr. Wilson proved valuable as Matthews attended the University of Texas at Austin and then transferred to the University of Texas at Galveston’s Medical Branch for his medical training.

In his last year of medicine in Galveston, Matthews started a two-year rotating internship with the Episcopal Hospital in Philadelphia. Following the internship, he returned to San Antonio and entered a general practice until 1938. Upon his return to San Antonio he joined the Army Reserve as a First Lieutenant in the 111th Medical Regiment. Dr. Matthews admits he had little interest in the field of ophthalmology up until this point. He took a correspondence course in military medicine (around 1935) and the subject intrigued him; it was then that he decided to pursue ophthalmology. Shortly after entering general practice, Matthews left San Antonio when he secured a two year residency at the Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia. In 1940, Matthews returned to San Antonio and opened his office in the Nix Building in the general practice of ophthalmology.

From Left: metal syringe, box of Heat Sterilized Catgut Sutures, Binocular Loupe—bifocals, Stethoscope, Binocular Loupe, His first year of practice in San Antonio was interrupted when he was called into federal service and transferred, as Flight Surgeon, to the 111th Observation Squadron out of    Houston. The Squadron would remain encamped at what later became the Brownwood Airport until December 7, 1941. January, 1942, Matthews was transferred to the School of Aviation Medicine, in Randolph Field, as an instructor for the Department of Ophthalmology. Matthews examined cadets for aviation training and lectured in the field of optics. In 1943 Matthews became the Chief of Ophthalmology at the school and would hold that position until 1945. As Chief of Ophthalmology, Matthews was privy to some of the advances made in the field of ophthalmology during the war, particularly those involving color vision and the effects of radar on the human body. Such research led to the development of night vision and color vision testers used by the service.

In 1945, Matthews was released from the School of Aviation Medicine and he and his wife decided to return to the Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia for a “little refresher work.” Discharged in 1946, they returned to San Antonio and Matthews re-opened his practice in the Nix Building until his retirement in 1994. After 59 years as a physician, Matthews was asked how the medical field has changed. Not only has he witnessed a number of advancements made in surgical techniques and drug therapy, he has also witnessed the role of the doctor change. Dr. Matthews suggests that increased specialization has taken away the “greatness” of being a physician, and that the doctor-patient relationship has lessened significantly. Would you agree? What changes have you experienced in the medical field? What changes would you like to see?

 

Thank you for taking time to read my post.  If you have a story of medicine in San Antonio to share, please send it to dethorne@uthscsa.edu or call 210-567-2470.

The transcribed interview with Dr. Matthews is also available for review through Matthews Interview Transcript_1995

Audio clip of his oral history is available by clicking the play button below:

 

Trinaé Weldy, Special Collections Intern

 

Information Courtesy of:

“About Us.” Bexar County Medical Society. Bexar County Medical Society, n.d. Web. 6 Nov 2013. <http://www.bcms.org/>.

“Building History.” The Emily Morgan Hotel: A Doubletree by Hilton. Blue Magnet Interactive. Web. 6 Nov 2013. <http://www.emilymorganhotel.com/building-history>.

“History of Medicine.” Texas Medical Association: Physicians Caring for Texans. Texas Medical Association, n.d. Web. 6 Nov 2013. <http://www.texmed.org/gallery/>.

“History of the Foundation.” San Antonio Medical Foundation. N.p.. Web. 6 Nov 2013. <http://www.samedfoundation.org/about>.

Matthews, John L. Interview by David LaRo. 10 Feb 1995. 4 Nov 2013. Print.

“The Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library.” UT Health Science Center Library. UTHSCSA Libraries, 29 Jan 2013. Web. 6 Nov 2013. <http://library.uthscsa.edu/2011/11/nixon-library-friends/>.

“Who We Are.” South Texas Medical Center. N.p.. Web. 6 Nov 2013. <http://southtexasmed.com/who-we-are/>.

References for Medical Instrument Identification and Use:

Blaufox, Donald . “Ophthalmology.” Museum of Historical Medical Artifacts. MoHMA.org. Web. 9 Oct 2013. <http://www.mohma.org/instruments/category/ophthalmology/>.

“Equipment.” Frank’s Hospital Workshop. Web. 7 Oct 2013. <http://www.frankshospitalworkshop.com/equipment/ophthalmology_equipment.html>.

“Images from the History of Medicine (IHM).” U.S. National Library of Medicine: National Institutes of Health. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 23 Jul 2013. Web. 9 Oct 2013. <http://www.nlm.nih.gov/hmd/ihm/>.

“Miltex 18-262 Ziegler Knife-Needle.” 4MD Medical Solutions: Solutions 4 All Your Medical Needs. 4MD Medical Solutions, n.d. Web. 9 Oct 2013. <http://www.4mdmedical.com/ziegler-knife-needle-4a-size-2-6mm-blade.html>.

“Ophthalmology.” British Columbia Medical Association: Medical Museum. British Columbia Medical Association, n.d. Web. 9 Oct 2013. <http://www.bcmamedicalmuseum.org/collections/Ophthalmology?v=t&ps=15&pn=1>.

