Tag Archives: 19th century

St. Godric and the lost leper hospital of Darlington

Stephen Martin UK   Fig 1. Godric praying to the Virgin, c 1400. PD-US, accessed: wikimedia, original: ©British Library Board, Cotton, Faustina, VI, ii 16 V. In the late 1100s, the English monk Reginald of Durham wrote an account in Latin of the hermit St. Godric, whom he knew personally.1 Reginald attributed over two hundred […]

Leeching and François-Joseph-Victor Broussais

JMS Pearce Hull, England, UK   Fig 1. Broussais & leeching. Credit: Encyclopædia Britannica. The practice of bloodletting began with the Egyptians and was succeeded by the Greeks, Romans (including Galen), and healers in India. In medieval times it spread throughout Europe. The “leech craze” was so popular in the nineteenth century that it has […]

The life and death of Franz Schubert

Nicolas Robles Badajoz, Spain   Figure 1. Pencil-on-paper caricature of singer Johann Michael Vogl (left) and composer Franz Schubert (right). The caption (in German) reads: Michael Vogl and Franz Schubert go out for battle and victory. Attributed to his friend, Franz von Schober – Original is in the Historic Museum of the City of Vienna. […]

Dr. William Minor and the Oxford English Dictionary

JMS Pearce  Hull, England, UK   Fig 1. Johnson’s Dictionary [photo: author’s copy] After the first dictionary of English words (Robert Cawdrey’s A Table Alphabetical… 1604) many dictionaries aimed to provide typical spelling, meaning, and often pronunciation, etymology, synonyms, and quotations. A New English Dictionary was an important advance reflecting everyday language compiled by the […]

Bristol Children’s Hospital and esophageal atresia

Richard Spicer Bristol, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Bristol Children’s Hospital 1885-2001. Photo by the author. Bristol Children’s Hospital The Children’s Hospital in Bristol began as the Free Institution for Diseases of Women and Children in 1857. In 1885 it moved to a purpose-built neo-Gothic building (Fig.1) and continued to treat women and children on […]

Applause, Honours and Mortification: Admiral Pellew’s psychology of achievement in combatting slavery

Stephen Martin United Kingdom & Thailand Aidan Jones United Kingdom   Opening section of letter. Photo © Cat Ring Books, Amherst, Massachusetts. A revealing, unpublished letter was written by Edward Pellew two months after commanding the Bombardment of Algiers to suppress Mediterranean slave traders. Short, sensitive, and emotional, it is an insight into the psychology […]

Diego Rivera and Hernan Cortes

Nicolas Robles Badajoz, Spain   The author in Guadalupe, Mexico, with two local guides (on the left) and a Texan friend (on the right). Photo courtesy of the author. Diego Rivera was one of Mexico’s most famous artists. Nowadays he is also known for his marriage to Frida Kahlo, another great Mexican artist. Born in […]

Francis Henry Williams: the first American chest radiologist

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, United Kingdom   Williams performing fluoroscopy of chest. From the book by Williams, which is available on The Wellcome Library. Public domain. Francis Henry Williams was born in Massachusetts on July 15, 1852. His father was a professor of ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School. Williams graduated in chemistry in 1873 from […]

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. […]