History Essays Archives Page 2 of 19 - Hektoen International

Musical evenings on HMS Bounty

Stewart Justman Missoula, Montana, United States   The mutineers turning Bligh and his crew from the Bounty, 29th April 1789. Illustration by Robert Dodd. 1790. National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London. Dispatched to Tahiti in 1787 to gather breadfruit trees to be transplanted to the West Indies, HMS Bounty was a small ship with every possible […]

The Queen’s quickening: the phantom pregnancies of Mary I

Eve Elliot Dublin, Ireland   Portrait of Queen Mary I of England by Anthonis Mor, 1554. Prado Museum, Madrid Spain. Via Wikimedia. Public Domain. In November 1554, the people of England believed a miracle had taken place. Resplendent on her new throne, Queen Mary I, daughter of Henry VIII, proudly revealed that she was with […]

The illness of King George III

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Farmer George & his wife. Published by William Holland. 1786. © The Trustees of the British Museum. CC BY-NC-SA 4.0. The Hanoverian King George III (1738–1820) was a diligent man of wit and intelligence, a man who enhanced the reputation of the British monarchy until he […]

“Between false modesty … and conceit” – Sir Roger Bannister

Jack E. Riggs David B. Watson Morgantown, West Virginia, United States   Statue of Roger Bannister (left) and John Landy (right) at moment Bannister took the lead in their race on August 7, 1954. Statue by Jack Harman, 1967. Photo by Paul Joseph, 2005. Via Wikimedia. CC BY 2.0. Give me one moment in time […]

The Warsaw ghetto hunger study

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   A photo documenting clinical research on hunger performed by a group of Jewish doctors in the Warsaw Ghetto in 1942. From Emil Apfelbaum (red.)… 1942, American Joint Distribution Committee. a photo between pages 20 and 21. Via Wikimedia. “The organism which is destroyed by prolonged hunger is like a candle […]

Science and medicine in Venice

Photo by George Dunea Historical background The history of the Venetian republic begins with the plunder of Rome in 410 AD by the Visigoths and the destruction of Aquileia in 452 AD by the Huns precipitating a flight to safety to the largely uninhabited islands of the Venetian lagoon. The refugees formed a republic that […]

“For their own sakes”: The Edinburgh Seven, Surgeon’s Hall Riot, and the fate of English medical women

Mariel Tishma Chicago, Illinois, United States   Surgeons’ Hall, Edinburgh. Photograph of engraving in the 1890 edition of Cassell’s Old and New Edinburgh by James Grant. Photo by Peter Stubbs. Via Wikimedia. “There seems to be practically no doubt now that women are and will be doctors. The only question really remaining is, how thoroughly […]

Healing in the face of cultural devastation

Patrick Flynn Los Angeles, California, United States   Portrait of Susan La Flesche Picotte, the first Native American woman to receive a medical degree. Source. In 1855, a young Crow boy, no more than ten years old, ventured to the top of a mountain in present-day Montana. Over the next two decades, the boy would rise […]

Maligning Macleod and “Bettering” Best: the discovery of insulin as depicted in film before Michael Bliss

James R. Wright Jr. Calgary, Alberta, Canada   JJR Macleod circa 1928. Credit: University of Toronto. Via Wikimedia. In 1921, Fred Banting and Charley Best, working under the supervision of JJR Macleod, made crude pancreatic extracts from duct-ligated dog, fetal bovine, or whole adult bovine pancreata and used these to treat diabetes in depancreatized dogs. […]

Doctor in exile

Constance Markey Chicago, Illinois, United States   Portrait of Carlo Levi. By Carl Van Vechten, photographer (created/published: 1947 June 4) (Wikipedia.org) In August of 1935, a handcuffed Dr. Carlo Levi, (1902-1975), author of Cristo si è fermato a Eboli, (Christ Stopped at Eboli) arrived in the miserable southern Italian village of Gagliano (actually, Aliano).1 He […]