Showing posts with label military medicine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label military medicine. Show all posts

Friday, May 27, 2011

Canadian War Museum exhibit borrowed from Medical Museum

War and Medicine exhibit shows healing in conflict
CBC News May 26, 2011

-the exhibit is from Britain, but the Canadians jazzed it up with material from North America.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Letter of the Day: April 3

Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 02161

April 3, 1897

Lieut. Francis A. Winter,
Asst. Surgeon, U.S. Army,
Hotel Raleigh,
Washington, D.C.

Sir: I am directed by the President of the Board of Officers convened for your examination to inform you that your examination having been completed, your attendance is no longer necessary.

Very respectfully,
Walter Reed
Major and Surgeon, U.S. Army, Recorder.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Letter of the Day: March 11

Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 2978


Messrs Herbert & Micou

Attorneys at Law,

Rooms 6, - 8, Fleming Building, 1419 G Street.

Washington, D.C.




Your letter of the 10th inst., offering to afford a trial of a litter invented by Mr. Remington, is received.


The Board to which you refer is, however, to deal with a method of instruction and not material, so that your interesting exhibit does not properly come before it.


Very respectfully,



Dallas Bache

Col. & Asst. Surgeon General, U.S.A.

President of Board

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Letter of the Day: March 10 (2 of 2)

Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 2978


Herbert & Micou,

Attorneys at Law,

Rooms 6, 7 and 8, Fleming Building,

1419 G Street.

Washington, D.C. March, 10th. 1898


Colonel Dallas Bache, U.S.A.

Assistant Surgeon General,

War Department.


Dear Sir:-


From the enclosed clipping we see you are President of a board to inquire into the method, etc., of rendering aid to the wounded, and we therefore ask to be permitted to exhibit to the board a recent invention of Mr. Frederick Remington of a litter-carrier. One of these litters has been under trial and observation of Major Kimbal, Surgeon, U.S.A. at Governors Island, N.Y. for the past two months, and we respectfully refer the board to him for a report of these trials.


We would like to furnish the board with one of these litter-carriers free of expense, to be given an exhaustive trial under service conditions, to be delivered wherever you may designate.


Very respectfully yours,


Herbert + Micou


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blog tip - Civil War Medicine (and Writing)

Steven Solomon, our former public affairs officer, pointed out this Civil War Medicine (and Writing) blog to me today. At my first quick glance, the author Jim Schmidt has a couple of posts about the Medical Museum - one on the Museum proper and another new one on Doctor (and photographer) Reed Bontecou which is the one Steven pointed out. Besides Blair's articles mentioned therein (I think I'm a co-author on the 2nd), anyone interested in Civil War medical photography might want to check out this Shooting Soldiers article.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

"New" Civil War picture found

The other day someone asked about Civil War surgeon Eugene Shaw. I would have walked right to the Shaw collection, but Jasmine handled the request and ran his name through our Emu database. In doing so, she found the CDV below that was filed in our biographical files (we've since moved it to the collection).

Shaw CDV front

Shaw CDV verso

The text says, Eugene Shaw M.D. Written up in New York Herald for bravery and skill on the battle fields of the Civil War - 21 years old when he was made Ass't Surgeon, 116th NY Regiment.

Rec. Feb. 1939.
Ac. 52965.

Monday, April 27, 2009

April 29: Walter Reed Centennial History Symposium

Lots of friends and colleagues speaking here - if you decide to attend, remember to bring a photo id. The auditorium is upstairs in the old hospital. I hope to make most of the morning sessions.

