Stick ‘Em up and say “AH!”
In January 1946, John A. Korengold received a patent for his “Combined Medical Hand Light and Tongue Depressor.” Korengold was the founder of the Burton Manufacturing Company, later known as Burton Medical Products, in 1928 in Chicago, Illinois. The company was named after Korengold’s nephew, Burton Korengold. Following its merger with Jan-Dor and TransElectronics, over the next 65 years Burton Manufacturing Company’s product line ranged from medical/dental lighting to power supply and support defense equipment. (1) Korengold’s invention actually resembled a small pistol and which most likely resulted in the name “The Burton Pistolite”. According to information on the box, the instrument is described as “The Modern Medical Hand-Light…Providing Controlled, focused Precision Illumination”. There are several attachments including a tongue depressor and a laryngeal mirror that are used to perform various examinations of the tongue, the larynx, pharynx, and frontal sinuses. Come and see this interesting item up close and personal in the Robert L. Brown History of Medicine Collection!
Laryngo Phantom ca. 1900
Meet the History of Medicine Collection’s resident Laryngo Phantom. You might well ask “what is a Laryngo Phantom and what was its purpose?” It was actually used by medical students and practicing physicians in the nineteenth century to learn how to properly use the laryngoscope to examine the throat before working on actual patients. One model invented by a Dr. Isenschmid of Munich was described on page 26, Volume 2 of the 1885 Medical Times and Gazette, as having “…a mouth of thin metal with a tongue and uvula made of red velvet”. French Otolaryngologist Dr. Baratoux designed yet another model. Our Phantom bears more of a resemblance to one designed by Dr. Goguenheim as pictured in the Matthieu instrument catalog of 1885. Dating from about 1900, it is made out of plaster and the reverse side depicts the structures of the larynx and uvula.
Goguenheim’s Laryngo Phantom, 1885 Matthieu Catalog
Although here in the Western world it is commonly believed that polio has been eradicated, the World Health Organization has confirmed an outbreak of polio in Syria. The 2.5 year-long conflict in that country has created optimal conditions for the spread of communicable diseases and has disrupted routine immunization programs. Health workers have warned that the unsanitary conditions in which many of the millions of displaced Syrians live are breeding grounds for diseases such as polio, which is transmitted through contaminated food or water supplies. With as many as 4,000 refugees fleeing the country every day, the risk of the disease spreading is particularly serious. (1) Public health officials have speculated that a possible source may have been jihadi fighters traveling to Syria from Pakistan which, along with Afghanistan and Nigeria, are the only countries where the disease is still endemic. (2) With its reemergence then, the question comes to mind: will polio ever be completely wiped out? If we look to history, Dr. Simon Flexner, then Director of Research in the Rockefeller Institute, in his address to the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences in 1916 stated his opinion that “infantile paralysis [or polio] will continue to reappear in sporadic cases because it has become too firmly entrenched to ever to be eradicated.” (3) Indeed, with this most current reemergence in Syria, Flexner’s words seem as sage as ever.
Polio Map: Washington Post, Oct 29, 2013
Isolated the polio vaccine for laboratory study
(1) World Health Organization confirms polio outbreak in Syria, Loveday Morris and Karen DeYoung, The Washington Post. October 29, 2013 http://wapo.st/18GQyT0
(2) U.N. Confirms an Outbreak of Polio in Syria. Nick Cumming-Bruce, The New York Times, October 29, 2013 http://nyti.ms/1aWXjS5
(3) Polio may reappear. Editorial. Buffalo Sanitary Bulletin. New Series Vol. XI (11) 1916. P. 124
History of Medicine Exhibit
On Thursday October 10, 2013, the Robert L. Brown History of Medicine Collection was honored to be a part of the Special Celebration to commemorate the new Medical School Groundbreaking on Thursday, The event was held at the gleaming new UB Clinical and Translational Research Center (CTRC) on Ellicott Street where guests were treated to an impressive view of the city. The 2013 Distinguished Medical and Biomedical Awards Ceremony was preceded by cocktails and hors d’oeuvres as well as a musical presentation by a choral group known as the “Docapellas”. Dr. Joseph Chazan received the Distinguished Medical Alumnus Award and Dr. Kenneth Jacobson received the Distinguished Biomedical Alumnus Award. The James Platt White Society also held its Donor Recognition program.
