Thursday, September 22, 2011

New Navy history of medicine blog sneak peak

It's not quite ready for prime time (as they used to say), but stop by and check out it -

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Museum reopens to public

since nobody who still works there posted this...


Exhibits will focus on human anatomy/pathology, Civil War medicine

September 15, 2011, Silver Spring, Md.: After more than 30 years at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in the District of Columbia, the National Museum of Health and Medicine has completed its relocation to its new home at the Fort Detrick -- Forest Glen Annex in Silver Spring, Md. The Museum will open its initial temporary exhibitions to the public on September 15, 2011.

Initial exhibits available to the public at the Museum's new location will feature artifacts and specimens related to Civil War medicine and human anatomy/pathology. "To Bind Up the Nation's Wounds" offers an in-depth view of military medicine at the time of the Civil War, and features the amputated leg of Union Maj. General Daniel E. Sickles. "Visibly Human: Health and Disease in the Human Body" features natural human specimens as well as plastinated artifacts, displaying normal and abnormal body functions. "Visibly Human" includes specimens such as a leg affected by a parasitic infection known as elephantiasis, a human trichobezoar, and more—including some of the "most requested" items from the collections.

The new building, located at 2500 Linden Lane in the Forest Glen section of Silver Spring, features a state-of-the-art collections management facility to house NMHM's 25-million-object National Historic Landmark collection.

The Forest Glen Annex is overseen by Fort Detrick in Frederick, Md. The new Museum was built under a design-build contract awarded to Costello Construction of Columbia, Md. and managed by the Baltimore District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The new NMHM offers a designated visitor parking lot and visitors will need to present photo identification upon entry to the Museum.

Exhibits available this fall are the first step in an ongoing exhibition development program that will culminate on May 21, 2012, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Army Medical Museum (today's NMHM). Stay tuned in coming months for a more revealing look at what is yet to come.

Visit the Museum's website,, and Facebook page, for details.

About the National Museum of Health and Medicine

The National Museum of Health and Medicine, established in 1862, inspires interest in and promotes the understanding of medicine -- past, present, and future -- with a special emphasis on tri-service American military medicine. As a National Historic Landmark recognized for its ongoing value to the health of the military and to the nation, the Museum identifies, collects, and preserves important and unique resources to support a broad agenda of innovative exhibits, educational programs, and scientific, historical, and medical research. The Museum has relocated to 2500 Linden Lane, Silver Spring, Md., 20910. Visit the Museum website at or call (301) 319-3300.

Friday, September 9, 2011

I'm done folks

After 22 and 1/2 years of being in charge of the Archives and working at the Museum, today was my last day. I wish the best to my former colleagues and the Museum. I'll probably post my new contact information here when I have it, but the work of this blog should fall to other hands now.

Mike Rhode

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Well, sadly the Museum outlasted the AFIP

September sees the end of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. It grew out of the Museum during World War II, and took the Museum over after the War, but due to BRAC it's been closed and some of its functions divided. Bits of the AFIP's tenure remain of course - lots of AFIP numbered specimens are in the Museum, and lots of former Museum specimens will be in the Joint Pathology Center. The numbering systems remain intertwined. And of course this blog is named for a remark by an AFIP head.

I found it in a quote from one of the former curators. World War II confirmed the Army Medical Museum's primary role in pathology consultation. James Ash, the curator during the war and a pathologist, noted, "Shortly after the last war, more concerted efforts were instituted to concentrate in the Army Medical Museum the significant pathologic material occurring in Army installations." He closed with the complaint, "We still suffer under the connotation museum, an institution still thought of by many as a repository for bottled monsters and medical curiosities. To be sure, we have such specimens. As is required by law, we maintain an exhibit open to the public, but in war time, at least, the museum per se is the least of our functions, and we like to be thought of as the Army Institute of Pathology, a designation recently authorized by the Surgeon General."