Showing posts with label Public Health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Public Health. Show all posts

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Old Army Medical Museum and the Watch and Ward Society

NMHM (Reeve 85182-73)

A new blog post over at the Massachusetts Historical Society - "Discovering the New England Watch and Ward Society" - highlights the Godfrey Lowell Cabot papers and their research value in the recent publication by Neil Miller: Banned in Boston: The Watch and Ward Society’s Crusade against Books, Burlesque, and the Social Evil (Boston: Beacon Press, 2010). The Watch and Ward Society monitored illegal and illicit behavior in Boston, wielding considerable political influence between 1878-1967.
Among the Watch and Ward Society material is this mention of the "Old Army Medical Museum," captured here from the MHS post by Anna J. Cook:

On 16 April 1918, J. Frank Chase, the secretary of the Watch and Ward, wrote a letter describing his visit to the Old Army Medical Museum in Washington D.C. for a screening of “Fit to Fight,” a propaganda film that was part of the military’s attempt to combat “the Social Diseases.” While he approved of the general effort, Chase was critical of certain aspects of the film:

Realizing the difficulties of the subject and how mistakes are inevitable and the diversity of opinion even among good people as to the details and the methods of doing this necessary work, I am loathe to criticize the work accomplished. Yet, I must urge one criticism of the method. It concerns the unwisdom [sic] of putting on exhibition at the very beginning or at all the picture of a nude woman of full front view, as is done in this film.

While he acknowledges the “nude” is, in fact, a statue of Venus, he argues that its manner of display is troubling. It “does not declare itself as a statue until after such a time as gives the mind a chance to conclude ‘Here is the picture of a naked woman,’ and to gasp at the boldness.”It is unclear from the existing correspondence whether anyone in the War Department was similarly offended by the film, or whether Chase’s objection to it had any effect on future screenings.

Check out the rest of the post here.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Letter of the Day: August 7

Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 1642

August 7, 1896

R. H. Cooper, Esq,
City Clerk,
Palatka, Florida

Dear Sir:

Your letter of August 5th inquiring in regard to an examination of the water used for drinking purposes, etc., at Palatka, is received.

We will endeavor to make the desired examination, and inform you of the result.

Please forward to the Army Medical Museum about a gallon of the water referred to. It had better be sent in a glass demijohn which has previously been thoroughly cleaned, rinsed with boiled water and then with alcohol, the latter being allowed to evaporate. The water should flow directly into the demijohn from the source of supply in order to avoid contamination from any substance whatever. The cork stopper should be charred in the flame. The sample should be sent at once by express in order that it may reach here as soon as possible.

D.L. Huntington
Deputy Surgeon General, U.S. Army,
In charge of Museum and Library Division

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Letter of the Day: August 5 (2 of 2) - malaria?

Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 1642


Office of R.H. Cooper,

City Clerk.


Palatka, Florida, Aug 5, 1896


The Curator Army Medical Museum

Washington DC


Dear Sir


The City Council of the City of Palatka desires to as-certain whether you subject a sample of water to an analytical or microscopic examination which will determine whether the water is the cause of a considerable amount of malarial sickness which is prevailing in our City at the present time.


If this can be done please inform me of the cost and the amount of water it will be necessary to transmit. The water in question is that which is used for drinking and general purposes throughout the City.


Yours respectfully

RH Cooper

Monday, September 14, 2009

Interesting public health article on social media and hapiness

This has some very interesting ideas in it - I think I believe they're correct. Any opinions?

Is Happiness Catching?
Published: September 13, 2009
Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler say your friends — and even your friends’ friends — can make you quit smoking, eat too much or get happy. A look inside the emerging science of social contagion.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Excellent water public health article in NY Times

The Times has an excellent investigative report on the public health issue of clean water in today's paper -

Toxic Waters
Clean Water Laws Are Neglected, at a Cost in Human Suffering
Published: September 13, 2009
In the past five years, companies and workplaces have violated pollution laws more than 500,000 times. But most polluters have escaped punishment.

Monday, November 24, 2008

New upload to the Internet Archive

Today we uploaded a new item to the Internet Archive. It's "A Guide for Uniform Industrial Hygiene Codes or Regulations for the Use of Fluoroscopic Shoe Fitting Devices," by The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists.

It sounds kind of boring. All right, it sounds really boring, but when you read it you have to say to yourself, "what were they thinking?" It's self-described as a guide "designed to minimize the amount of radiation to which persons are exposed during the use of fluoroscopic shoe fitting devices." In other words, shoe stores had x-ray machines that you stuck your feet in (and our museum has one of them (the machine, not the feet)) to see how well your shoes fit. I dunno, when I was a kid the salesman used to press down on the toe of the new prospective shoes and ask if I could feel it.

Anyway, you can see this guide here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Poster exhibit talk at National Academy of Sciences

Mike Sappol's speaking about his new exhibit. By the way, we just moved a box of exhibit catalogues from the last National Library of Medicine poster exhibit. If you want a copy for free, email me.