Tag Archives: Philadelphia

How black turned white

Kateryna Tsoi Kharkiv, Ukraine   The Gross Clinic, 1875. By Thomas Eakins. Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art. Via Wikimedia. In 1876, the World’s Fair was held outside Europe for the first time, taking place in Philadelphia and coinciding with the centenary of the US Declaration of Independence. Thomas Eakins, not yet a […]

The history of polio and cigarettes, and the need for a COVID-19 vaccine mandate

Daniel Gelfman Indianapolis, Indiana, United States   Polio Vaccine and Fundraising Matchbook. Photograph at the Science History Institute, Philadelphia. Photo Credit: Daniel Gelfman, July 3, 2021. Depicted in this display (Picture 1) at the Science History Institute in Philadelphia are technologic marvels. The first is a box that contained early vials of Dr. Salk’s formalin […]

One chaplain’s journey: teaching, hospice, and humanities

Terry McIntyre Forest Park, Illinois, United States   Photo by Ave Calvar on Unsplash Auburn University was an easy choice for a graduate student with two preschool youngsters. Teaching medieval literature was the draw. Later, a divorce necessitated working as a project manager in sub-contracting. When the Lutheran campus pastor in Ann Arbor wanted me […]

The amnesic jokester

Jason Brandt Baltimore, Maryland, United States   Black-and-white drawing of a man scratching his head, from The Evening Ledger, Philadelphia, May 4 1916. scanned by Open Clip Art Library user Johnny Automatic. Via Wikimedia Bob T. had suffered a stroke. Not the kind of massive, devastating stroke that left him bereft of language (aphasia), or […]

In praise of swimming: from Benjamin Franklin to Oliver Sacks

James L. Franklin Chicago, Illinois, United States   Oliver Sacks as a young child with his father. Courtesy of the Oliver Sacks Foundation. Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790) was not a physician, but many thought he was so-trained and referred to him as “Doctor” Franklin. After accepting an honorary doctorate from the University of St. Andrews in […]

Best friends for never

Ariya Mobaraki Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States   Three people contemplate the cadaver of Saint Petronilla. Etching by James Basire, 1764, after Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, il Guercino… Credit: Wellcome Collection.  (CC BY 4.0) I stand looking over you, Wishing I could turn back time. Wondering what wisdom you would give me, Back in your prime.   […]

Albert C. Barnes, MD: the physician who spun silver into gold

Sylvia Karasu New York, New York, United States   Argyrol, the compound developed by Dr. Albert C. Barnes and Dr. Hermann Hille to treat ophthalmia neonatorum, a conjunctivitis that led to blindness in newborns then caused by gram-negative gonococcus bacteria. Infection was contracted from mothers during vaginal delivery. Credit: Argyrol bottle, c. 1902-1907, Barnes & […]

Samuel Mudd MD: Good Samaritan or conspirator?

Kevin R. Loughlin Boston, Massachusetts, United States   Figure 1 Samuel A. Mudd, MD. Wikimedia. As he rose in the Washington, D.C. courtroom on June 30, 1865, to hear his verdict, Dr. Samuel Mudd looked older than his thirty-one years (Figure 1). His odobene mustache framed his mouth and his goatee was speckled with prematurely […]

Dr. Fanny Halpern, a psychiatric go-between of 1930s Shanghai

Richard Zhang Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States   “Dr. F.G. Halpern” in an advertisement for the Puci Sanatorium in the Shen Bao, September 20, 1935. source On September 20, 1935, a lengthy advertisement in one of Shanghai’s most popular newspapers, the Shen Bao, celebrated the recent opening of the Shanghai Puci Sanatorium (上海普濨療養院).1 The sanatorium would […]

A case of toxic blood

Shruthi Deivasigamani Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States   The Dancing Mania by Hendrick Hondius (1642). Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY On a blustery winter day, a molecule of water condenses around a particle of dust in the air. The structure grows in size as it falls closer to earth, and before it hits the ground outside, it has […]