Friday, December 07, 2007

New donation: anatomical paper dolls

Yesterday, the OHSU Heart Research Center sent over two anatomical paper dolls which had been safely ensconced in a filing cabinet over there since they were given to the HRC by Board member Jane Zahler about four years ago.

The dolls (male and female) consist of multiple layers of paper, hinged so as to allow progressive uncovering of the human anatomy, a la ecorche (pardon the lack of accents). The color illustrations cover front and back of each layer, providing an almost 3D experience of the human body.

Searching for information about these items, I came across the Artificial Anatomy web site from the National Museum of American History. The History section on Learning Anatomy in the 20th Century includes images of an exact match to our female doll. They date the item to the 1920s, and I'll take their word for it. While we don't know who owned these dolls between the time they were purchased in the 1920s and the time Zahler picked them up at an estate sale, it's clear that they have been cared for over the years and their condition is quite good.

These two dolls now keep company with two other anatomic model specimens in the History of Medicine Collection: the "pocket phantoms" from Shibata's work on obstetrics and the portfolio of hinged models in Physician's anatomical aid, another work from the 1920s. These interactive 2D models were more limited than their 3D cousins in their ability to demonstrate human anatomy, but were undoubtedly much more portable and probably much cheaper to purchase.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Old year nearly over, new one nearly begun: 120th anniversary of the Medical School

Reflecting on the impending close of the calendar year, I realized that the twelve-month celebratory period of the 120th anniversary of the OHSU School of Medicine is nearly over. Since I have only posted once on this topic, I feel shamefully behind in my merry-making and seek to redress the oversight by focusing on one of our neatest book collections: the First Class Collection.

Considered part of the History of Medicine Collection but shelved separately, the First Class Collection was created by Librarian Bertha Hallam beginning in 1937. Working off the list of required and recommended texts printed in the annual announcement for the first school session of 1887-88, Hallam methodically sought out each edition, moving copies still owned out of the circulating collections and purchasing other titles no longer held by the library.

Students of 2007 find this collection remarkable in its size -- its small size, that is. Often, they comment on the vast universe of information that today's medical student is expected to master, and they think wistfully of their forebears and the free time they surely must have enjoyed. Of course, they didn't have computers or the Internet in 1887, and every fact to be memorized had to be first located in a print volume and then laboriously hand copied to a notebook. No cutting and pasting. No last quick check of Harrison's Online on the laptop minutes before the exam. It may be true that the universe of information is just exactly as big as it can be for the technology available to access it, and that medical students of 1887 felt just as overwhelmed as this year's class.

The list of titles, all of which can be found in the library's online catalog, includes:

An American text-book of physiology (Philadelphia : Saunders, c1896)

Anatomy, descriptive and surgical. / Gray, Henry, 1825-1861 (Philadelphia, Lea brothers & co., 1887)

Clinical lectures on diseases of the urinary organs, delivered at University College Hospital / Thompson, Henry, Sir, 1820-1904 (London, J. & A. Churchill, 1879)

Diseases of the throat and nasal passages; a guide to the diagnosis and treatment of affections of the pharynx, oesophagus, trachea, larynx, and nares / Cohen, J. Solis (Jacob Solis), 1838-1927 (New York, Wood, 1880)

The Dispensatory of the United States of America (Philadelphia, Pa. : Grigg & Elliot, 1883)

Handbook of physiology / Kirkes, William Senhouse, 1823-1864 (Philadelphia : Lea, 1873)

Insanity and its treatment : lectures on the treatment, medical and legal, of insane patients / Blandford, G. Fielding (George Fielding), 1829-1911 (Philadelphia, Henry C. Lea, 1871)

Lectures on orthopaedic surgery : delivered at the Brooklyn Medical and Surgical Institute / Bauer, Louis, 1814-1898 (New York : Wood, 1868)

Lectures on orthopedic surgery : and diseases of the joints : delivered at Bellevue Hospital Medical College, during the session of 1874-1875 / Sayre, Lewis A. (Lewis Albert), 1820-1900 (New York : D. Appleton and Company, 1885)

Legal medicine / Tidy, Charles Meymott, 1843-1892 (New York : W. Wood & company, 1882-84)

A manual of diseases of the throat and nose : including the pharynx, larynx, trachea, Å“sophagus, nose and naso-pharynx / Mackenzie, Morell, Sir, 1837-1892 (New York : W. Wood & Co., 1884)

Manual of gynecology / Hart, D. Berry (David Berry), 1851-1920 (New York, William Wood, 1883)

A manual of medical jurisprudence, with special reference to diseases and injuries of the nervous system / Hamilton, Allan McLane, 1848-1919 (New York [etc.], Bermingham & company, 1883)

A manual of midwifery including the pathology of pregnancy and the puerperal state ... / Schroeder, Karl Ludwig Ernst, 1838-1887 (New York, D. Appleton, 1873)

Manual of operative surgery / Bryant, Joseph D. (Joseph Decatur), 1845-1914 (New York : D. Appleton, 1887, c1886)

A manual of physiology, a textbook for students of medicine / Yeo, Gerald F. (Philadelphia : Blakiston, 1887)

Medical jurisprudence / Taylor, Alfred Swaine, 1806-1880 (Philadelphia : Blanchard & Lea, 1861)

