Friday, April 02, 2010

Stories From the Clippings

The Forceps Four: A Story Yet to Be Told
We well know that many talented artists are in residence at OHSU. They work as physicians, executive assistants, laboring on the crews in facilities maintenance, as educators and as graphic artists. But did you know that we, at one time, had an award winning Barbershop quartet?

The newspaper reported (What newspaper? Not all of the folio clippings identify author or publisher.), that the "crack" Forceps Four quartet from the University of Oregon Medical School defended the coveted Northwest songfest crown during Forest Grove's gala Gay Nineties Festival at the All-Northwest Barbershop Ballad contest. And they won two years in a row!

Members of the quartet, medical students, Richard Lalli, Gene Petroff, Robert Day and Gerald Crary, Jr. won the Northwest ballad contest by singing the barbershop ballad, "The Old Henry Clay". Winning in 1954, they defended the title in 1955, and won once again. For their efforts, the group received the title, $300, a trophy and each, a shaving mug.

Their last opportunity to sing together was a concert given at the Student American Medical Association's national convention in Chicago that same year. Two of the 4 members were graduating and leaving the state... so went the group and its future.

The article also said that they sported the school colors... which were?

And how many of you know that the University also had sports teams? But that's a subject for another post. If you follow this blog you have seen the North Pacific Dental College football team in full regalia.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

No foolin': April shower of nursing materials

Technically, the small boon (boonlet?) of new nursing materials came in yesterday when it was still March, but there's no doubt it was a bit of a shower.

In the morning, we looked over two books donated by Vera Papenfuse Walter: Alice L. Price's The art, science and spirit of nursing (1954) and the fourth edition of Jamieson and Sewall's Trends in nursing history (also 1954). For those not familiar with the former, the preface notes that:
'The Art, Science and Spirit of Nursing,' the newest textbook in the field of nursing arts, has been written to help familiarize beginning students of nursing with responsibilities which were unknown to the nurses of previous generations. It is based on results of a study made in 1951, while the author was a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin. Approximately 650 nursing arts instructors throughout the United States and 200 students of nursing were surveyed, to determine what factors they would choose for inclusion in a textbook of nursing arts."
This, then, is a prime example of how textbooks codify the knowledge base of a given area, signaling the wide acceptance of the data, techniques, or theories in the field. Another reminder, should we need one, of why textbooks are so crucial to the study of the development of any field.

In the afternoon, we received another nursing book, this one a classic identifiable even by nursing history novices: Barbara Gaines brought us an 1861 edition of Notes on nursing, Florence Nightingale's magisterial opus on the nursing curriculum. As if this were not enough, she also delivered two cartons of materials pertaining to the history of the OHSU School of Nursing--and by "history," we can take it that she means anything noteworthy in the development of the school.

Included in the boxes are photographs, correspondence, reports, theses, manuscripts, publications, news clippings--even transcripts of oral histories with members of the SON community. From legislative activities to school expansion to curricula to salaries to research symposia to the annual "crutch hunt" which required the establishment of a Crutch Committee--if it's interesting, it's in the box. The materials date from the period 1920s-1987, and so cover almost all of the school's one-hundred-year history. How timely, given the run-up to centennial events! Stay tuned to see at least some of this material on display in the fall, when we plan to mount an exhibition on the history of the school.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Dental hazing

Another little gem from the vault at the OHSU School of Dentistry is this mounted flyer advertising the Annual Freshmen Slaughter, with terror specially prepared for the class of 1907.



Perhaps a bit too much nitrous was leaking from the tanks in the old building on Hooker Street...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Casey at bat

Today, we received twenty-two boxes and several large, loose pieces from the OHSU Casey Eye Institute, which has been the home of the Dept. of Ophthalmology since 1991. The department, which began in 1945 with the arrival of Kenneth C. Swan, M.D., runs the ophthalmological training programs, provides eye care to adults and children (in the Elks Children's Eye Clinic), and conducts cutting-edge research.

The transfer contains records, books, artifacts, photographs, videos, framed certificates, architectural plans, and wall plaques. The materials cover the period of the 1950s to the present, and include records of the Oregon Ophthalmological Alumni Association, the construction of the Casey Eye Institute building, and the development of the Elks Eye Clinic, as well as other topics. This collection is complemented by the Kenneth Carl Swan Papers (Accession 2007-011), which contains forty-three linear feet of original research, correspondence, photographs, and artifacts belonging to the thirty-three year chairman of the department.

The largest piece of equipment to come with the CEI transfer was, in fact, Dr. Swan's mounted binocular ophthalmoscope, which he is shown using in this photograph (which was pinned under the machine. Dirtied, bent, and wet from today's rain. But we're taking care of it now.) You can read some of the research conducted by Swan, and fellow University of Oregon Medical School faculty member John Raaf, online here (Trans Am Ophthalmol Soc. 1951; 49: 435–444).