“Ophthalmic Surgical Eye Instruments: Products.” Ophthalmic Surgical, LLC: Not Just Another Instrument Company. Ophthalmic Surgical, LLC . Web. 7 Oct 2013. <http://www.ophthalmicsurgical.com/store/comersus_dynamicIndex.asp>.

October is American Archives Month—How to make a Humidification Chamber

Humidification is the process of introducing moisture into paper by placing the document inside an enclosed area with a water source.  This is often done for tightly rolled documents such as large maps, posters, or large pictures.  Water vapor enters the fibers of the document, allowing them to relax.  Often the document may then be opened safely, after which it can be pressed and dried to keep it flat. 

 A conservator is a professional whose primary occupation is the practice of conservation and who, through specialized education, knowledge, training and experience, formulates and implements all the activities of conservation in accordance with an ethical code such as the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC) Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice.

 Humidification is relatively safe, but there is always some risk when documents are exposed to water.

 Items that should only be treated by professional conservators are:

  • Rare and valuable documents.
  • Non-paper documents such as parchment and vellum.
  • Photographs.
  • Documents that are heavily soiled.
  • Documents that show previous mold growth
  • Documents with water soluble inks or paints as they may smear or bleed into the paper.

 For help finding a conservator, contact the American Institute for Conservation at 202-452-9545 or visit their website at www.conservation-us.org.

 Moving on to the fun stuff!  What supplies do I need to make a Humidification Chamber?

 Supply list:

  • Plastic container with a tight-fitting lid, they come in different sizes and shapes.  Select one made of plastic with no ventilation holes.  Remember to choose a container which works best for the documents you want to flatten.  Examples below:

container_1 container_2

  • 2-3 bath towels.
  • Water pitcher.
  • 4 freezer containers.  You can find these at any grocery store, Walmart or Target for less than $4.00. 
  • Warm water.
  • “Egg Crate” light panel.  These are plastic grids with holes in them.  The documents will rest on this panel so it should have a small grid, approximately ½”, to give even support.  The panel should be at least 3/8” thick, to prevent the document from touching the water filled containers beneath it.  Cut the panel to fit on the lip of the container.  You may need to cut the panel to fit in the container. Use caution when cutting because the plastic is brittle, and bits may fly about as it is cut.  Wear protective eye gear when cutting the panel.  Another option is asking hardware store staff to trim it for you.    

eggcrate_1 eggcrate_2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Blotting paper—purchase online at suppliers such as universityproducts.com or Gaylord.com. 
  • Paper for signage.  Use this wording for the Sign: Humidification in Process.

 Pre-humidification steps:

  • Unfold or unroll the document before humidifying, if that can be done without damaging it. 
  • Remove staples and paper clips.  Metal fasteners can rust in humid conditions. 

 Humidification procedure:

  • Step 1—Fold towels and place at the bottom of the container. 
  • Step 2- Place 4 freezer containers of equal size on top of the towels
  • Step3- Pour warm water into the freezer containers. 
  • Step4-Place egg crate panel on the lip of the container. It should fit snuggly, raised a few inches above the freezer containers to avoid their contact with document.
  • Step 5- Cover the container and wait patiently for 4-8 hours.  Check the progress of the document every 15-20 minutes.  If you have to open the container, do not leave the lid off for long, or the humid air will escape, and this will prolong the humidification process.
  • Step 6- Remove document from container, it will unroll on its own. 
  • Step 7- Lay the document flat on blotting paper.  Make sure blotting paper covers top and bottom of the document you are drying.  Use a book to provide even pressure while the document is drying.  Leave on blotter paper for a minimum of 12 hours. 
  • Final step-Remove document from blotter stack.  You are finished with humidifying your document. 

 Video on how to make humidification chamber to come later. Stay tuned!

 If you have questions about humidifying your documents, please call or email Anne Comeaux or Mellisa DeThorne at the telephone/email below. 

 If you have a story of the early days of the Health Science Center or medicine in San Antonio to share, please send to dethorne@uthscsa.edu or call 210-567-2470.

 

Happy American Archives Month, All!

 

Mellisa DeThorne, Keeper of precious things

 

Information Courtesy of:

http://www.sos.mo.gov/archives/localrecs/conservation/notes/humidification.asp

 

 

Electrotherapy: Stimulating Medicine

 

The early twentieth century was a transforming period for the United States. Progress was the name of the game and science became a way to play. Physicians of the day used scientific language and data to authenticate their methods and equipment. The PI Nixon Medical Historical Library has such medical equipment from the period available, particularly in the realm of electrotherapy.

Figure 1 STAR-RIGHT Violet Ray Electrotherapy Apparatus. Manufactured by The Fitzgerald MFG. CO.