History of Medicine Exhibit
The History of Medicine Collection’s exhibit, which displayed an assortment of print materials, photographs and artifacts documenting the Medical School’s history, attracted the interest of faculty, alumni and students. One of the key items was a building block from the School’s second building located at Main and Virginia in the city. This was the first building constructed and owned by the School. Our sincere thanks go out to Eric Alcott, Senior Associate Dean of Medical Development and Alumni Relations, Jennifer Britton, Lani Jandreau and all those involved in this wonderful event, for making a place for the History of Medicine!
Keith Mages and Linda Lohr at the HSL/HOM table!
Once again the School of Dental Medicine Alumni Association graciously allowed the Health Sciences Library and the Robert L. Brown History of Medicine Collection to have a presence at the annual Buffalo Niagara Dental Meeting, held this year on September 25-27, 2013 at the Buffalo Convention Center. Keith Mages, Liz Stellrecht and Linda Lohr manned a table displaying a variety of dental books, instruments and ephemera as well as informational handouts about the library and the History of Medicine. The exhibit attracted dentists and dental students, dental hygienists and dental hygiene students, dental assistants and other office staff and faculty and staff from the School of Dental Medicine. It was most enjoyable to meet new people and get reacquainted with individuals from previous meetings, in particular the folks from the School of Dental Medicine and its George W. Ferry Dental Museum who set up a wonderful display of their historical dental materials. We look forward to participating in this wonderful event next year!
G.W. Ferry Dental Museum Display
Dr. Pam Jones, UB Alumni Assoc. Not pictured, Robin Comeau, Curator
Did you know that the CPR mannequin Resusci Anne, also known as Rescue Anne or CPR Annie, has a Buffalo connection? First introduced in 1960 “she” was developed by a Norwegian toy maker named Åsmund Laerdal who named her after his very popular doll “Anne” (1). The face of the mannequin was modeled on the death mask of a young girl called “L’inconnue de la Seine” who had drowned in the Seine River in Paris sometime in the 1880’s (2). Laerdal based the design of Anne’s respiratory structure on research done by anesthesiologists Dr. Peter Safar and Dr. James O. Elam (3).
Now here’s where the Buffalo connection comes in: Dr. Elam, co-founded the Department of Anesthesiology at Buffalo’s Roswell Park Cancer Institute. His work in mechanical ventilation and artificial respiration revolutionized the field of anesthesiology (4). Additionally, Dr. Elam, along with fellow Roswell Park physician Dr. Elwyn S. Brown, was the first to describe how to provide mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, also known as “rescue breathing” (5).
Resusci Anne and her descendants are still made by the Laerdal Company today. So when you next attend a CPR class, take a moment to appreciate the international, and local, styling/history of the mannequin from which you are learning!
Recusci Anne, CPR mannequin extraordinaire
Dr. James O. Elam of Roswell Park Cancer Institute
1-3. Tjomsland, N; Baskett, P. The Resuscitation Greats: Asmund S. Laerdal, Resuscitation; 2002, 53: 115-9.
4. Sands, R.P; Bacon, D.R. An Inventive Mind: The Career of James O. Elam, M.D. (1918–1995), Anesthesiology; 1998, 88(4): 1107–12.
5. Peppriell JE.; et.al. The development of academic anesthesiology at the Roswell Park Memorial Institute:, Anesth Analg; 1991 Apr, 72(4):538-45.
Courtesy National Library of Medicine
September 16, 2013 – October 26, 2013
Alfred C. O’Connell Library
Genesee Community College Batavia, New York
Two books from the Brown History of Medicine Collection will be a part of the new exhibit “Life and Limb: The Toll of the American Civil War” at the O’Connell Library at Genesee Community College. Reminiscences of an army nurse during the Civil War by Adelaide Smith and A Manual of Military Surgery… by Samual D. Gross, MD, were loaned to the library for the event. The History of Medicine Collection is pleased to be able to contribute to this exciting undertaking! Attendance is free and open to the public. (Some historical battlefield and medical images and materials in the exhibit may not be suitable for pre-teen or grade school age students.)