Walter Reed Centennial History Symposium
Schedule and Program

April 29, 2009, Wednesday
Vorder Bruegge Auditorium, Bldg #1, Old Main Hospital

0800 Welcome and Introduction
Sherman Fleek, WRAMC Historian

0810 Opening Remarks
COL Coots, Commander, WRHCS

0820 Program Overview and Schedule
Dr. Dale Smith, Senior VP, USUHS
Program Chair and Commentator

0830 Keynote Presentations:

Walter Reed the Man and his Family
Dr. John Pierce, MD, COL USA (Ret)

Yellow Fever: The Scourge Revealed
CAPT Stanton E. Cope, MSC, USN, PhD

1000 Break

1020 Second Session

Walter Reed General Hospital and the Rise of the American Military Medical Complex
Jessica L. Adler, PhD Candidate

The Army School of Nursing at Walter Reed
Scott R. Schoner, Museum Curator

1130 Third Session

Walter Reed Hospital, Rehabilitation Medicine, and Reconstruction Aides in World War I America
Jeffrey S. Reznick, PhD

Physical Rehabilitation at Walter Reed: The First Decade, 1917-27
Sanders Marble, PhD

1230 Lunch

1330 Fourth Session

“The Patient is First, and Always”:COL Ogden C. Bruton and the Legacy of Pediatric Care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center
COL Thomas R. Burklow, MD

A Remembrance of Dr. Ogden Bruton
Marcia Boyle, Foundation President

1430 Centennial Film Preview

1530 Closing Remarks
Dr. Dale Smith

Tour of Building #1 and Campus (Optional, 1 hour tour) Sherman Fleek

Presenter Biographies:

Jessica L. Adler PhD Candidate, History: Columbia University, New York City

Marcia Boyle Founder and President of the Immune Deficiency Foundation, established in 1980. The Foundation is the national non-profit patient organization dedicated to improving the diagnosis, treatment and quality of life of persons with primary immunodeficiency diseases through advocacy, education and research.

Thomas R. Burklow COL, MC, Chief of Pediatrics at Walter Reed Army Medical Center

Stanton E. Cope PhD CAPTAIN, Medical Service Corps, United States Navy, served as entomologist for 20 years; winner of Campbell Collection Award for YF material at UCLA; delivered numerous publications on yellow fever experiments in Cuba. Director, Armed Forces Pest Management Board, Silver Spring, MD

Sanders Marble PhD, AB, William & Mary; MA and PhD, King’s College University of London; five years as historian with Office of Medical History, Office of The Surgeon General, U.S. Army

John R. Pierce Retired U.S. Army Colonel and physician, former chief of pediatrics at Walter Reed Army Medical Center; Department of Veterans Affairs; he the co-author of Yellow Jack: How Yellow Fever Ravaged America and Walter Reed Discovered its Deadly Secrets, 2005.

Jeffrey S. Reznick PhD is an Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Modern History of the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, a member of its Centre for First World War Studies, and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He is author of two books in the Culture History of Modern War series of Manchester University Press – Healing the nation: Soldiers and the culture of care-giving in Britain during the Great War (2004) and John Galsworthy and Disabled Soldiers of the Great War (forthcoming, 2009) – as well as numerous articles which explore the medical, material, and memorial cultures of 1914-1918. Reznick lives in Rockville, Maryland, and he serves as Director of the Institute for the Study of Occupation and Health of the American Occupational Therapy Foundation, Bethesda, Maryland.

Scott R. Schoner Curator of the U.S. Army Medical Department Museum, Ft. Sam Houston, Texas.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Another letter from WW1

I've transcribed another letter from the American Expeditionary Forces surgeon whose letters I'm scanning.

I hope it goes without saying that the disparaging comments made in this letter are not our views, collectively or individually, and from reading Captain Otken's letters as I have over the past couple of weeks, I would also say that he would not speak this way today.

"Bordeaux Sat Oct 5th

My dearest Lois:

Received Mama’s and Frances letters of Aug. 20th & Sister’s of Sept 8th this week – needless to say was glad to get so much news from home & to know that all are getting along as well as they are.

We are awfully busy, have nearly three thousand patients and eighteen ward surgeons to take care of them, so you can see what we have to do. Have lots of the Spanish Flu – with its chief complication – Pneumonia – consequently we are losing quite a number. I lost count of the number of hospital trains we got this week – four I believe – seems like I have been up nearly all night every night this week. So far I have had nothing but surgical cases – they sent me the one with the most severe wounds – have sixty severe patients now – some have as high as eight big wounds – every man has to be dressed every day & I do all my own operating – I didn’t get out of the op. room until six o’clock tonight – so you see how much idle time I have.

