Tag Archives: 19th century

Mary Josephine Hannan: portrait of a pioneer

Katie King Atlanta, Georgia, United States   Mary Hannan. Photograph by Cowell, Simla. Via the Wellcome Collection. Public Domain. Mary Josephine Hannan was an Irish medical pioneer, an outspoken woman with a strong sense of morality, a fervid supporter of women’s rights, and a champion of children and public health. She spent her life fighting […]

American ginseng as an herbal emissary influencing Qing-American trade relations

Richard Zhang Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States   Panax quinquefolium, as featured in a book by physician-botanist Jacob Bigelow, late 1810s. Public domain courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. On February 22, 1784, the Empress of China set sail from New York Harbor.1 Destined for the eponymous country, the American ship carried thirty tons of a wild root—ginseng. […]

Dr. Charles Alexander Eastman

Tonse N. K. Raju Gaithersburg, MD, United States   Figure 1. Dr. Charles Alexander Eastman; Reproduced with permission, Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, MN On March 15, 2021, the United States Senate confirmed Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM), a member of the Laguna Pueblo Tribal Nation, as Secretary of the Department of Interior. This historic action […]

Augusta Ada Byron, Countess of Lovelace (1815–1852)

JMS Pearce  Hull, England   Fig 1. Charles Babbage. Engraving from 1871. Via the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. Source It is undeniable that computer science and technology play an important part in medical investigation and research, and universally in the transmission of information. Everyone remembers Charles Babbage, (1791-1871) (Fig 1) inventor of […]

William Sands Cox—surgeon and founder of the Birmingham Medical School

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, United Kingdom   Drawing of William Sands Cox by T H Mcguire. 1854. Public domain. Via Wikimedia  In the early nineteenth century Birmingham was the second largest city in England. It was an industrial powerhouse, known as the city of a thousand trades, but it did not have its own medical […]

Multiple sclerosis: early descriptions

JMS Pearce  Hull, England   Clinical MS: Augustus D’Este, McKenzie Fig 1. MS plaques, by Robert Carswell. Source It was almost two centuries ago that the best known and possibly the first detailed patient’s description of multiple sclerosis (MS) was recorded. It survives in the diaries (1822-48) and almanac of Sir Augustus D’Este, the Harrovian […]

General Robert E Lee’s myocardial infarction: did illness impact the Battle of Gettysburg?

Lloyd Klein San Francisco, California, United States   Robert E Lee in March 1864. Julian Vannerson, photographer, after 1875. No known restrictions on publication. From the Library of Congress. Ascribing the loss of the Battle of Gettysburg to an illness of General Robert E. Lee became common among historians thirty years ago. The legend of […]

Review of “Fracture: Stories of How Great Lives Take Root in Trauma”

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, United Kingdom   Fracture: Stories of How Great Lives Take Root in Trauma Matthew Parris, 2020. The lives of people who seem to be endowed with extraordinary abilities have long been a source of fascination. The famous Italian physician, researcher, and founder of the science of criminology, Cesare Lombroso, professed this […]

Harriet Tubman, Joan of Arc, and Moses

Faraze A. Niazi Jack E. Riggs  Morgantown, West Virginia, United States   Harriet Tubman 1822 – 1913 Slave, abolitionist, activist. Suggested to have had visions and dreams as manifestations of temporal lobe epilepsy. Via the Library of Congress. Listen to my words: “When there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, reveal myself to them in visions, […]

Macdonald Critchley

JMS Pearce East Yorks, England   Fig 1. Macdonald Critchley by Norman Hepple. Credit: National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, UCLH Arts. Source Macdonald Critchley was a neurologist of elegance and sophistication.1 He was pre-eminently a clinical investigator of disorders of higher mental functions, especially those relating to language. He was the author of many […]