Friday, September 22, 2006

Henrietta Doltz Puhaty

The reference question du jour centered around former faculty member Henrietta Doltz Puhaty, Director of the University of Oregon Medical School Dept. of Nursing Education from 1943 to 1955. Like her predecessor Elnora Thomson, Doltz (who was mot married to dentist and North Pacific College alumnus Dr. Edward J. Puhaty until after her retirement from UOMS) actively campaigned to elevate the program from department status to a full school within the State System of Higher Education. Her requests were repeatedly denied; in her history of the school, Emeritus Professor Barbara Gaines lists at least four occasions when Doltz was turned down by the Medical School and the Board of Higher Education. The University of Oregon School of Nursing was finally inaugurated in 1960--after fifty years of providing quality nursing education.

Doltz was recognized for her accomplishments off the Hill as well, and was named Portland Citizen of the Week in 1949 and Woman of the Year (by the Portland Women's Forum) in 1951. The news writeup of the 1951 award noted that she was instrumental in obtaining a $60,000 Kellogg Foundation grant for the school in 1948; that she helped establish a loan fund for student nurses; and that she encouraged the school's Alumnae Association to establish student awards.

In 2003, a trust in her name was created at the School with the purpose of funding a student scholarship and an annual lectureship. The first lecture was given in August of 2005 by futurist Dr. Lowell Catlett. You can now watch a streaming video of that talk. The second talk, given by Dr. Bertice Berry on the topic of diversity, was held jsut a few days ago, on Sept. 15, 2006.

For more anecdotes about Henrietta Doltz Puhaty, check out some of the oral history interviews with members of the OHSU community who remembered her: the list of interviews mentioning Doltz can be seen in the Oral History Master Index. (Reminder: all the interviews are available to be checked out from the Main Library A/V Room, or email us for an electronic version of the transcript).

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Oishi Seinosuke

I received a patron query today all the way from Kyoto, Japan, about an early graduate. Oishi Seinosuke graduated from the University of Oregon Medical School in 1895, just one year after Esther Pohl Lovejoy. Unlike Lovejoy, Oishi has left almost no trace in the collections here at HC&A. He is listed as a student in the annual announcements for the 1893-94 and 1894-95 sessions, but is not listed in the directory of licensed Oregon physicians published in 1898. We had no folder for him in our Biographical Files, nor a card for him in the Obituary File.

The patron who contacted us has written a short biography of Oishi, which is available on the web. It's a fascinating read, especially since so many of our other early graduates seemed to go on to become political activists of one stripe or another--Lovejoy and Marie Equi are two examples. That Oishi was driven to extreme acts and eventually put to death for his beliefs is tragic; that he is remembered and celebrated to this day is a testament to the power of the past. To aid in the transmission of historical knowledge to future generations of researchers, I have started a Biographical File on Oishi; perhaps someday we'll be able to add even more information as it comes to light.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

North Pacific College

In answering a patron question today, I had an opportunity to look through issues of The Datter, the student newsletter from the North Pacific College, for the years 1922-1924. As many of you know, the North Pacific College was the precursor to our own OHSU School of Dentistry; a short history of the school and its many name changes (and you thought OHSU was bad!) can be found on the HC&A website.

The editorial in v.1, n.2 of The Datter (December 1922) notes that: "North Pacific has the third largest student body of any college in the state..." Fully equipped with an assortment of fraternities, organized sports, band and Glee Club, the College had nine departments (including Military Science and Tactics) and six additional units as well as an associated School of Pharmacy. During the session of 1921-1922, 715 students were in attendance.

In 1921, the College expanded into a newly constructed facility at the corner of East Sixth and Oregon Streets in Portland. A fantastic side benefit of this little foray into dental history was that the image of the new building published in the 1921 yearbook Dentalium jumped right off the page at me--another one of our unidentified photographs!

Just goes to prove the old (archival) adage: Access = preservation.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Today's word-of-the-day on the Forgotten English desk calendar (c2006, Jeffrey Kacirk) is cucurbitula, defined as: "A glass vessel which, having its air rarified, gives room for that contained in the part to which it is applied to expand itself, and bring with it such humours as it is involved in." Not a very elegant explanation, which probably explains why writer Daniel Fenning did not go on to achieve household-name status like his lexicographical competitor Noah Webster.

Edward Lloyd's Encyclopedic Dictionary (1895) distinguished between the different types of cucurbitulae: "The cucurbitula cruenta is designed to draw blood. The cucurbitula sicca is for dry-cupping, and is a local vacuum apparatus. The cucurbitula cum ferro is armed with iron."

By the time they were being cataloged for our Medical Museum Collection in the 1970s, they were all referred to with the generic label "cup." We have digital photographs of most of our cupping sets which you can browse through in the Digital Resources Library.

Cupping is still employed as a therapeutic technique by modern practitioners of alternative medicine; you can investigate some of the books on cupping held at the National College of Natural Medicine just down the Hill in our combined library catalog.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Cross of Lorraine and the Campus Services Building

Have you ever noticed the large double-barred cross on the side of the Campus Services Building here on the Marquam Hill campus? (If you haven't, check out this photograph in the Digital Resources Library for an idea of what it looks like). Many of you may recognize this cross as the symbol of the American Lung Association. What many have forgotten is that the Campus Services Building was originally the University-State Tuberculosis Hospital, erected in 1939.

How did the Cross of Lorraine become associated with the fight against tuberculosis? The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has the answer on its website, in a TB Notes Newsletter from 2000:

"In 1902 at the first International Conference on Tuberculosis held in Paris, Dr. Gilbert Sersiron suggested the adoption of the Cross of Lorraine, used by the Knights of the First Crusade, as the symbol of a new movement, a crusade for good health against sickness and death, and against TB. The double-barred cross was adopted as the international symbol for the fight against TB. This symbol was later adopted in 1904 in the United States by the forerunner of the American Lung Association."

The TV program History Detectives on OPB recently aired a show featuring a Harley-Davidson motorcycle painted with the Cross of Lorraine. Turns out that bike was used to promote anti-tuberculosis campaigns in rural Wisconsin circa World War I. To get the complete transcript of that show, you can download this PDF.

For more information on the battle against TB in the state of Oregon, check out the website which accompanied our exhibit on the history of the Oregon State Tuberculosis Hospital in Salem.

Note: I am indebted to Friday Valentine, Digital Resources Librarian, OHSU Library, for suggesting today's topic.