Tag Archives: London

COVID-19 and 1665: learning from Daniel Defoe

Brian Birch Southampton, Hampshire, UK   London plague victims being buried in 1665, one of nine scenes from John Dunstall’s Plague broadsheet (1666). Credit: Wellcome Collection.  (CC BY 4.0) Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year is an account of the 1665 Great Plague of London. Based on eyewitness experience, the undersigned initials “H. F.” […]

Augusta Ada Byron, Countess of Lovelace (1815–1852)

JMS Pearce  Hull, England   Fig 1. Charles Babbage. Engraving from 1871. Via the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. Source It is undeniable that computer science and technology play an important part in medical investigation and research, and universally in the transmission of information. Everyone remembers Charles Babbage, (1791-1871) (Fig 1) inventor of […]

William Sands Cox—surgeon and founder of the Birmingham Medical School

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, United Kingdom   Drawing of William Sands Cox by T H Mcguire. 1854. Public domain. Via Wikimedia  In the early nineteenth century Birmingham was the second largest city in England. It was an industrial powerhouse, known as the city of a thousand trades, but it did not have its own medical […]

Medical and other memories of the Cold War and its Iron Curtain

Hugh Tunstall-Pedoe  Dundee, Scotland, UK   Iron Curtain as described by Churchill 1946. Edited from original. Original by BigSteve via Wikimedia. (CC BY 1.0) In 1946, Winston Churchill named the political barrier appearing between the Soviet bloc and the West the “Iron Curtain.” It lasted until 1991. I met or crossed it several times. The […]

The three contraries of Benjamin Franklin: “the gout, the stone and not yet master of all my passions”

James L. Franklin Chicago, Illinois, United States   Fig 1: Portrait of Benjamin Franklin. From a carbonic alloy engraving, drawn by C. N. Cochin 1777, engraved by A.H. Richie. Public Domain. Via Wikimedia  On May 23, 1785, Benjamin Franklin wrote from Passy on the outskirts of Paris to George Whatley that “at Fourscore the three […]

John Hughlings Jackson

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Fig 1. John Hughlings Jackson. Selected writings of John Hughlings Jackson: frontispiece. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0). “. . . A man among the little band of whom are Aristotle and Newton and Darwin.”  -Gustave I. Schorstein (1863-1906), physician at the London Hospital   The magnitude […]

John Hunter, Harvey Cushing, and acromegaly

Kevin R. Loughlin Boston, Massachusetts, United States   Figure 1. Charles Byrne, a giant, George Cranstoun, a dwarf, and three other normal sized men. Etching by J. Kay, 1794. Credit: Wellcome Collection. (CC BY 4.0) Introduction John Hunter and Harvey Cushing were two of the most preeminent surgeons of their eras. John Hunter is considered […]

Howard H. Tooth CB., CMG., MD., FRCP.

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Fig 1. Howard H Tooth. Via Wikimedia  Howard Tooth (1856-1925) was one of many physicians who served well their patients and their profession, but who would be unknown save for a syndrome that bears and perpetuates their name. Howard Tooth (Fig 1) was born in Hove, Sussex, educated at Rugby […]

Otology in late Victorian Ireland

Tony Ryan Cork, Ireland   Figure 1: Unblocking the eustachian tube using Politzer’s bag. Source Introduction Henry MacNaughton Jones (1844-1918) was born in Cork City and graduated MD at Queen’s College, Cork, in 1864. Just four years later he founded the thirty-bed Cork Ophthalmic and Aural Hospital, where he practiced as a physician and surgeon. […]

The Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and the legacy of Long John Silver

George Venters Scotland   The “Old Surgical Hospital” as it is today. Courtesy of Dr. Iain MacIntyre. Faced with the danger of having his right foot amputated in 1873, the real “Long John Silver,” the English poet William E. Henley, turned for help to Joseph Lister and became a patient in the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. […]