Tag Archives: Philadelphia

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 R. 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 […]

A city of two tales

J. Trig Brown Durham, North Carolina, United States   “Homeless Jesus” by Timothy P. Schmalz, SculpturebyTPS.com Installed at Saint John’s Hospice, a ministry of Catholic Social Service of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Photo by Sarah Webb / Courtesy of CatholicPhilly.com CME dawns. Hello, Philly, city of brotherly love, home to Homeless Jesus two blocks off […]

Dr. Rebecca Cole and racial health disparities in nineteenth-century Philadelphia

Meg Vigil-Fowler Grand Junction, Colorado   The anatomy lecture room at the Woman’s Medical College of New York Infirmary. Published in Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper.  April 16, 1870. Library of Congress. From the beginning of black women’s professional involvement in medicine, public health marked a central component of the scope of their practice. Rebecca Cole, […]

Labor of love

Mary Oak Seattle, Washington, USA   “Newborn and Mama” Photo by Susan Strohm. Each week my elderly father and I watch babies being born. In the silver-shadowed flickers of a television, we sit as we often did in my childhood. Now in the spectral shade of his decelerated years, I care for him. He spends […]

Philadelphia’s plague

Hayat El Boukari Tetouan, Morocco Four plates showing the development of yellow fever. From the title: Observations sur la fièvre jaune, faites à Cadix, en 1819 / par MM. Pariset et Mazet. Authors: Etienne Pariset (1770-1847) and André Mazet (1793-1821). Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY 4.0. A narrative of the proceedings of the black people, […]