Photos and text below courtesy of the National Library of Medicine.
“The perspectives of surgeons, physicians, and nurses are richly documented in the history of Civil War medicine, which highlights the heroism and brutality of battlefield operations and the challenges of caring for the wounded during wartime. Yet the experiences of injured soldiers during the conflict and in the years afterwards are less well-known.
More than three million soldiers fought in the war from 1861-1865. More than half a million died, and almost as many were wounded but survived. Hundreds of thousands were permanently disabled by battlefield injuries or surgery, which saved lives by sacrificing limbs. Life and Limb: The Toll of the American Civil War explores the experiences of disabled Civil War veterans who served as a symbol of the fractured nation and a stark reminder of the costs of the conflict.”
What connection could there be between Austin Flint, M.D., one of the founders of the University at Buffalo’s Medical School, and Elbert G. Hubbard, founder of the Roycroft arts and crafts movement in East Aurora, New York? Recently re-discovered in the Brown History of Medicine Collection were eight volumes of a publication called Flint’s Journal dating from1848 to 1855. While the title on the spine of the original binding may not be familiar, the journal inside is actually the Buffalo Medical Journal and Monthly Review of Medical and Surgical Science, established in 1846 by Dr. Austin Flint and Dr. Sanford Hunt. What makes this particular iteration of the journal even more interesting is who actually owned it. Inside several of the volumes were letters, newspaper clippings and hand written notes relating to Dr. Silas Hubbard, father of Elbert. What a find! Dr. Hubbard, born in Mayville, New York in 1821, moved to Buffalo when he was ten. At age eighteen he began the study of medicine with Dr. William Butler in Lima, New York after which he attended a course of medical lectures at the Medical College in Castleton, Vermont. In the fall of 1840 Dr. Hubbard returned to Buffalo and continued his studies with Dr. Noah Warner followed by another course of medical lectures in Vermont where he received his degree in 1842. He practiced medicine in Buffalo and also lectured on phrenology in various other states. Dr. Hubbard moved with his family to Illinois where he continued the practice of medicine. He eventually moved to East Aurora, New York before returning to Buffalo where he died in 1917. Elbert Hubbard, the third of eight children born to Dr. Hubbard and his wife, promulgated the English Arts and Crafts movement personified by William Morris and others that stressed hand craftsmanship as an “antidote to the unhealthy character of industrial society.” (1) Elbert and his second wife were killed in May, 1915 when the ship they were on, the RMS Lusitania, was torpedoed by the Germans. On a page inside Volume X of Flint’s Journal a devastated Dr. Hubbard wrote the following in his frail handwriting: “E.G Hubbard [son] was 59 years old when he was murdered by the Germans last [m]ay 1915.”
Dr. Hubbard’s comments inside Volume 10
Dr. Homer T. Jackson, MD, an 1881 graduate of UB’s Medical School, practiced medicine in the rural town of Verona, NY at the turn of the 19th century. When leaving for house calls, Dr. Jackson would don his top hat, grab his pocket watch and his case of instruments. He would also bring along a pistol.
Those days were different. Doctors such as Dr. Jackson had to be prepared for anything, including wandering highwaymen who looked to take advantage of travelers on lonely country roads. They also had to be prepared to accept chickens and veggies in lieu of coin.
Today, we can get a glimpse into the professional life of Dr. Jackson thanks to the generosity of Dr. Kenneth Felch, MD (UB Med 1961). The grandson of Dr. Jackson, Dr. Felch has donated several important pieces to the R. L. Brown History of Medicine Collection. Along with his personal collection of diagnostic and surgical instruments, several of Dr. Jackson’s handwritten notebooks were also donated. Through these wonderful manuscripts, we can look back upon Dr. Jackson’s methods of diagnosis, treatment, and his creation of medicinal preparations.
