Showing posts with label typhoid. Show all posts
Showing posts with label typhoid. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Letter of the Day: June 21

Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 03961

June 21, 1899

1st Lieut. C. B. Millhoff,
Asst. Surgeon, U.S. Army,
Comdg. U.S. Genl. Hospital,
Camp Meade, Pa.


The sample of blood sent by you on the 20th inst. in the case of Private Frank Gallay, Co. I, 2nd U.S. Vol. Infty., has been examined and gives a positive reaction. The case appears to be one of typhoid fever. Box returned herewith.

Very respectfully,
Walter Reed
Major & Surgeon,
U.S. Army

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Letter of the Day: May 3

Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 02222

May 3, 1897

Dr. Joe T.D. Howard,
U.S. Indian Service, Green Bay Agency,
Keshena, Wisconsin.

Dear Doctor:

Your letter of April 26th, together with the specimen of discharge from the intestinal canal of a patient, have been referred to me by Surgeon General Sternberg for answer.

A careful microscopic examination of the contents of the bottle has been made for tubercle bacilli but none have been found. It will not be possible to isolate the typhoid bacillus, even if it were present, from this specimen of intestinal discharge. If, however, you will place a small drop of the patient's blood drawn from the lobe of the ear upon a small piece of glass and allow the same to dry, I can, by testing the dry blood decide whether the case is one of typhoid fever or not. If you will, therefore, send me such a specimen I will be glad to have the test made. I may add that the specimen sent by you contains a considerable quantity of a heavy oil, which appears to be the oil of sassafras.

I do not know whether you have added this to the bottle or whether your patient have been taking the oil medicinally.

Sincerely yours,
Walter Reed
Surgeon U.S. Army

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Letter of the Day: November 30

Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 01842

Dr. Jay Perkins,
78 Broad Street,
Providence, R.I.

Nov. 30, 1896

Dear Sir:-

In an editorial in the Journal of the Am. Med. Assoc. reference is made to work done by you in regard to the Serum Diagnosis of Typhoid fever. I am now working up this subject for a medical society here and if you have written any thing which has been printed on this subject in any medical journals or publication of the sort[?], would you be kind enough to give me references to them? Or if nothing has been published would it be troubling


you too much to give me your opinion as to the value of the test. Thanking you in advance for any attention given to this I remain

Yours truly,
Jay Perkins

To Dr. Walter Reed
U.S. Army

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Letter of the Day: October 28

Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 00985

October 28, 1895

Dr. Charles G. Stone
Brightwood, D.C.

Dear Doctor:

About three weeks ago I sent a messenger, as requested by you, to procure water from Mrs. Page's well at Takoma Park. The water was received in two sterilized flasks, and brought at once to the Laboratory, where it was not only promptly plated, but ten different specimens of the water were subjected to Parietti's test for the typhoid organism. Since that time we have carefully followed out the identification of all colonies appearing; and I am compelled to report to you that this examination not only does not show the presence of any typhoid bacilli, but we have not perceived any colonies of colon bacilli.

Very respectfully,

Walter Reed
Surgeon, U.S. Army,

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Letter of the Day: September 19

464 Louisiana Avenue
Health Department, District of Columbia
Washington, September 19th, 1895.

Dr. J.S. Billings,
Asst. Surgeon General, U.S.A.
Army Medical Museum, City.

Dear Sir:-

I am desirous of conducting upon as scientific a basis as possible the present investigation into the causes of the recent increase in typhoid fever in this District. To do this it will, of course, be necessary in some cases to have bacteriological analyses made of water and possibly of milk. This department is, as you are doubtless aware, without the means to make such examinations. Would it be possible to have some of them made at the Army Medical Museum without interfering with the current work? Due credit for such work would of course be given in any report that may be issued.

Very respectfully,
Wm. C. Woodward M.D.
Health Officer.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Letter of the Day: August 18

Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 8573


War Department,

Office of the Surgeon General,

Army Medical Museum and Library,



August 18, 1905.


Major Ogden Rafferty,

Surgeon, U.S. Army,

Fort Monroe, Va.




I have the honor to report the following as result of the bacteriological examination of four samples of water forwarded by you August 1, 1905, and received at this laboratory on the following day:


Sample A. Creek water, brought in claret wine cask, from New Market Creek, Hampton, Va.


Numerical count 459 bacteria per c.c.

1 c.c. of this water was added to each of 10 glucose bouillon fermentation tubes with the result that all of them contained gas on the third day of incubation. The amount varied from 20% to 60%.


Sample B. New Market Creek water, after treatment by electrolysis.


Numerical count 6491 bacteria per c.c.

Of ten fermentation tubes receiving each  1 c.c. o this water, five contained gas on the third day of incubation, the amount varying from 109% to 85%.


Sample C. Creek water, mixed with a typhoid culture and subjected to electrolysis for five minutes.


Numerical count 23141 bacteria per c.c.

All of the glucose bouillon fermentation tubes charged with 1 c.c. of this water, contained gas on the second day, varying in amount from 55% to 95%. No typhoid bacilli were recovered from this water after inoculating large flasks of sterile bouillon and then using the method of Conradi and Drigalski four days later.


Sample D. The same as sample C. strained through a layer of absorbent cotton.


Numerical count 18616 bacteria per c.c.

The ten fermentation tubes, charged in the usual way with 1 c.c. of this water, all contained gas on the second day of incubation. On the fourth day the amount of gas present ranged from 30% to 75%. All attempts to recover typhoid bacilli from this water resulted in failure.


REMARKS: The failure to recover typhoid bacilli is probably due to the well-established fact that this organism usually disappears from water containing ordinary bacteria within three or four days.


“A” is quite turbid, is tinted red and gives off the aroma of wine.


“B” shows a faint tint, contains a moderate amount of coagulum.


“C” is the most turbid of the set.


“D” contains a moderate amount of coagulum, but is perhaps the clearest of the four. It is possible that the tannin, or other substance in “A” has inhibited multiplication of the bacteria present in that sample.


“B” contained about one-third as many bacteria as “D”, and nearly four times as many as “C”. From the bacteriological standpoint “B” is the least objectionable of the four waters; whether this is due to the mode of treatment or some other cause cannot be well determined without an intimate knowledge of the details of the manipulations. Neither of the samples can be regarded as a good potable water.


Very respectfully,

James Carroll

1st Lieut., Asst. Surgeon, U.S. Army,

Curator, Army Medical Museum


Friday, June 26, 2009

I hate flies

Liz was in the archives today, looking at some of our original medical illustrations in preparation for her class on doing, um, medical illustrations. You might think we know every scrap of paper we have in the archives but that's just not the case. I know for a fact that even Mike doesn't know everything. That's just so refreshing to say.

Anyway, she found two pen-and-ink drawings made by the Medical Illustration Service for disease prevention that I'd never seen before. The originals are much better than what's reproduced here, but they're a great example of one kind of work the Medical Museum illustrators did.

Reeve 40328Typhoid Mary prepares food

Reeve 40401From the barnyard to your plate