I got some fine pictures of some of the big wounds in my ward – will have others made when I close them up. My face case I wrote you about has healed up now, both operations were successful & he has a fairly presentable face. Am going to have a picture made of him. We got in a lot of sick & wounded officers this week but none that I knew – one from Brownsville Texas lives just a few doors from Effie Pornell Feuder. It has been real cold here the past week especially at night, have had several heavy frosts.

You folks mustn’t expect a letter every week – I write you at least once a week but a mail boat doesn’t leave every week & remember the millions of letter that go from the A.E.F. – and then you can see the reason why they come in bunches, if one could only see one of these mail boats unload in New York, you would cease wondering at the delay.

I hope Spencer improves at Ft. McPherson which I think he will – those cases generally get better in course of time – I don’t know of any treatment that will do them any good except massage & exercise. His sciatic nerve – the big nerve to the leg is probably involved [?] – neurasthenia is where a person imagines they have something that they haven’t. We see lots of them in the army – it is a racial characteristic of Jews and Dago’s.

The war news is certainly encouraging – with Bulgaria’s surrender – Turkey is cut off from Germany & Austria so it is only a question of time before she falls & every thing points to internal dissension & revolution in Germany – there are all kinds of peace rumors rife these days. Meanwhile the Allies keep on hammering on the Germans on all fronts – something is going to break ere long. Am getting some fine experience but I’ll be glad when it is all over with & we can come back to our own country once more.

As to Gidiere I spoke to George Wolhecht about him when I was home last – he & Frank will attend to that all right. Will start once more – the lights went out all over the camp – so I went down to the ward to see how my operative cases were doing.

Hope Charlie can get a change before long, the kind of work he is doing is bound to grow very monotonous.

A new ruling forbids putting the name of your organization on your letter in the upper left hand corner – hence the change but address me the same as usual – it does not apply to mail addressed to us – I can’t see the idea of the rule myself but it is so.

Be careful & don’t any of you take any risks and get sick.

Love to all at home – a kiss for each of you.


Capt. LB Otken M.C.

US Base Hosp. 22

B.S. #2 A.P.O. 705"

Friday, January 16, 2009

Exploring War and Conflict Through Oral History CFP

Call for Papers
Exploring War and Conflict Through Oral History

Date: 1 May 2009
Location: The Library of Congress, Washington, DC
Sponsors: OHMAR (Oral History in the Mid-Atlantic Region)
Veterans History Project, American Folk Life Center, Library of Congress

War and conflict have been a formative part of United States history during the twentieth century, a trend that has continued into the new millennium. Since World War II, oral history has become a progressively more valuable tool in exploring the causes of war; the fierce national and international debate over the efficacy of waging war; the experiences of the combatants and civilians caught up in the conflict; and the social, political, and economic consequences of war. Drawing on this rich history, OHMAR and the Veterans History Project are soliciting papers for a conference that explores war and conflict through the use of oral history.

The program committee is seeking proposals for individual papers or complete panels that focus on the use of oral history in documenting the impact of war and conflict on world history during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Proposals for individual papers should be based on a twenty-minute presentation; complete panels should incorporate three papers within a panel lasting ninety minutes.

Proposal Format

For individual proposals, submit a one-page abstract, a one-page vita or resume, and a short (100 words or less) presenter bio. If proposing a three-person panel, submit a title, a session abstract of not more than two pages, and a one-page vita or resume and short bio for each participant.

Proposals should be postmarked or emailed by 15 February 2009. We prefer that proposals be sent by email. Email the cover sheet and proposal below as one complete electronic document in Microsoft Word to The program committee will acknowledge the receipt of incoming proposals as they are received. If you have questions, email or contact John Lonnquest, program committee chair, at 703-428-6563. Applicants will be notified by 1 March 2009 if their proposals are accepted.