The Dr. H.T. Jackson Collection has been reassembled and is currently on display in the Buffalo Academy Room, located within the History of Medicine Collection. Please feel free to stop by and enjoy this truly unique glimpse into medicine’s past.
Students in History of Medicine
On July 26th, 50 enthusiastic and engaging medical students from Italy toured the Health Sciences Library and the History of Medicine Collection. The students are from medical schools in Bologna, Florence, Pisa, Milan and Salerno and are participating in the Fourth Annual Professor Giovanni Mazzotti Italian-American Conference on Human Anatomy, Research and Healthcare Professions at D’Youville College. They are spending 4 weeks completing the Gross Anatomy component of their medical education which is not currently offered in Italian medical universities. Italian medical students only learn gross anatomy and dissection from books, models and demonstrations, as there is not an established donor program in their country. We wish all of them the best in their future careers!
About the Collection
The Robert L. Brown History of Medicine Collection was established as a separate entity in 1972. The collection was named in 1985 for Robert L. Brown, MD, former Associate Dean of the School of Medicine, in recognition of his strong support of the Health Sciences Library for more than twenty-five years.
The collection includes historical materials in all areas of the health sciences, including dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, & public health.
History is on the lower level of UB's Health Sciences Library in Abbott Hall on the South Campus. Users enjoy our main reading area, which includes a History Reference section & tables for using our materials, as well as our climate controlled Rare Book Room which contains all of our monographs as well as interesting artifacts.
Materials in Our Collection
The print portion of the History collection includes:
- over 13,000 nineteeth century monographs with particular strengths in surgery, dentistry, obstetrics/gynecology, pharmacology, & oncology
- 500 pre-nineteenth century titles
- historical journal volumes
- The Bonnie and Vern Bullough History of Nursing Collection
Non-print materials, artifacts, and instruments in the History collection include:
- The Edgar R. McGuire Historical Medical Instrument Collection
- Death masks of Dr. Edgar R. McGuire and Dr. Roswell Park
- The official mace carried in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences graduation procession
- The original cap and gown designed by Dr. Robert L. Brown for the Dean, now used by all graduating medical students
Visting and Using Our Collection
Visitors to the History Collection are always welcome! Normal hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
It is best to schedule an appointment to use the collection and/or for a consultation so we can help you locate exactly what you need. Our materials do not circulate, so must be used on site. However, photocopies of pages in good condition are offered free of charge.
Reference questions on health science history are welcome and may be sent to Linda Lohr, (716) 829-5737.
McGuire Instrument Collection
The Edgar R. McGuire Historical Medical Instrument Collection was established in 1985 by Mrs. Annette Cravens in memory of her father, chairman of the Department of Surgery at the University of Buffalo from 1914 until his death in 1931.
The collection, containing more than 150 instruments or sets of instruments chosen for their illustration of past medical and dental procedures, includes microscopes, surgical instruments, anatomical models, a leech jar and bleeding cups, and dental instruments.
The collection is housed in the Robert L. Brown History of Medicine Collection in the Health Sciences Library, Abbott Hall, South Campus, University at Buffalo.
Papier Mache Anatomical Models
Louis Auzoux (1797-1880),a French physician, began making anatomical models out of papier mache in 1822. By the time of his death, Dr. Auzoux had perfected his techniques and created a wide range of models for teaching anatomy. The models are accurate in detail, labeled, and painted. They are not easily damaged by use or climatic changes and remain unsurpassed to this day. The McGuire Instrument Collection includes Auzoux models of the ear, eye, and larynx.
Lithotomy and Lithotrity Case
This superb case of lithotomy and lithotrity instruments was manufactured by Charriere in Paris in approximately 1840. Removal of stones from the bladder was one of the earliest and most frequently performed operations. By the ninetheenth century, it had become a highly successful procedure and carried a low mortality rate. However, frequent infection and lack of anesthesia made the operation dreaded by most patients, and led to the development of instruments that could be introduced through the urethra to crush the stones. Shown here is Charriere's case of instruments, actual bladder stones, and a forceps from 1580 designed to extract stones from the bladder.
