Tag Archives: China

The scourge, the scientist, and the swindle

Anne Jacobson Oak Park, Illinois, United States   Alice Augusta Ball, 1915. (Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain) “The leprous person who has the disease shall wear torn clothes and let the hair of his head hang loose, and he shall cover his upper lip and cry out, ‘Unclean, unclean.’ He shall remain unclean as long as […]

Mary Niles and the Canton rats

Edward McSweegan Kinston, Rhode Island, United States   Doctor Mary West Niles, Wikipedia  Bubonic plague arrived in Honolulu in December 1899. A month later it had spread to San Francisco, where the infection caused a series of deadly outbreaks until 1907.1 But for decades before plague reached the American west coast, it had burned through […]

Ophthalmology in Regency era China: a portrait of Thomas Richardson Colledge by George Chinnery

Stephen Martin Thailand   Fig. 1. Dr. Thomas Richardson Colledge and his assistant Afun in their Ophthalmic Hospital, Macao, 1833. Oil on canvas. Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA. Thomas Richardson Colledge (1797-1879) was an ophthalmic surgeon who practiced in Macao, China, for a quarter of a century in the late Regency era. Colledge’s daughter, Frances […]

A Tale of Two Tonics: Sino-Western psychopharmaceutical modernity in Shanghai, 1936

Richard Zhang Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States   Advertisement for Sanatogen in the Shen Bao, October 25, 1936.  Source (accessed through Yale University).  Shanghai, 1936: Positioned at the Yangtze Delta, this sprawling, bustling seaport was a multiplicity of cities. It was China’s most lucrative commercial hub for many business elites; a lavish, cosmopolitan adopted home for expatriates from at […]

The hunt for a yellow fever therapy

Edward McSweegen Kingston, Rhode Island, United States   Roux’s syringe for delivering antitoxin, The College of Physicians of Philadelphia  Source In March 2020, a research group in China reported the use of convalescent plasma to treat ten patients suffering from coronavirus COVID-19 infections.1 This type of therapy—passive immunization—dates back to 1891 when the German bacteriologist Emil […]

Plagues and prejudice

Anne Jacobson Oak Park, Illinois, United States   Figure 1. Honolulu Chinatown fire of 1900. Hawaii State Archives.  It was a calm, clear January morning on the gritty streets of paradise. Honolulu, the capital of the newly-annexed U.S. territory of Hawaii, was ushering out a century of upheaval that had included the arrival of explorers, […]

Mustard: history of the yellow seed

Carol Sherman Chicago, Illinois, United States   Figure 1. The Sign from the Mustard Museum. Photo taken by Douglas R. Siefken, August 15th, 2019. Provided for this article. The National Mustard Museum in Middleton Wisconsin1 describes itself as having over 5,600 mustards. They originate from all fifty states of the United States and from more […]

Norman Bethune’s mobile blood transfusions

Irving Rosen Toronto, Ontario, Canada   Canadian Blood Transfusion Unit which operated during the Spanish Civil War. Dr. Norman Bethune is at the right. ca. 1936 – 1937 / Spain. From the Library and Archives Canada. Public Domain. Norman Bethune was born in Ontario’s cottage country in 1895 to missionary parents who influenced him to […]

Isidor Snapper: a colorful but tyrannical chief

Old building of the Peking Union Medical College in Beijing   The great professor of medicine with the Charles Boyer accent would make ward rounds followed by some thirty students living in constant fear of being publicly humiliated. “You,” he would say, “where do you come from?”—and wherever it was he would then pronounce that […]

Beyond negativity

Lynn Veach Sadler Pittsboro, North Carolina, United States   Photography by leniners My husband Emory and I have traveled to China five times since participating in the (Eisenhower) People to People’s Citizen Ambassador Program from May 21 through June 2, 1995. Then we were members of a “Biofeedback Delegation to the People’s Republic of China” and visited […]