Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: photography

  • The surgeon’s photograph of the Loch Ness monster

    Howard FischerUppsala, Sweden “Whatever is the truth, there is no denying that Nessie will continue to intrigue the world for years to come.”– Johnathan Bright, Oxford Internet Institute Loch Ness, at thirty-seven kilometers long and 230 meters deep at its deepest point, is the second largest lake in Scotland.1 Stories about a creature of great…

  • Thomas Keith: Pioneer photographer and pioneer surgeon

    Iain Macintyre Edinburgh, Scotland Figure 1. Thomas Keith. Artist and date unknown. Etching with Keith’s signature (image reproduced with permission Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh). “His success so far outstripped that of all other operators, that it became a wonder and admiration of surgeons all over the world.”1 So wrote J Marion Sims (1813–1883),…

  • John Francis Hall-Edwards—a radiology pioneer

    Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, UK   Hall-Edwards (Courtesy of The Library of Birmingham Archives) John Francis Hall-Edwards was born on 19 December 1858 in the Kings Norton area of Birmingham, United Kingdom. He was educated at King Edwards School in Birmingham followed by Queen’s College, Birmingham where he studied medicine and was an apprentice to…

  • Scoliosis

    Augusta Zetterling was one of the first women in Sweden to make a living as a photographer. This photo is from a series she took of women and girls with a curvature of the spine called scoliosis. Whereas mild cases of scoliosis may have little effect on a patient’s life, more severe cases can cause…

  • Photography in medicine

    Doctors adopted the idea of using photography in medicine within one year of its invention. In 1840 at the Charité Hospital in Paris, Alfred François Donné photographed sections of bones and teeth by making daguerreotypes through a microscope. Between from 1848 to 1858 the British psychiatrist Hugh Welch Diamond photographed patients in an asylum and…

  • Atlas of head sections

    Sir William Macewen, pioneer of modern brain surgery, was born in western Scotland in 1848. In 1872 he graduated in medicine from the University of Glasgow, greatly influenced by Lord Lister. In 1875 he was appointed to the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, first as assistant surgeon, and in 1877 as full surgeon. Continuing his career as…

  • The illness of Tom Wedgwood: A tragic episode in a family saga

    John Hayman Melbourne, Australia Figure 1. Tom Wedgwood, from the frontispiece of Tom Wedgwood, the First Photographer, by R.B. Litchfield (1903). The inscription reads: “From a chalk drawing belonging to Miss Wedgwood, of Leith Hill Place. Artist unknown.” Print in public domain. Tom Wedgwood (1771-1805) was born into the famous pottery dynasty as the third…

  • TB-AIDS diary

    Linda TroellerNew York, New York, United States The TB-AIDS Diary was created in 1987 to address issues of stigma, comparing the response to patients with tuberculosis in the 1930s with the reaction to patients with AIDS in the 1980s. Tuberculosis was used as a metaphor for the stigma surrounding contagious diseases and treated primarily as…

  • Fighting the long defeat

    John EberlyColumbia, South Carolina, United States “Together through ages of the world we have fought the long defeat.”1 — J. R. R. Tolkien In May 1965, a fire started on the ground floor of the Sound Lumber Company in Arcata, California. Sparks spread quickly through the sawmill, engulfing the “cold deck,” a four million board-foot pile…

  • Medical photography in the nineteenth century: From portraits to clinical photography

    Silvia MainaEditamed, Torino, Italia Since its introduction, photography has found an application in medicine. Many physicians embraced the potential of this technology as a valued adjunct to patient care, research, and education. Medical photography dates back to the mid-nineteenth century, a few years after the birth of modern photography. The first application of photography to…