Tag Archives: Moments in History

Phillipe Gaucher (1854-1918)

Philippe Charles Ernest Gaucher. Via Wikimedia. In the days when syphilis was rampant in Europe and diagnostic modalities few, many unrelated medical conditions were erroneously attributed to it. There was, for example, the distinguished professor of syphilology and dermatology at the Hôpital Saint-Antoine and the University of Paris, who “aggressively promoted” the idea that poliomyelitis […]

Deserving but unrecognized: the forty-first seat

Marshall A. Lichtman Rochester, New York, United States   This gold medal is given to each laureate in literature. Each medal has one face that bears a profile of Alfred Nobel with his name and the date of his birth and death inscribed; the alternative side is unique to the discipline being honored. The medal […]

The last illness of Édouard Manet

George Dunea James L. Franklin Chicago, Illinois   A Bar at the Folies-Bergère. Édouard Manet. 1881-1882. The Courtauld Institute of Art. Accessed via Wikimedia. Édouard Manet (1832–1883) was one of the most famous modernist painters of nineteenth-century France. He painted life as creatively and elegantly as he lived in it, translating onto canvas the fashionable […]

Michel de Montaigne in his circular library

Portrait of Michel de Montaigne c. 1570 At the age of thirty-eight, in 1571, the aristocratic Michel de Montaigne retired from public life and “servitude at the court” in order to spend in his château “what little remains of his life, now more than half had run out.” He passed the next ten years or […]

The bullet in Garibaldi’s ankle

Giuseppe Garibaldi will forever be remembered as the greatest hero of the Italian risorgimento and struggle for independence. Even today there is no city in Italy, large or small, that has not raised a statue in his honor. He had been popular even before Italian unification, throughout Europe and especially in England. Had he not […]

The death of King George II

In November 1760, the King of Great Britain rose early as was his custom and drank his habitual cup of chocolate. He then went to use his commode on wheels, and minutes later was discovered slumped on the floor, dead. The next day his physician, Frank Nicholls, “opened the body” and found the king had […]

Ether dome

The first operation using ether as anesthesia took place in 1846. This daguerreotype is not of that operation, but rather is a recreation of the event. The patient is unknown, but the surgeons include John Mason Warren, John Collins Warren, George Hayward, and Solomon D. Townsend. Following the first use of ether, the operating theater […]

Did Casimir Pulaski have 21-hydroxylase deficiency?

Gregory W. Rutecki Lyndhurst, Ohio, United States   Casimir Pulaski, from the Great Generals series (N15) for Allen & Ginter Cigarettes Brands. Allen & Ginter. 1888. Metropolitan Museum of Art. “. . . I could not submit to stoop before the sovereigns of Europe, so I came to hazard all the freedom of America, and […]

Should primary hyperaldosteronism be renamed Litynski-Conn Syndrome?

Gregory W. Rutecki Lyndhurst, Ohio, United States   Michael Litynski M.D. was born in 1906 in Lodz, Poland. As a physician during World War II, he joined the Polish Resistance. He treated resistance fighters and was active during the infamous Warsaw Uprising in 1945. Dr. Litynski was also awarded the Yad Vashem medal for his […]

Theo’s marvelous medicine

Joseph deBettencourt Chicago, Illinois, USA   Illustration of the Wade-Dahl-Till shunt from the original patent application. Wade, Stanley C. (1966) US Patent No.3233610. Retrieved from On a cool December day in 1960, a nanny was pushing an infant in a stroller down 85th Street in New York City. Stepping into the road, the nanny saw […]