Figure 1 STAR-RIGHT Violet Ray

 

Popular for the treatment of minor muscle discomfort, the Violet Ray electrotherapy apparatus was believed to provide healthy stimulation to ease anxiety, rheumatism, and inflammatory conditions. Developed using Nikola Tesla’s (1856-1943) invention of the resonant transformer circuit, known as the Tesla coil, and growing knowledge of alternating electrical currents, these violet ray machines were manufactured and became accessible to the public.  Figure 1, a STAR-RIGHT Violet Ray electrotherapy apparatus was manufactured by The Fitzgerald MFG. CO out of Torrington, Connecticut in approximately 1926.  The Grey 10″ X 6″ box, with a cloth interior, contains 2 general body electrodes (glass)used to provide electric therapy to various parts of the body, 1 metal electrode, an insulated handle with cord connected to the transformer, with a  secondary cord connecting the transformer to the plug.

Figure 2, is another Violet Ray electrotherapy apparatus manufactured by the A.S. Aloe company out of St. Louis between 1900 and 1940. It is in a wooden box with a cloth interior and,

Figure 2 Violet Ray Electrotherapy Apparatus. Manufactured by the A.S. Aloe Company.

Figure 2 Violet Ray

contains 3 general body electrodes (glass), one surface electrode, one comb electrode, and one throat electrode. An insulated handle with cord and plug is also included.

Another type of electrotherapy device in use was the McIntosh combined, dry cell, Galvanic and Faradic battery. This battery is unique because it was the first combination of two different types of batteries. This combination had its appeal to physicians and other scientists because either battery, or current, could be used separately or simultaneously, and it was portable. Galvanic currents were used to create localized muscle contractions or to remove or reduce moles, ulcers and tumors. The Faradic current gave a more powerful jolt to the body and was used as a general stimulant. The electrolytic needle holder was used in the removal of hair. Figure 3 shows a McIntosh Combined dry cell Galvanic and Faradic Battery, manufactured by the McIntosh Electrical Corporation out of Chicago between 1922 and 1946. It has a black, leather covered, wooden case with a covered handle and two latches, and has a purple velvet false lid that covers the compartment and is attached by two poppers.

The box contains instructions (stained with various holes) on how to use the machine and how to recharge / replace the battery, 3 felt pad electrodes, 2 wooden handles

Figure 3 Combined Dry Cell Galvanic and Faradic Battery. Manufactured by the McIntosh Electrical Corporation. 1922-1946

Figure 3 Combined Dry Cell Galvanic and Faradic Battery, 1922-1946

with metal shafts, 1 electrolytic needle holder, and 2 miscellaneous rollers. The use or purpose of these rollers is unknown.  The set may be missing a magnifying glass that attaches to the electrolytic needle holder, as well as conducting leads.

MiscRoller.ResizedIf you have any ideas or knowledge of what the two miscellaneous rollers may have been used for or if you would like to see this equipment first hand, please visit the Nixon Library or contact Mellisa DeThorne at dethorne@uthscsa.edu or 210-567-2470.

 

Trinaé Weldy, Special Collections Intern

Information Courtesy of:

Behary, Jeff. “AS Aloe Lightning Catalog.” The Turn of the Century Electrotherapy Museum. The Turn of the Century Electrotherapy Museum, 28 Aug 2004. Web. 9 Sep 2013. <http://www.electrotherapymuseum.com/Library/ASAloeCatalog/index.htm>.

“Biographies.” Corrosion Doctors. Kingston Technical Software, n.d. Web. 12 Sep 2013. <http://www.corrosion-doctors.org/Biographies/GalvaniBio.htm>.

Blaufox, M. Donald. “The Instruments: Electricity.” Museum of Historical Medical Artifacts. Museum of Historical Medical Arifacts. Web. 4 Sep 2013. <http://www.mohma.org/instruments/category/electricity/electrotherapy_apparatus/>.

“Electrical Stimulator, 1922-1946.” British Cojumbia Medical Assocation: Medical Museum. British Cojumbia Medical Assocation, n.d. Web. 9 Sep 2013. <http://www.bcmamedicalmuseum.org/object/993.627.1>.

“Museum Collection: 1800-1900 Galvanism and Faradism.” The Turn of the Century Electrotherapy Museum. The Turn of the Century Electrotherapy Museum. Web. 9 Sep 2013. <http://www.electrotherapymuseum.com/Museum18001900_Galvanism_Faradism.htm>.

“Museum Collection: Violet Rays.” The Turn of the Century Electrotherapy Museum. The Turn of the Century Electrotherapy Museum. Web. 9 Sep 2013. <http://www.electrotherapymuseum.com/MuseumVioletRays.htm>.

Vujovic, Ljubo. “Tesla Biography: Nikola Tesla The Genius Who Lit the World.” Tesla Memorial Society of New York. Tesla Memorial Society, 10 Jul 1998. Web. 9 Sep 2013. <http://www.teslasociety.com/biography.htm>.

Additional Links:

For pictures of electrotherapy newspaper advertisements, please visit The Turn of the Century Electrotherapy Museum, the AS Aloe Lightning Catalog at http://www.electrotherapymuseum.com/Library/ASAloeCatalog/index.htm

For more information on Luigi Galvani (1737-1798), who discovered the Galvanic current, Michael Faraday (1791-1867), who discovered the Faradic current, or Alessandro Volta (1745-1827), who invented the battery please visit the Corrosion Doctors’ website http://www.corrosion-doctors.org/Biographies/GalvaniBio.htm.