Friday, March 05, 2010

Dispelling the cloud of rain

A fascinating short piece on the Portland Open Air Sanatorium was published in the journal Chest in 1938 (4:41). Penned by staffer Marr Bisaillon, M.D., the write-up outlines the history of the institution and its present facilities. That's all well and good; the notable part of the article touches on Portland's climate. Bisaillon states:
Climate has been greatly over-played in recommending certain regions of the country as more suitable than others for tuberculosis patients. But few had considered the value of a climate such as that of Western Oregon which is neither inconsistently cold nor extremely hot, and where, despite alternate rains, life in the open air is possible the year round without sacrifice of comfort.... The results of these small beginnings were so encouraging that the conception of Oregon's climate being inordinately damp was quickly dispelled.
Now, we are presently in an El Nino season here in Portland, and the skies have been drier than usual, so this year some enthusiastic residents might concur with Bisaillon. Let us remember our friends Lewis and Clark, who had some thoughts of their own about Oregon's rain. A quick search of their journals on "rain" brings 461 entries, all of them sounding a bit like this one from Nov. 28, 1805:
Wind Shifted about to the S. W. and blew hard accompanied with hard rain all last night, we are all wet bedding and Stores, haveing nothing to keep our Selves or Stores dry, our Lodge nearly worn out, and the pieces of Sales & tents So full of holes & rotten that they will not keep any thing dry, we Sent out the most of the men to drive the point for deer, they Scattered through the point; Some Stood on the pensolu, we Could find no deer, Several hunters attempts to penetrate the thick woods to the main South Side without Suckcess, the Swan & gees wild and Cannot be approached, and wind to high to go either back or forward, and we have nothing to eate but a little Pounded fish which we purchasd. at the Great falls, This is our present Situation,! truly disagreeable. aded to this the robes of our Selves and men are all rotten from being Continually wet, and we Cannot precure others, or blankets in their places. about 12 oClock the wind Shifted about to the N. W and blew with great violence for the remainder of the day at maney times it blew for 15 or 20 minits with Such vilence that I expected every moment to See trees taken up by the roots, Some were blown down. Those Squals were Suckceeded by rain, !O how Tremendious is the day. This dredfull wind and rain Continued with intervales of fair weather, the greater part of the evening and night.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

North Pacific College, Class of 1926

[Warning: genealogist Google crawl enabler alert!]
We had the opportunity today to scan the photograph of the class of 1926 from the North Pacific College of Oregon, Schools of Dentistry and Pharmacy--just one of the many treasures safeguarded lo these many years in The Vault down at the OHSU School of Dentistry. The composite includes 105 unidentified graduates from the group of 122--a typical class size for the busy institution on East Sixth and Oregon streets in downtown Portland. Despite all NPC's later talk about being a co-ed college, you'll note that all of these graduates are men.

A 1937 alumni directory lists towns for all the practicing graduates. Not surprisingly, 41 were in Oregon. Washington State was the winner with 45 NPC-trained dentists. We sent 16 to British Columbia, supplied four each to California and Montana, provided two to Utah, and had lone representatives in Colorado, Idaho, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Alaska, and Florida. Dean Herbert Miller probably didn't make it to alumni reunions as far as Florida, but he was undoubtedly proud of his school's widely sown seeds.

Perhaps some of you recognize a face or two (click for larger image), from the roster of:
Anderson, John
Bain, Neil
Baird, Harold E.
Baird, M
Barnes, George Andrew
Barron, Fred Thomas
Barton, R.O.
Bladorn, Herbert
Birbeck, T.M.
Blake, H. Dalton
Bourque, Theo Henry
Bowman, Walter A.
Boyd, T.J.
Bradley, Harold Levi
Bright, Alfred Joachim
Brook, Frank Norton
Brown, L.L.
Burgan, Oliver Wendel
Burger, F.W.
Burgin, Howard N.
Butler, Rex Gray
Colton, Jack J.
Colbourne, Ralph Henry
Corkrey, Harold F.
Daus, Joseph Keller
Dermott, Willis J.
Devereaux, R. Patrick
Dutton, Floyd Ellsworth
Elder, Donald John
Ellertson, John Leo
Engel, Ignatius L.
Fraser, James Allan
Fowler, H.N.
Friedman, L.
Gallagher, Peter B.
Garrett, Glenn Boyd
Geyer, John L.
Gosse, Joseph Roland
Griesinger, Walter H.
Gustine, Floyd
Haagsma, Charles R.
Hagan, P.J.E.
Hall, Norman Cecil
Harris, Edward S.
Hay, John Roy
Henderson, J.W.
Hoffman, George Stanley
Holbrook, Harold
Hood, Donald G.
Houck, Arland Martin
Houle, Francis Hunter
Hubler, Winfield E.
Johnson, O.E.
Johnston, L.E.
Jones, Ray Boyd
Jorgensen, Stanley K.
Karnath, W.E.
Kemp, Phineas A.
Kennedy, Wallace Henry
Kincaid, Cecil Russell
Newby, William G.
Kramer, Harold Maurice
Kunz, Charles Edward
Kynoch, Walter M.C.
Leslie, John Julian
Lindblad, Gordon Marton
Locklin, John Hewitt
Lodmell, A.D.
Martin, Charles F.
Maudsley, A.G.
McCabe, A.R.
McCallon, Ernest Clinton
McCormick, Lloyd M.
McCornack, Herbert Wells
McGuire, Gerald Arby
McIntosh, Wallace L.
McIntyre, Rollin E.
McMaster, Paul Harry
McPherson, Wesley R.
Meyers, H.G.
Miller, John H.
Miller, William
Milne, Floyd G.
Moline, William W.A.
Moon, Max Albert
Moore, A.M.
Mose, Vincent Edward
Neen, Adam Thompson
Nelson, Nels Einer
Oborn, Norman
O'Brien, Ivan Francis
Paine, Frank Clarence
Para, V.A.
Parbery, Reginald C.
Perry, Roy Arnold
Quint, J. Harley
Rassier, Wilfred E.
Ridley, Charles Hubert
Rose, Virgil Leonard
Schmidt, Louvera Broyles
Segal, F.J.
Smith, Irwin Nathaniel
Smith, William Wilson
Somers, Harry Dillon
Straith, Balfour Dickson
Strizek, Otto Paul
Sturgeon, Dwight Paul
Sullivan, W.J.
Tarlton, Vernon William
Tennant, Maurice A.
Thompson, John Carleton
Verchere, Arthur Turner
Wahlstrom, Carl R.
Walther, Donald Eugene
Weber, Joseph Edward
Webster, Arthur Sparling
Weinheimer, R.J.
White, Earle S.
Wilhelmy, E. Kenneth
Willard, Donald F.
Wilson, John Purdy
Wise, Paul W.
Young, Albert Charles

