Tuesday, July 08, 2014

VIP guest at Oregon Medical Board 125th anniversary: Dr. William A. Cusick's surgical kit

This Thursday evening, student assistant Crystal Rodgers and I will be visiting the Oregon Medical Board in downtown Portland, with a special delivery: A surgical kit that belonged to Dr. William A. Cusick, and which is now part of our artifact collections.

 Above: Dr. William A. Cusick's surgical kit, circa late 19th century

While planning for the OMB's 125th anniversary celebration, the board's administrative staff found a photo of the kit in our digital collections. Identifying Dr. Cusick as an early member of the board, they wanted their anniversary partygoers to be able to see his surgical kit in person. We agreed to bring the kit, escorted by our staff, to share in a special display on the board's history.

Dr. Cusick (ca. 1837-1919) was one of three graduates in the first medical class of the Willamette University Medical Department in July 1867.  Practicing in Gervais and Salem, he was one of Oregon’s most prominent physicians, and an early member of the Oregon Medical Board. He also served in the Oregon State Legislature and as president of Capital National Bank in Salem. His historic home in Salem was a contender to serve as the Governor's mansion, and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

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