Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Taking Healthy Living Seriously

Another recent transferee from the circulating collections to special collections is Children of the Covered Wagon: report of the Commonwealth Fund Child Health Demonstration in Marion County, Oregon, 1925-1929, which has earned a spot in the Pacific Northwest Archives Collection here. Written by early female UOMS graduate Estella Ford Warner, MD, and Geddes Smith, the report outlines the huge success of preventive health measures among the children of Marion County in an effort to illustrate that "good public health work pays and ... is worth paying for." In turn, it is illustrated with some lovely photos and absolutely delightful line drawings, two of which you see here.

So, on this eve of the new year, we here at Historical Collections & Archives wish our readers a happy and healthy year ahead--for you and your cow...

Note: HC&A will be closed January 1-4 for the holiday. See you next year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Ultra unique

As I have been methodically assessing the early books in the circulating collections here at OHSU, going first through a list of 1902 titles, then the 1903 titles, then the 1904--well, you get the idea--I have found a small handful of unique titles. And by unique, we mean that no other library in WorldCat has indicated ownership of the book and there are no copies available on the rare and used book markets. So, really and truly scarce, if not actually unique.

One of these unique titles is a small treatise bearing the cover title Ultra Violet and Infra Red Therapy in Dentistry, written by Max L. Bramer, DDS, former staff member of the Illinois State Hospital and dental director of the Union Electric Dispensary. Bramer apparently was a company man through and through; his work for the (presumably) subsidized dispensary of a major corporation may have been a factor in his decision to team with Britesun, Inc., on this and one other pamphlet (held uniquely by UCSF) on the use of light therapy in dentistry.

In the Preface to his 1929 work, Bramer writes:
In this short treatise I will attempt to give in a small measure some of the historical, biological and practical applications of Light Therapy in Dentistry. These results are based upon four years' work in my office; they include case histories, observation, X-ray findings and laboratory reports.

Up to this time little has been written on the subject. This is the first attempt by anyone to place a treatise on the above subject before the profession, and I trust my readers may become interested and offer constructive criticism which will induce someone to write a more complete and exhaustive text on the subject.
And he may not have been entirely correct in asserting his primacy in the field: OHSU's collections contain a few other early works on phototherapy in dentistry, including this one which predates Bramer's work. (And that one isn't quite unique: a second copy is held by U Penn).

While the information conveyed in the text may be outdated ("General radiation of babies will not only aid normal dentition but will help correct abnormal dentitition"), it is invaluable for assessing the state of the technic in dentistry in the late 1920s, for understanding early uses of radiation in medicine, and for judging the historical connections between science and industry. All in all, a powerful little piece which has been transferred to the History of Dentistry Collection for safekeeping.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Gross donation

A stunning new donation of works by and about Samuel D. Gross, MD, was received into Historical Collections & Archives this morning. Delivered by longtime faculty member and bibliophile Richard Mullins, MD, the collection is comprised of nine works (listed below), all new to the History of Medicine Collection here at OHSU. Once processed, these works will be available to researchers throughout the Portland community and beyond. We are extremely grateful to Dr. Mullins for choosing to deposit this significant group of titles here in HC&A.

Item Number 1
Title on cover: Complimentary Dinner to Professor S. D. Gross. April, 1879
Title Page Dates and Edition: Complimentary dinner give to Professor S. D. Gross by the medical friends in commemoration of his fifty-first year in the profession. April 10, 1879
Publisher: Lindsay & Blakiston Philadelphia: 1879

Item Number 2
Title on cover: Memorial Oration in Honor of Ephraim McDowell
Title Page Dates and Edition: Memorial Oration in honor of Ephraim McDowell “The father of ovariotomy”. Samuel D. Gross, M.D., LL.D., D.C. L., Oxon.
Delivered at Danville, Ky at the dedication of the monument erected to the memory of Dr Ephraim McDowell by the Kentucky State Medical Society, May 14, 1879.
Publisher: “Published by the Society”, Louisville, Ky. Printed by John P. Morton and company, 1879
Ex libris Robert J. Moes.
Owner's name “L Connor MD” on spine

Item Number 3
Title on cover: John Hunter and his Pupils / Prof Gross
Title Page Dates and Edition: John Hunter and his pupils. By S.D. Gross, M.D., LL.D., D.C.L., Oxon., LL.D. Cantab. Professor of Surgery in the Jefferson Medical College: President of the Philadelphia Academy of Surgery, Etc.
Publisher: Presley Blakiston, 1012 Walnut Street Philadelphia, 1881
On the second page is the signature “DL Smith, MD, May 1881”
On the title page under John Hunter is written in pen “was 5 feet 2 inches high”.
Several notes from apparently Dr DL Smith in the text.

