Tag Archives: poliomyelitis

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 […]

W.W. Keen: physician to the presidents

Kevin R. Loughlin Boston, Massachusetts, United States   Figure 1. The cheek retractor used in Cleveland’s operation. From The surgical operations on President Cleveland in 1893 by W. W. Keen. 1917. Via the Internet Archive. William Williams Keen served in the American Civil War and was present at the first and second Battle of Bull […]

The last iron lungs

Charles Halsted Davis, California, United States   This photograph depicts an opened Emerson respirator, also known as an iron lung. Photo by Jim Gathany. Via CDC/ GHO/ Mary Hilpertshauser. Public Domain. Source In the springtime of my internship year, I rotated onto the polio ward where I learned that poliomyelitis could kill by paralyzing the […]

Derek Ernest Denny-Brown

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Figure 1: Image in the public domain. Credit: The National Library of Medicine. Source Amongst the titans of medicine, it is not easy to pick out those whose footprints will not fade with passing time. Derek Denny-Brown (Fig 1) was one. He was born in Christchurch, New Zealand. After his […]

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 […]

Karl Landsteiner and the discovery of blood groups

Safia Benaissa Mostganem, Algeria   Karl Landsteiner (1868–1943), Austrian pathologist, hematologist and serologist; discoverer of the blood groups. Albert Hilscher. circa 1910. Accessed via Wikimedia Commons Karl Landsteiner was the Austrian scientist who recognized that humans had different blood groups and made it possible for physicians to transfuse blood safely. He entered medical school at […]

Wyeth and the symbolism of immobility

Kierstin Utter Detroit, Michigan, United States Kyle Utter New York, New York, United States   Sketches of Teel’s Island. Pen and ink and watercolor. 10 3/8 x 7 3/16”. June 19, 1954. Collection of Mr. and Mrs. W.E. Phelps. Hofer, Philip, and Andrew Wyeth. Andrew Wyeth: Dry Brush and Pencil Drawings, a Loan Exhibition Organized […]

Women changing medicine

Lesley Campbell Darlinghurst, New South Wales, Australia   Erna Stramf with World War I army soldiers and nurses This is my account of three generations of women doctors in my family who in different times and different places were subjected to persecution or at least discrimination because of their race, religion, and gender. The account is […]

Wounded deer—medical aspects of the life of Frida Kahlo

Portrait of Frida Kahlo by Guillermo Kahlo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons Farrah Jawad London, UK   “I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best.”  Frida Kahlo Frida Kahlo was born Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderon in Coyocan, Mexico City, on July 6, 1907, to […]