A practical treatise on disease in children / Smith, Eustace, 1835-1914 (New York, W. Wood, 1884)

A practical treatise on the diseases of women / Thomas, T. Gaillard (Theodore Gaillard), 1832-1903 (Philadelphia, H. C. Lea's Son & Co., 1880)

The principles and practice of gynaecology / Emmet, Thomas Addis, 1828-1919 (Philadelphia : Henry C. Lea, 1884)

The principles and practice of obstetrics / Bedford, Gunning S., 1806-1870 (New York : Wood, 1876 [c1868])

Quain's Elements of anatomy / Quain, Jones, 1796-1865 (London : Longmans, Green, 1876-1878)

The science and art of midwifery / Lusk, William Thompson, 1838-1897 (New York : Appleton, 1885)

The science and art of surgery : a treatise on surgical injuries, diseases, and operations / Erichsen, John Eric, 1818-1896 (Philadelphia : Henry C. Lea's Son, 1884-1885)

A system of midwifery : including the diseases of pregnancy and the puerperal state / Leishman, William, 1834-1894 (Philadelphia : Henry C. Lea, 1879)

A system of surgery; pathological, diagnostic, therapeutic, and operative / Gross, Samuel D. (Samuel David), 1805-1884 (Philadelphia ; H.C. Lea, 1872)

A text-book of human physiology : including histology and microscopical anatomy; with special reference to the requirements of pratical medicine / Landois, L. (Leonard), 1837-1902 (Philadelphia, P. Blakiston, 1887)

A text-book of physiology / Foster, M. (Michael), Sir, 1836-1907 (Philadelphia, Lea Brothers & Co., 1885)

The theory and practice of obstetrics : including diseases of pregnancy and parturition, obstetrical operations, etc. / Cazeaux, P. (Pierre), 1808-1862 (Philadelphia : P. Blakiston, 1887, c1886)

A treatise on the principles and practice of medicine; designed for the use of practitioners and students of medicine / Flint, Austin, 1812-1886 (Philadelphia : H.C. Lea's Son & Co., 1884)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Postcards are coming!

We have made the final selections of images for a second series of historic postcards. Six photographs illustrating the history of OHSU will be issued, along with six images of women physicians to accompany the upcoming June 2008 exhibit, "Changing the Face of Medicine: Celebrating America's Women Physicians." Shown here is one of the images from OHSU's history: "roughnecked" first-year medical students gathered outside of Good Samaritan Hospital.

Inquiries about postcard prices and orders for singles and sets can be sent to

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

New donation: Howard Stroud Papers

Yesterday, in the rain and wind of what people have been calling the most damaging storm in recent memory, I headed out to pick up a donation of materials from Howard Stroud, M.P.H. Mr. Stroud was Director of the Oregon Heart Association from 1960 to 1980, and as such had a front-row view of an exciting time in heart research in Oregon.

The collection includes the "Million Dollar Suitcase," which was used for fundraising efforts around the state. The case contains numerous models of Starr-Edwards heart valves, pacemakers, material for artificial arteries, catheters, one plastinated heart and two plastic-encased hearts, news clippings and photos of Albert Starr, Lowell Edwards, James Metcalfe, Roy Swank, Stan Jacob, heart patients, and OHA staff, among others. The photo seen here is of a giant replica of a human heart, installed at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) with the help of the OHA.

The Stroud Collection will enhance our holdings of materials related to heart research in Oregon, joining the Jeri Dobbs Heart Valve Collection and the Melvin P. Judkins Papers, as well as contemporary publicity materials from the university public affairs department.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Faust, Roy Clayton Faust

Along with some unaccessioned museum pieces uncovered in a box recently, a picture and a small amount of biographical information about the donor were found.

Roy Clayton Faust, M.D., was born in Iowa in September of 1878. Passing through the public school system in Cherokee, IA, Faust went on to medical school at Sioux City College of Medicine, obtaining his M.D. in 1905. The following year, he got his second degree from the Creighton University School of Pharmacy, and established private practices in Iowa and South Dakota before relocating to Deary, Idaho. When he received his medical license in Idaho on May 6, 1911, he became only the third doctor to practice in that state. After seventeen years in Deary, Faust moved on to Eugene, Oregon, where he continued to practice until his death in September of 1941.

Included with the photo of Faust and the small biographical sketch is a laminated news clipping which demonstrates, once again, how fun it used to be to read the newspaper:
Dr. Faust has had his hands full the past two days. About noon yesterday the little two year old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Burnstad, who reside ten miles east of town, swallowed about eight headache tablets and was brought in for treatment. The little midget's life was almost despaired of but the doctor succeeded in bringing her through and this afternoon she is reported to be almost fully recovered from the effects of the poison .... Next came D.L. Anderson from the Beaver Creek country with a 4 x 6 in the palm of his hand. "Doc" got a pry under the timber and succeeded in getting it out, but the laceration will lose the owner the use of his phalanges for some time.
Phalanges. Now, that's a word that should come back into popular use.

Nowhere is there any indication that Dr. Faust used any supernatural means to cure his patients, and no sense that he died under any mysterious circumstances, so I think we can assume that he was a law-abiding Faust and not a late-day legend. Oddly enough, I'm currently reading Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita, which is further proof of my assertion that serendipity is the strongest of the universal forces.