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Anatomy Class, 100 years ago

When was the last time you were in the anatomy lab? Was it all steel tables, bright lights, and floor drains?

In 1909, the anatomy lab at the University of Oregon Medical School was a dimly-lit, third-floor room where students and faculty worked quickly on poorly-preserved cadavers. Some wore aprons but many did not; none wore gloves. There was no air conditioning. As Esther Pohl Lovejoy, an 1894 graduate, later remembered, “the place was buzzing with blowflies.”

This early photograph helps us visualize that space. We can date this image with some certainty to 1909 because a kind soul has penciled on the reverse, “John Hughes, 2nd from right.” Hughes was a 1913 graduate of the school who first matriculated in 1909; anatomy was taught then in the first and second years, as it is today. None of the other participants is identified. At that time, Edmond J. Labbe was professor of anatomy; Louis A. Shane was demonstrator. We have photos of Labbe, but he cannot be identified in this scene.

Ten years after this photograph was taken, a new school building opened on Marquam Hill, with improved laboratory facilities. The old building at 23rd and Lovejoy burned down in 1919.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Early years of UOMS coming to light

In 2004, shortly after the arrival and settlement of the two full-time staff that now man (or woman) the Historical Collections & Archives, a full survey of the unaccessioned collections in the archival storage area was made. In that sweep, we identified 17 storage cartons (about 20 linear feet) of materials that had come from University Relations and Public Affairs of the University of Oregon Medical School. A quick glance supplied a date range of 1930s-1980s, and the scope was summed up as follows:
Materials are wide ranging: Annual and statistical financial reports, presidential search papers, departmental correspondence, committee reports, meeting minutes, university publications, research reports, geographical reports, and more. An inventory will be made as the collection is processed
Well, we're finally around to the processing part, thanks to the addition of more manpower. Our new part-time staff member Jeff Colby has taken on this collection, and we can't wait to see what lies inside.

My quick foray into the first box revealed a folder focusing primarily on the Child Guidance Clinic Association and mental health services in the 1920s and 1930s. Included are these two letters illustrating some of the frustrated ambition of the young institution, one from Henry R. Viets, MD, to Dean R.B. Dillehunt in 1925 ("I presume the time will come when you will want to organize a definite department of mental diseases in the Medical School and have a neuro-psychiatric hospital") and one from Dillehunt to Theodora Schwankovsky in 1927 ("There is a movement afoot which has the support of the State University and the Medical School and the heads of both of the State Hospitals for the Insane which contemplates the establishment of a psychiatric hospital in connection with the Medical School .... It is out of the question to think of securing this from the present Legislature").

We can hardly contain our impatience to get this collection inventoried (hence, my box foray), but good things come to those who wait. In the meantime, we are happy to take questions about the contents, but can't guarantee that we'll be able to get you a definitive answer before processing is complete.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Boil way down

From the deeply interesting (and thus lengthily titled) Lucy I. Davis Phillips Collection on Oregon Women Medical School Graduates, 2004-030 (and this from the recently uncovered addendum), another short, snappy morsel. Note that despite the brevity of the autobiographical sketch, someone has commanded: "Boil way down."

Angela L. Ford Warren, M.D. to Mabel Akin, M.D.
March 8, 1933

Dear Dr. Akin,

At your request I am inclosing a brief sketch of my practice.

Dr. Angela L. Ford Warren began practicing in Portland, Oregon with three other lady physicians in the field - Dr. Owens-Adair, Dr. Lydia King, and Dr. May Cardwell. Coming directly from Salem Ore when her diploma was received from the Willamette Medical College - now called U. of O. Medical College - located on Marquam Hill Portland Oregon. After a clinical course in New York City Dr. Warren has speclialized in gynaecology -

Dear Dr.

I have purposely left out dates for professional reasons.