Thursday, July 24, 2008

Evans Carlson's Legacy of Friendship; and, Update on the electrical apparatus

Donation number eleven for this month came to us on Tuesday morning from Dr. Charles Grossman.

The book Evans Carlson's Legacy of Friendship: 30 years of the Evans F. Carlson Friends of the People's Republic of China (Portland: The Friends, 2005) appears to be uniquely held, now, by the OHSU Library. Edited by Dr. Grossman and written in large part by Ralph Crawshaw, M.D., and Liu Baiyu, the book "describes the thirty-year story" of the Friends group, which was begun in 1974 and has organized group trips, lectures, publications, and exchanges between American and Chinese groups. The group has had a particular interest in fostering communication between Chinese and American physicians.

The 279-page book includes many photographs of the Friends members, their activities, their trips to China, and, passim, information about OHSU, the Primate Center, and physicians in the Portland area.

Brig. Gen. Evans Carlson, leader of the eponymous Raiders, became interested in the Chinese people and Chinese communism in the late 1930s when he served as a military observer there. In the introduction, Grossman writes that he "knew Evans and Peggy for a few short months before he died. He had been one of my heroes and 'role models' when I was a young man." In Grossman's opinion, Carlson resigned from the military in 1939 "when they [the U.S. government] refused to let him tell the truth about what he had learned in China."

The book will serve as an interesting and novel window on Sino-American relations over the decades, and will certainly provide new perspectives on Oregon medical culture.

And, an update: on the electrical apparatus we received from the Neurological Sciences Institute recently. Two neurologists agree that it is a machine for peripheral nerve stimulation and/or nerve conduction studies. Portable EEG units didn't come out until well after 1937, the latest possible date of manufacture for our piece. Mystery solved!

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