Tag Archives: George Dunea

Henry Cotton: Pulling teeth to cure disease

Portrait of Henry Andrews Cotton from Appleton’s Cyclopædia of American Biography, Vol. X, 1924, pages 324–325. Via Wikimedia. Public domain. Dr. Henry Cotton believed that all mental illnesses were caused by chronic “focal” infections hidden in various organs. He argued that when these infections spread to the brain, they caused inflammation and mental disorders. To […]

The mysterious illness of Christopher Columbus

Portrait of a Man, Said to be Christopher Columbus. Oil portrait by Sebastiano del Piombo, 1519. Metropolitan Museum of Art. Via Wikimedia. Public domain. It is well known that Christopher Columbus left Spain in 1492 and sailed westward on three small ships, the Santa María, Niña, and Pinta, in search of a northwest passage to […]

Pierre Charles Louis of the numerical method

Pierre Charles Alexandre Louis. Early 1800s. From An introduction to the history of medicine: with medical chronology, bibliographic data, and test questions by Fielding Hudson Garrison. London & Philadelphia, W.B. Saunders, 1914. Via Wikimedia. Public domain. Pierre Charles Alexandre Louis (1787–1872) was a physician and epidemiologist who made significant contributions to medicine. He worked on […]

Sir Norman Gregg and the German measles

Sir Norman Gregg. From “Rashes to Research: Scientists and Parents Confront the 1964 Rubella Epidemic.” Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Museum and Archives via US National Library of Medicine. Fair use. Sir Norman Gregg was an Australian eye doctor who in 1941 noticed that some mothers suffering from rubella during pregnancy had babies with severe eye […]

Marc Ruffer, founder of paleopathology

Mummy. Photo by Paul Hudson on Flickr. CC BY 2.0. Sir Marc Armand Ruffer (1859–1917) is considered the founder of paleopathology, the study of disease in human remains. He was born in Lyons, France, the son of Swiss banker Baron Jacques de Ruffer and a German mother. He was educated in Germany and France, Oxford […]

More on Arthur Aufderheide, the mummy doctor (1922–2013)

Arthur C. Aufderheide (1922–2013) received his undergraduate degree in anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1943 and his PhD from the University of Chicago in 1952. After completing his education, he became a professor at the University of Minnesota in Duluth and spent most of his active life there. Aufderheide’s major contribution to anthropology […]

St. Fabiola and her hospital

In about AD 380, a wealthy patrician matron gave money for a hospital to be built in Portus, the ancient port of Rome. This hospital was one of the first of its kind in the western part of the Roman empire, designed to provide care for the multitude of poor people living in the capital. […]

The two Scottish doctors John Brown

Left: John Brown (1735–1788). US National Archives. Via Wikimedia. Public domain. Right: John Brown (1810–1882). Wellcome Collection via Wikimedia. CC BY 4.0.   There were two John Brown physicians of note in Scotland, sometimes confused with one another and for practical purposes identified by the date of their birth. The older John Brown was born […]

Hunayn ibn Ishaq, Baghdad physician and polymath

Iluminure from the Hunayn ibn-Ishaq al-‘Ibadi manuscript of the Isagoge. Via Wikimedia. Arabic translation of Euclid’s Elements, 1270, by Ishaq Ibn Hunayn, a translator like his father before him. Google Arts and Culture. Via Wikimedia. Diagram of the eye by Hunayn ibn Ishaq. Cheshm manuscript, c. AD 1200. Cairo National Library. Via Wikimedia.   Hunayn […]

Margery Kempe: Medieval visions, delusions, and hallucinations

Margery Kempe (c. 1393 – after 1438) was an English Christian mystic who dictated autobiographic notes to a scribe. Married when twenty years old, she had a postpartum psychotic episode after the birth of her first child and went through at least fourteen subsequent pregnancies. Psychotic symptoms, delusions, and hallucinations continued all her life. She had […]