Showing posts with label Vorwald Collection. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vorwald Collection. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Vorwald Collection

I've been working on updating the Vorwald Collection, a 250+ box set of documents, studies, and patient files related to asbestosis and silicosis. Arthur Vorwald was a doctor who devoted his career, first at the Saranac Laboratories in New York, and then at Wayne State University (my alma mater, but a little before my time) in Detroit, to showing the cause of these diseases. I recently came across a couple dozen photographs that show working conditions in quarries and factories, both with and without dust control mechanisms in place. They will eventually go up on Flickr, but here's one in advance. Is it any wonder these guys were dying?

Leyner Bar Operator Working Without Dust Control

Monday, November 3, 2008

A bit of synchronicity with our Vorwald collection

In the 1960s, Dr. Arthur J. Vorwald had a stroke. When he died a decade later his widow donated his personal papers to the AFIP which sent them down to the Museum. Vorwarld worked on industrial medicine and hygiene including asbestosis. In the early 1980s, the AFIP was sued to open the records, which included patient information. The lawfirm that brought the suit was Baron and Associates led by Fred Baron who died last week - "Fred Baron, 61; Asbestos-Fighting Lawyer, Political Operative," Washington Post Saturday, November 1, 2008; B06.

The records have mostly been used by lawyers since then although there's a lot of history in them. One bit that has been looked at by a historian of medicine was the Donora Air Pollution Incident in which a town in Pennsylvania was poisoned. It's now the subject of a museum exhibit as this article points out - "Unveiling a Museum, a Pennsylvania Town Remembers the Smog That Killed 20," By SEAN D. HAMILL, New York Times November 2, 2008.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A day in the life...

Today began with nothing much on the calendar, but Bruce from the Department of Veterinary Pathology (VetPath) stopped by to say that Dr. John King was arriving with his donation of 35mm slides for the museum. Dr. King and Cornell University had been digitizing the collection as Dr. John M. King's Necropsy Show & Tell and posting them online. They got about 1/2 done, but Dr. King donated all the slides to us and we're going to finish the scanning job.

Dr. King was in his early 80s, and lively and full of interesting stories about veterinary pathology and how there are some controversies in the field like the bursting aortas of racehorses (which I'd never heard of - the competing theories are high blood pressure v. King's compressing the chest when collapsing or mating). He's also a collector of veterinary instruments and brought down some for us.

When I mentioned this collection coming in, I didn't tell you readers that it's 48,000 35mm slides in 108 notebooks, arranged by animal and pathology (ie herpes, heart disease, liver failure). Cool, huh?

Midday was a tour for Lauren the intern's mom. It's always fun to take people that are interested on a tour. Lauren's done a great job for us this summer, working most recently on updating the Vorwald Collection finding aid and adding more material into the trade literature collection (ie advertising), General Medical Products Information Collection.

Later on in the day, we got a call from people doing renovations in the area the AFIP director works in and so we removed paintings of the former directors for safe storage while the work goes on.