Technical Support

All of the conference facilities will be equipped with computers and LCD projectors. As part of their proposals, presenters should indicate their audio and visual support requirements. Please be as specific as possible so the program committee can properly evaluate the resources required. Please contact the conference program committee at if you have any questions.

Cover Sheet
Exploring War and Conflict Through Oral History
Library of Congress
1 May 2009
Hard copy proposals should include five copies each of the cover sheet, panel proposal (if applicable), individual proposals, bios and individual resumes. We prefer emailed proposals. Be sure to read the Call For Papers to ensure you have met all requirements. Please type or print clearly.
Panel or Paper Title: ________________________________________________

AV and space needs: ( ) VHS player/monitor ( ) DVD player/monitor ( ) LCD projector
Other (describe thoroughly): ______________________________________________________

AV requests must be indicated at this time. Please check with your panel members before submitting your proposal.
Panel organizer or paper presenter's name: __________________________________
E-mail: _____________________________ Affiliation ________________________________
Complete Mailing Address: _______________________________________________________
City: _______________ State: ________ ZIP Code________ Country: _________
Work phone: ________________ Home phone: ________________ FAX:____________
If proposing a panel, please provide the following information as well.
Chair's Name: ________________________________________________________
First MI Last
E-mail: __________________________ Affiliation: __________________________________
Complete Mailing Address: _______________________________________________________
City: ______________ State: _______ ZIP Code: _______ Country: ___________
Work phone: _______________ Home phone: ________________ FAX: ___________

Commentator (if desired):____________________________________________
First MI Last
E-mail: ____________________________ Affiliation: ___________________________
Complete Mailing Address: _______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________
City: ______________ State: _______ ZIP Code: _______ Country: __________
Work phone: _______________ Home phone: ________________ FAX: ____________

Panelist: ____________________________________________________________
First MI Last
Paper Title: _________________________________________________________________
E-mail: ___________________________ Affiliation: ____________________________
Complete Mailing Address: _______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________
City: ______________ State: _______ ZIP Code: _______ Country: ____________
Work phone: _______________ Home phone: ________________ FAX: ____________

Panelist: ____________________________________________________________
First MI Last
Paper Title: __________________________________________________________________
E-mail: ____________________________ Affiliation: _________________________________
Complete Mailing Address: _______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________
City: ______________ State: _______ ZIP Code: _______ Country: ___________
Work phone: _______________ Home phone: ________________ FAX: ____________

Panelist: ____________________________________________________________
First MI Last
Paper Title: ____________________________________________________________________
E-mail: ______________________________Affiliation:________________________________
Complete Mailing Address: _______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________
City: ______________ State: _______ ZIP Code: _______ Country: ___________
Work phone: ______________ Home phone: ________________ FAX: _________________
Proposal packages should be emailed to:
Written proposals should be mailed to:
John Lonnquest
US Army Corps of Engineers
Office of History
7701 Telegraph Road
Alexandria, VA 22315
Cover sheet and proposals must be postmarked or emailed by February 15, 2009

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Wellcome War & Medicine exhibit open through February

War and Medicine (22 November 2008-15 February 2009) is on display in London. I imagine this is a good exhibit. Be sure to check out the image galleries which in particular have a couple of nice shell shock images. You can see this one of ours on our flickr site as well as some mustard gas images. We recently put some facial reconstruction models on display very similar to the one seen in the photos on the Wellcome site, except ours are colored.

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Day in the Life....

Today was a really typical day with no excitement but a pretty good feeling of accomplishment at crossing things off my List. I basically worked on two things. The first was performing QA (quality assurance) on several curatorial log books that we've sent for scanning. Each one comes back in both JPG and PDF formats and I have to look at both for the QA. Not every single page, but enough to know the scans are up to snuff. You might wonder why I have to look at both formats. That's because when we first started scanning books the jpegs came back in whatever lovely color they actually had, but the PDFs inexplicably were in grayscale. I don't know that we ever figured out how or why, and they were fixed, but now I look at both. By the way, these books will eventually be uploaded to the Internet Archive. In my spare time.

