Tag Archives: JMS Pearce

Hans Christian Andersen, James Young Simpson, and ether frolics

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Hans Christian Andersen in 1869. Source: Odense City Museums via Wikimedia. In May 1847, the widely admired writer of literary fairy tales and stories Hans Christian Andersen (Fig 1) left Copenhagen on a tour of Germany and Holland and arrived in London on June 23. There […]

Caleb Hillier Parry MD FRS

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Caleb Hillier Parry Hyperthyroidism or exophthalmic goiter, often called Graves’ disease or Basedow’s disease, was first recorded by Caleb Parry (1755-1822) (Fig 1) posthumously in 1825. William Osler called the affliction “Parry’s disease.” Caleb Parry was born in Cirencester, the son of Joshua Parry, a dissenting […]

The pineal: seat of the soul

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Pineal gland The pineal for millennia had been a structure of mystery. In Ancient Egyptian culture, The Eye of Horus was a sign of prosperity and protection, often referred to as the third eye. In Ayurvedic physiology it corresponds to the sixth chakra—Ajna, located in the […]

William Wordsworth: “The blind poet”?

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Figure 1. Pickersgill’s portrait 1833 William Wordsworth (1770–1850) was born in Cockermouth, Cumberland, on April 7, 1770. He was the totemic father of the Lakeland poets, who extolled the relation between man and the natural world: a wedding between nature and the human mind that to him symbolized […]

What makes a polymath, a genius, or a man who knows everything?

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Einstein playing his violin. From CMUSE via Quora. Public domain. The question posed in this title is of course imponderable and ridiculous, but nevertheless fascinating. Until the Enlightenment (c. 1750–1800), an intellectual “Renaissance man” could have read most of the important books printed. He might well […]

A note on Joseph Jules Dejerine (1849–1917)

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Jules and Augusta Dejerine. Via Wikimedia. CC BY 4.0. In the last quarter of the nineteenth century, medicine in Paris flourished.1 Under the charismatic Charcot, it matched or excelled the contemporary advances in Germany and Britain. In the footsteps of Cruveilhier, Gratiolet, and Vicq d’Azyr came […]

William Withering’s botanical microscope

JMS Pearce East Yorks, Hull, England   Fig 1. William Withering (left). Engraving by W. Bond after a painting by Carl Frederik von Breda, 1822. Public domain. Via Wellington Local Agenda 21 Group.  Frontispiece colored illustration of foxglove from An Account of the Foxglove by William Withering (right). Printed by M. Swinney for G. G. […]

Samuel Johnson: “the great convulsionary”

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom Samuel Johnson. Portrait by Joshua Reynolds, 1772. Via Wikimedia. Public domain.   This paper reproduces in an abridged form an earlier article by its author1 appraising the evidence that Samuel Johnson suffered from Tourette’s syndrome. Several authors have commented on the many eccentricities of Dr. Samuel Johnson (Fig 1).2 […]

JLW Thudichum: neglected “Father of neurochemistry”

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Johann Ludwig Wilhelm Thudichum. Photo. National Library of Medicine. Public domain. Knowledge of diseases of the nervous system reflects an understanding of the basic sciences of neural mechanisms and organization. In the last decade of the nineteenth century, the Nobel prizewinners Camillo Golgi and Santiago Ramón […]

Silas Weir Mitchell and causalgia

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Silas Weir Mitchell. Photo by Frederick Gutekunst, 1881. National Library of Medicine. Via Wikimedia. Public domain. Silas Weir Mitchell (1829 – 1914) (Fig 1) was born in Philadelphia, the seventh physician in three generations. Webb Haymaker gives an early clue to his unconventional personality when he […]