Tag Archives: France

Heinrich Heine and the mattress tomb

Nicolás Roberto Robles  Badajoz, Spain   Harry Heine was born in Bolkerstrasse, Düsseldorf, Germany. He jokingly described himself as the “first man of the century,” claiming that he had been born on New Year’s Eve 1800. Researchers have discovered, however, that December 13, 1797, is most likely the date of his birth. The oldest of […]

Jean Mery, distinguished French surgeon

Jean Mery. Unknown artist. Collège de chirurgie, Bibliothèque interuniversitaire de santé: CIPB1509. Jean Mery lived largely in the days of the Sun-King Louis XIV, when France was still rich and powerful and had not yet spent itself into bankruptcy. Born in central France in 1645, he followed in his father’s footsteps at eighteen and went […]

Trying to conceive: royal fertility issues in Renaissance times

Julius P. Bonello Peoria, Illinois, United States   Photos by Julius Bonello Dynasties beget legacies. An enduring legacy is important to all great leaders. However, dynasties need time—time to accomplish major national objectives or memorable feats. Today that is why our elected officials, to pass on a lasting legacy, spend much of their time campaigning […]

Dirty, dark, dangerous: coal miners’ nystagmus

Ronald Fishman Chicago, Illinois, United States   A coal miner without a headlamp digging an undercut at the coal face, using only the dim light supplied by a small flame lamp. From Snell 12 It’s dark as a dungeon and damp as the dew, Where the danger is double and pleasures are few Where the rain […]

Humanitarian for all: the life of Henry Dunant

Stephen Kosnar Lima, Peru   Henry Dunant 1855. ICRC. Source In his late thirties and bankrupt, Henry Dunant lived in abject poverty, on occasion being forced to eat bread crusts and sleep outdoors in Paris. It is a bitter slice of one man’s history, particularly given that only a few years earlier he had founded […]

The barber-surgeons: their history over the centuries

Anusha Pillay Raipur, India Bloodletting from the arm. Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY “His pole, with pewter basins hung, Black, rotten teeth in order strung, Rang’d cups that in the window stood, Lin’d with red rags, to look like blood, Did well his threefold trade explain, Who shav’d, drew teeth, and breath’d a vein.” -The Goat […]

A history of blood transfusion: a confluence of science—in peace, in war, and in the laboratory

Kevin R. Loughlin Boston, Massachusetts   Figure 1- Blood Transfusions -WWI East Sussex. Photo from Wellcome Images.  Accessed 10/15/2019. The rudimentary lights provided only dim illumination of the operative field. The three British army surgeons worked feverishly to save the life of the young soldier, Corporal Smith, who had a significant liver injury. He had […]

The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent

Mawuli Tettey Ghana   The Red Cross Society is a worldwide humanitarian and volunteer-based organization that protects human life and health by rendering assistance to anyone who may need it. In 1862, a Swiss man named Jean-Henri Dunant published a book titled A Memory of Solferino in which he called for the creation of national […]

Bad blood

Andrea Dejean Toulouse, France   In France, churches, villages and vineyards are rarely very far apart. By Andrea Dejean. The French Blood Agency (l’Établissement français du sang; EFS) organizes frequent blood collection campaigns in the small city where I live in southwestern France. These campaigns are often planned to take place before the start of […]

Becoming a doctor in Chicago (c.1954)—The Chicago Maternity Center

Peter H. Berczeller Edited by Paul Berczeller An excerpt from Dr. Peter Berczeller’s memoir, The Little White Coat.   Image by Stephanie Pratt from Pixabay My group and I were assigned to the Chicago Maternity Center at the end of the obstetrics in November 1955. Despite the recent training at Michael Reese, nothing could have prepared me for […]