The other project of the day had to do with a new book published by the Borden Institute, the publishing arm of the Army Medical Department and School. It's called War Surgery in Afghanistan and Iraq: a Series of Cases 2003-2007. We received a couple of discs of the pictures used in the book and while waiting for huge PDFs of the books I talked about above to load, I matched the loosely identified images from the discs to the ones in the book. I'm making a spreadsheet of captions for all of the pictures that will be uploaded, along with the images, into our (still internal) database as part of our Medical Illustration Service Library.

What I find compelling about this book, aside from the miracles the docs over there are working on our soldiers, is that it's fulfilling a mission much like the Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion did at the time of the Civil War; it's a valuable teaching tool. As Dr. David Lounsbury, one of the three authors, said in an interview with the International Herald Tribune, "The average Joe Surgeon, civilian or military, has never seen this stuff... "It's a shocking, heart-stopping, eye-opening kind of thing. And they need to see this on the plane before they get there, because there's a learning curve to this."

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Here's a UK conference on military medicine -


The second international conference exploring the history of military medicine and health care since 1660 15th, 16th and 17th April 2009

at The Army Medical Services Museum

Sessions include

18th Century
The Napoleonic Wars
The American Contribution
The First World War
The Second World War
Military Nursing

For further details and booking form contact:

Army Medical Services Museum
Keogh Barracks, Ash Vale, Aldershot, Hants, GU12 5RQ
Tel: 01252 868820. email:

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

War Surgery in Afghanistan and Iraq featured by New York Times

This book, War Surgery in Afghanistan and Iraq, is by a friend of mine who's been working on it for several years. The book is in the grand tradition of the Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion which was also compiled to address problems of injuries during a war. It's published by the Borden Institute at Walter Reed where a lot of my friends and colleagues work as well - we're currently working on a photographic history of Walter Reed medical center for the 100th anniversary, right before they shut it down.

The article about the atlas of injuries is "To Heal the Wounded," By DONALD G. McNEIL Jr., New York Times August 5, 2008

There's also audio files linked to on the main page, as well as photographs.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Limb Lab presentation report at blog

Dr. Val Jones reported on Linker and Reznick's presentations a couple of weeks ago on her blog Revolution Health. I'll see if I can put up a picture of the Civil War amputee that sold the pictures of himself - his name was Alfred Stratton, I think.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

National Museum of the Marine Corps

Today I went to the Marine Corps Museum in Quantico, Virginia. It's terrific, with a lot of interactive exhibits (care to lift a pack that a recruit has to carry (that's the pack there, on the right), or listen to drill instructors screaming at you from every direction?) and lifelike combat scenes. Here's one of a Marine being cared for by a corpsman. I thought the look on the wounded Marine's face was perfectly portrayed. What I liked about this one, in addition to the face, is that we have photos just like this in our collection, right down
to the IV bottle suspended from a rifle stuck in the ground bayonet first (just out of view here but you can see the line being inserted in his arm). It's a great museum with free admission, both indoor and outdoor exhibit space, and is open 364 days a year. If you're in the neighborhood, I recommend a visit.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

British military medicine conference CFP

[this is run by Pete Starling]


A conference exploring the history of military medicine and health care

15th -17th April 2009


The Army Medical Services Museum is to host a conference exploring the history of military medicine and health care covering the period from 1600 to the present. The conference will take place in the Defence Medical Services Training Centre, Keogh Barracks, Mytchett, Surrey, where the museum is situated.

Papers are invited on the history of military medicine particularly covering the following themes: Nursing, catastrophe and post conflict medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, pioneers of military medicine, disease prevention and research, the influence of the military on civilian medicine and the history of dedicated hospitals for the care of the sick and wounded military patients.

