Tag Archives: WWII

Making radiation visible: Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Godzilla

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Gojira (Godzilla) poster. © Toho Company, 1954. Via Wikimedia. Fair use. “The theme of the film, from the beginning, was the terror of the bomb.”1 – Tomoyuki Tanaka, producer of Gojira (Godzilla)   The Third Reich surrendered to the Allies in early May 1945. This did not yet end World […]

Henry Miller

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Henry Miller. From the author’s personal collection. There are many eminent figures in the worlds of medicine and neurology, most of them distinguished by their clinical skill, academic prowess, scientific originality, or success in establishing major institutes of teaching and research. Henry Miller (1913–1976), though not a laboratory investigator, was […]

Long before Pearl Harbor, an entire hospital was sent to help England in World War II

Edward Tabor Bethesda, MD, United States   An Allied convoy underway in the Atlantic Ocean near Iceland. Photo c. 1942. National Archives and Records Administration via Wikimedia. Public domain. Harvard University President James B. Conant had the idea of sending a fully staffed hospital to England to help the British in their war with Germany […]

Fascist Italy: The Battle for Births

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Babies in a basket. Photo by Harris & Ewing, May 1923. Library of Congress. No known restrictions on publication. “It’s up to you to create a generation of soldiers and pioneers for the defense of the empire.” – Benito Mussolini, to the women of Italy1 “Women are a charming pastime…but […]

Book review: Frank Pantridge MC

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, United Kingdom   Book cover of Frank Pantridge MC: Japanese Prisoner of War and Inventor of the Portable Defibrillator. Frank Pantridge is not a name that is widely known. His most important legacy is the design of the portable defibrillator, a device that has saved countless lives. In this biography, Cecil […]

The Warsaw ghetto hunger study

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   A photo documenting clinical research on hunger performed by a group of Jewish doctors in the Warsaw Ghetto in 1942. From Emil Apfelbaum (red.)… 1942, American Joint Distribution Committee. a photo between pages 20 and 21. Via Wikimedia. “The organism which is destroyed by prolonged hunger is like a candle […]

Malaria in defeat and victory

Richard J. E. Brown Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom   Lab work in progress at the Royal Navy School of Malaria and Hygiene, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), 1944. IWM Non-Commercial Licence © IWM A 28167. A few weeks ago, in the reading room of the National Archives in London, I came across the war diary of a […]

The Schoolhouse Lab

Edward McSweegan Kingston, Rhode Island, United States   Howard T. Ricketts in Mexico City laboratory. National Library of Medicine “Black measles” was a common name for spotted fever, which regularly killed people in the western United States. Symptoms included a spotty rash on the extremities, fever, chills, headache, and photophobia. No one knew what caused […]

A Cold War Vaccine: Albert Sabin, Russia, and the oral polio vaccine

James L. Franklin Chicago, Illinois, United States   Albert Sabin (second from left) and Mikhail Chumakov (third from left). Credit: Courtesy Hauck Center for the Albert B. Sabin Archives, Henry R. Winkler Center for the History of the Health Professions, University of Cincinnati Libraries. Fair Use. In the midst of the 2020 Covid–19 pandemic, when […]

Hiroshima seventy-five years after the bombing

Cristóbal Berry-Cabán Fort Bragg, North Carolina, United States   Figure 1. Little Boy at Tinian Island, August 1945. National Archives. Figure 2. Mushroom cloud over Hiroshima, August 6, 1945. National Archives. Figure 3. This person’s skin was burned in a pattern corresponding to the dark portions of a kimono worn at the time of the […]