Thursday, February 07, 2008

Japanese Relics from World War II


Come see our new exhibit, “Japanese Relics of World War II,” now on display in the main lobby of the OHSU Library.

Showcasing artifacts from the OHSU Medical Museum Collection, the exhibit contains field kits, diagnostic and surgical instruments, documents, photographs, pharmaceutical preparations, and other items brought back from the Pacific Theater by Oregon physicians serving in the United States Armed Forces during the Second World War.

In a 1943 campus newsletter, a plea was made to physicians to donate materials to the Medical Museum Collection. Give a “Christmas gift to yourselves of articles that will record for the future some of the medical history of these difficult and historical times. It is so easy to pass by the present without thinking how soon it will become the past or realizing that whatever is to become a part of the heritage of the future must be saved… It is you who are physicians and it is your museum and assuredly it is you who know what is worth saving. Physicians in Military Service: Did some one pick up a Japanese medical kit on Attu? Does some one have a bit of equipment used in taking care of the first casualties from the first bitter landings in the islands of the Pacific?”

Donors such as D.N. Steffanoff, MD; Virgil C. Larson, MD; Roger H. Keane, MD; Prentiss Lee, MD; John B. White, MD; James E. Buckley, MD; Richard S. Fixott, MD; George Lyman, MD; and Toshiaki Kuge, MD, answered the call. As a result, OHSU Historical Collections & Archives is now the repository of a unique and wonderful collection of war-era Japanese medical artifacts.
Materials will be on display through May 2008.

Stay tuned for the online component of the exhibit, with images and brochure text, which will appear in the next few days on our exhibits website. In the meanwhile, questions and comments can be sent to piasecki at ohsu.edu. Images of some of the Japanese artifacts in the collections are also available on the OHSU Digital Resources Library; a keyword search on "japan" will net you about 35 images.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Cardwell Restoration

We have received back from the art conservator the restored portrait of William Cardwell, M.D., highlight of the 2006 OHSU Emeritus Luncheon. We posted some information about Dr. Cardwell back in October of 2006, before the funds to restore his portrait were identified.

In the late spring of 2007, conservation monies were identified and we were able to send the damaged painting to ArtFolio here in Portland. Conservator Elzbieta Osiak flattened, cleaned, repaired, and remounted the oil painting, restoring Dr. Cardwell to his former glory.

With the piece, we received some information on the artist of this lovely portrait. Horace Wolfe Duesbury (1851-1904) was a portrait and landscape painter active circa 1876-1904. A native of Sheffield, England, Duesbury studied art in Australia before moving to San Francisco in 1876. In 1879, he moved to Portland, but returned to San Francisco only seven years later. His portrait of Cardwell would have been executed, then, sometime between 1879 and 1883, the year Cardwell died.

As a result of this restoration, the painting is again fit for hanging. OHSU's Marquam Hill Art Committee will view the work and consider locations for hanging at its next meeting.


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

(Another) History of Medicine lecture available online

Last Friday, Tom Hager delivered a talk on Gerhard Domagk and the discovery of sulpha drugs as part of the OHSU History of Medicine Society Lecture Series. That talk, "The Gorgon's Blood: a Greek Myth, a German Doctor, and the Rise of MRSA", is now available in streaming video (free RealPlayer required).

Hager uses the Perseus myth as a jumping-off point for a cautionary tale about the double-edged nature of all medical advances, actions that create unintended consequences along with the perceived good. For more of Hager's insightful treatment of the history of science and medicine, checkout some of his published works (and his master's thesis!).

Monday, February 04, 2008

In memoriam: F. James Marshall, DMD (1925-2008)

A prominent figure in the OHSU School of Dentistry, Dr. F. James Marshall, D.M.D., passed away on January 24, 2008. This morning's Oregonian carried his obituary.

A 1949 alumnus of the University of Oregon Dental School, Dr. Marshall was a member of a veritable dental dynasty, and practiced in British Columbia for eight years with his father (a 1923 graduate of the North Pacific College) and brother Don (UODS, Class of 1954). Jim's son, J. Gordon Marshall, also graduated from the Dental School here in 1979.

Dr. Marshall joined the faculty at the Dental School in 1972, when he returned to Portland to establish and chair the first Department of Endodontics at the school. At the time of his death, Jim remained active as emeritus professor in the department, working alongside his son. Both are listed on the department's faculty website.

In December of 1998, Jim sat for an oral history interview with library staff. He reminisced about his dental school days, compared dental education in his father's time to his own, discussed the development of the dental school, and provided insight on the relationship of the Dental School to private practitioners and to the Medical School. Of note are his comments on diversity at the Dental School, including these two excerpts on Jewish students:
I came down to the Dental School after the Second World War. Our class was the last class of the accelerated wartime program. We did our first two years of dentistry in sixteen months.

I started in March ’46, along with twenty other Canadians. There were 110 that started with our class, and 86 graduated. Of the twenty Canadians in the class, ten of them were Jewish, who found it easier to enroll in Oregon. For me, Portland was the nearest dental school. There was a small school in Edmonton, Alberta, after that the next nearest Canadian school was Toronto. The next nearest school on the West Coast was San Francisco, College of Physicians and Surgeons, now called Pacific University.

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Right across the street from the dental school was the Delta Sigma Delta House, a fraternity house; and not far away from that was the Psi Omega house; and there was also ZIP’s (Xi Phi). Dean Noyes was a Delt. And Psi Omega fraternity all but lost their national standing because they pledged and took into their fraternity a Jewish man, who went on to become quite prominent locally in dentistry. Danny Haselnus was the man. He practiced on the East Side for many years. And they were quite a bit ahead of their time. There is a national Jewish fraternity, Alpha Omega; they weren’t/aren’t here at the University of Oregon level.