Closing date for the submission of abstracts is 1 August 2008. Abstracts should be submitted using the attached form and sent to:


Army Medical Services Museum

Keogh Barracks

Ash Vale


GU12 5RQ

01252 868820 Email:


Title: Full Name:

Name of Institution (if applicable):

Full Postal Address:

Email address: Telephone No:

Title of Abstract:

Bookings for the conference will open on 1 September 2008.

For booking forms please contact:

The Director

AMS Museum, Keogh Barracks, Ash Vale, Aldershot, GU12 5RQ

Monday, May 19, 2008

2 articles on military medicine

Steven Solomon sent in these two links:

"Military medical advancements benefit civilian health care," by Navy Lt. Jennifer Cragg, American Forces Press Service - which is always nice of course, but here's the takeaway quote, "In today's war, in the combat theater, 97 percent of those people who
were wounded in theater survived those wounds because of the medical care," Dr. Kilpatrick said. "That's just a phenomenal number, and it's because that care is so immediate.


"AFMC surgeon general: joint medical teams saving lives," by Chuck Paone,66th Air Base Wing Public Affairs, and the quote to note is: But what's more, follow-on studies are now showing that military trauma care professionals are achieving identically dramatic fatality reductions at home. "That means they're bringing these skills back with them and getting the same results for people who suffer non-combat-related traumas," he said.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

New Grog Ration from Navy's medical historian

André B. Sobocinski, the Deputy Historian/ Publications Manager of the Office of the Historian of the Navy's Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) has a new issue of The Grog Ration newsletter about medical naval history out now.

The table of contents:

Page 1: Care Amidst the Shortage: The Relationship between the American Red Cross and the Navy Nurse Corps in World War I by Jennifer Telford, RN, PhD
When the United States declared war on 6 April 1917, the nation had but a nucleus of an army and a navy. The swift growth of the number of troops within a year from 100,000 to 4 million men presented a problem of enormous magnitude to the nursing profession; it was a shortage of epic proportions. The Army Nurse Corps had a mere 400 nurses on active duty, while the Navy had 160. The need for a rapid expansion of nursing in wartime to provide care both on the home-front and overseas brought about a controversy over who, in fact, was qualified to serve. The role of Katrina Hertzer, the liaison officer between the Red Cross Nursing Service and the Navy Nurse Corps, and who aided in the enrollment of nurses into the Corps, is of particular interest.
Nursing leaders during World War I debated about whether or not minimally trained nurses' aides should be recruited to help offset the professional nursing shortage. The result was the formation of an Army School of Nursing and the enrollment of volunteer nurses' aides into the Red Cross. The recruitment of nurses' aides to offset the nursing shortage of the World War I era was a logical solution to meeting the needs for nursing personnel. Whether or not this action compromised the status of nursing as a profession is still a matter of interest.
This article is adapted from lectures given at the Society for the History of Navy Medicine (SHNM) session in Rochester, NY, and as part of the Surgeon General's Speaker Series (SGSS) in Bethesda, MD, in April 2008. A PowerPoint of her SHNM lecture can be found at A video of her SGSS lecture can be accessed at

Page 7: Elvis Has Boarded the Ship
In 1958, LTJG Julia Pickering was one of two Navy nurses serving aboard the troop transport USS General Randall (AP-115) in port at Brooklyn, NY. Also on board this ship was a newly enlisted Army sergeant who had already established his name as an American pop icon. In a 2004 interview with the Office of the Historian, Pickering remembered this special passenger.

Page 8: The Surgeon's Log: Navy Medicine in Washington, DC
In 1908 a young hospital apprentice named Albert B. Montgomery reported for duty at the Naval Hospital, Washington, DC, then located on old "Observatory Hill" in Foggy Bottom. Years later he looked back upon his experiences-from racing horse-driven ambulances on cobblestone streets to obtaining study specimens at the city morgue for Naval Medical School students.

Page 11: Scuttlebutt
Find out about the upcoming Navy medical events (e.g., film premieres and lectures).

Page 12: Navy Medical Quiz
Good luck on this issue's quiz. As always, the first person to submit correct answers to all questions will receive a special prize. The answers from our previous quiz can be found on page 13.