Item Number 4
Title on cover: Memoir of Dr Mott
Title Page Dates and Edition: Memoir of Valentine Mott, M.D., LL.D., Professor of Surgery in the University of the City of New Your, Member of the Institute of France
By S.D. Gross, M.D., LL.D. First Edition
Publisher: New York: D. Appleton and Co., Philadephia: Lindasy and Blakiston. 1868
Bookplate of Alferd C. Wood, M.D., Philadephia Penna.
Inscribed note on the second page “With the authors kind regards”

Item Number 5
Title on cover: History of American Medical Literature
Title Page Dates and Edition: History of American Medical Literature. From 1776 to the present time. By S. D. Gross, M.D., LL.D. D.C L. Oxon. Professor of surgery in the Jefferson Medical College “The chief glory of every people arises from its authors.” Dr. Johnson. First Edition
Publisher: Philadelphis: Collins, Printer, 705 Jayne Street 1876

Item Number 6
Title on spine: Wounds of the Intestines
Title Page Dates and Edition: An Experimental and critical inquiry into the nature and treatment of Wounds of the intestines: Illustrated by engravings. By Samuel D. Gross, M.D. Professor of Surgery in the Louisville Medical Institute: Surgeon to the Louisville Marine Hospital: Member of the Pathological Society of Philadelphia: &c, &c.
“The honor of our art, and the moral character of its professors suffer, whenever we pay so blind a deference to any one as prevent us using our own judgments, and from declaring feely the results of our inquires or experiments.” Post. First Edition
Publisher: Louisville: Prentice and Weissinger. 1843.
Book plate from Victor Robinson Froben. Signe by O H Allis; June 68- No 225 So 9th Phila
Inscribed: “For Dr Jones. With the best regards of the authors. Louisville, June 1845.”

Item Number 7
Title on spine: A Manual of General Anatomy.
Title Page Dates and Edition: A Manual of General Anatomy, containing a concise description of the elementary tissues of the human body. From the French of A. L. J. Bayle and H. Hollard. By S. D. Gross, M.D. First Edition
Publisher: Philadelphia: John Grigg, No 9, North Fourth Street. 1828.
Stamped name Matt O Smith

Item Number 8
Title on spine: Elements of Pathological Anatomy
Title Page Dates and Edition: Elements of pathological Anatomy, Illustrated by Numerous engravings. “In morbis, sive acutis, sive chronicis, viget occultum, per humans speculations fere incomprehensibile.” Baglivi By Samuel D. Gross, M.D. Late Professor of General Anatomy, physiology, and pathological anatomy, in the medical department of the Cincinnati college. In two volumes, Vol 1 and Vol 2. First edition
Publisher: Boston, Marsh, Capan, Lyon, & Webb, and James B. Dow. 1839.
Signature and stamped name inside cover both volumes. L. P Williams, Harrodburg, Ky, 1878.

Item Number 9
Title on spine: Gross on the Urinary Organs
Title Page Dates and Edition: A practical treatise of the Diseases and Injuries of the Urinary Bladder, the Prostrate Gland, and the Urethra. By S.D. Gross, M.D. Professor of Surgery in the University of Louisville: Member of the American Medical Association; Author of “Elements of Paathological Anatomy,” etc. etc. With one hundred and six illustrations. First Edition
Publisher: Philadelphia: Blanchard and Lea. 1851
Stamped with A. H. Barkley M.D. Lexington Kentucky.
Signiture of Curran L. Smith

(to see the Gross already held by OHSU, check the online catalog)