Powell and Lealand No. 1 Stand Microscope
Donated to the McGuire Instrument Collection by William H. Merrilees, MD, this instrument manufactured in 1884 represents perhaps the height of microscope design and craftsmanship in England.
Dental Drill This unique dental drill, patented in 1873, is rotated by a Pitman crank worked by the thumb of the operator.
Friends of HSL
The Friends of the Health Sciences Library, founded in 1975, support the collections and services of HSL, with a primary focus on the History of Medicine Collection. The supported programs include the Health Sciences Art and Media Group art initiative and the Buffalo Medical Journal database indexing project, as well as our annual meeting and lecture events.
Our annual meeting features the C.K. Huang Memorial Lecture, named for one of HSL's former directors. For example, in 2005 Dr. Edward Fine and Dr. Arie Weinstock of UB's Department of Neurology presented a wonderful program on past and current methods of treating epilepsy. In addition to the presentations, the evening always includes food, drink, and great company.
Print out our membership form and send it along with your check or credit card information to the address indicated. Or, better yet, stop and visit History and get acquainted with our collection!
History of Health Sciences Exhibits
Art in the Health Sciences Library Exhibit No.3: "The Tools of Medicine"
"The Tools of Medicine" exhibit, which opened on November 19, 2003, features images of selected instruments contained in the the Edgar R. McGuire Historical Medical Instrument Collection. The exhibit features 6 enlarged, framed images mounted in the main staircase area on the first floor of HSL.
Made possible through the generous support of the Friends of the Health Sciences Library and the Medical Historical Society, the exhibit is the third of a series developed by the Health Sciences Art and Media Group (HSAMG) which includes staff from HSL and iMedia, a unit of Academic Services at UB.
The Historical Medical Instrument Collection is a remarkable assemblage of instruments and artifacts from medicine, surgery, dentistry, pharmacy, and nursing, dates from the Roman period to the 20th century. Among the items are microscopes, surgical and forensic instruments, anatomical models, a leech jar and cage, bleeding cups, and dental instruments. Established in 1985 by Mrs. Annette Cravens in memory of her father, the prominent surgeon Dr. Edgar Robinson McGuire, the collection vividly brings to life the history and evolution of the health sciences.
Dr. McGuire graduated from the University of Buffalo Medical School in 1900. He succeeded Dr. Roswell Park as chairman of the Department of Surgery at the University in 1917 and held the position until his death in 1931. In 2002, Mrs. Cravens permanently donated the portion of theCollection that had previously been on loan to the University.
The talented iMedia staff (Fred Kwiecien, Donald Trainor, Monica Carter, and Jim Ulrich) selected and photographed 6 instruments from the Historical Medical Instrument Collection to create The Tools of Medicine exhibit. The images were enlarged and framed for display in the natural gallery area of the main staircase between the 1st and 2nd floors.
For more information, please contact Linda Lohr, Manager, at 839-5737.
Archives, Libraries, Museums, and Other Special Collections
Digitized Images and Manuscripts
Regional and Cultural History
- CDC Tuskegee Syphilis Study Page
- Canadian Health Obituaries
- A Celebration of Black History
- Classical Islamic Biomedicine
- Connecticut and New Haven's First General Hospital
- Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States (Peter Hirtle, Cornell Institute for Digital Collections -- a concise chart of types of works (unpublished, published in the U.S. and published outside the U.S.), the copyright term, and specifics of what was included in the public domain (thus exempt from copyright restrictions) as of 1 January 2007. The chart should be updated each year.
- Curious Expeditions An eclectic journey by two explorers "devoted to unearthing and documenting the wondrous, the macabre and the obscure from around the globe". One section of the site includes a wealth of photos from extraordinary libraries from all over the world: Librophiliac Love Letter: a Compendium of Beautiful Libraries including Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, France, England, United States, Hungary, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Austria, Canada, Brazil, Scotland, and more.