Saturday, February 28, 2009

The VisualMD

Anatomical Travelogue, a medical visualization company, has created a new site that should be pretty neat when its done, it's in beta testing right now. The site has health guides, a library of images and videos on various topics. A lot of images are recycled from some books they've done on various health topics. A lot of those images have been shown at the museum in past exhibits and some of the embryology images are from pictures and data from the Human Developmental Anatomy Center.

Researchers from Japan lead to news story

Here's a story on a 1954 fisherman whose death the AFIP consulted on: "US sought tissue from dead fisherman after 1954 H-bomb test," Chiba (Japan), Feb 23. Researchers from Japan were in last month, looking at various collections relating to radiation injury and then we got a call from a reporter a few days later.

James Hansen, the person who sent in the case and later donated his records of it, became the director of the AFIP in the 1970s and his daughter is planning on donating his personal papers to us this year. I didn't read the documents (which are in the AFIP Historical Files under "Hansen" for those interested), so I can't vouch for the accuracy of the news story. DeCoursey was on the ground after the atomic bombing of Japan, and took some motion picture footage, so it would make sense that he retained his interest in radiation injuries.

Walter Reed medical center WW1 photos appearing on Flickr

Walter Reed Historical Collection
Kathleen's uploading a bunch of World War I photos from Walter Reed hospital up on our Flickr account now, since she purchased a Pro account for us. She's also put up some veterinary shots.
We've been pulling these photographs for a year to possibly include in a book on the campus, which is just about finished now. Produced by the Borden Institute, it should be going to the Government Printing Office this coming week, and be available for purchase by April. The photographs included come from many places including us, WRAMC's archives, the National Archives, WRAMC's Dept. of Public Works archive, and John Pierce, a collector and historian.
As of today, Flickr's stats are reporting that our 755 photographs have over 110,000 views. Web2.0 is an amazing thing.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Thanks for checking us out!

The day I merged the 4 Flickr accounts into one, and talked about it here, our viewership soared on the combined account: 2790 views on that day alone. Thank you!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Baby's Got a Brand New Name

I had a "duh!" moment today when I talked to Mike about coming up with a name for our combined Flickr account. Medical Museum just tripped off his tongue and so it is. You can find us here at Flickr.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Moving Day

This morning I finished moving both of the remaining Flickr accounts to consolidate them into one. Feel free to visit and add tags and send us emails if we need to add individual photos to sets or even add more sets.

We're also batting around ideas of what to call it, rather than 99129398@N00. National Museum of Health and Medicine is a little wordy, NMHM too cryptic, and we've blanked out on anything else. We could use some ideas.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

We're Migrating... one Flickr account. We finally have a pro account so I took a leap of faith and downloaded a migration program that I had to have Microsoft Explorer (ugh) for, downloaded that, and am now in the process of migrating Otisarchives2 to Otisarchives1. It takes a while so the other two accounts probably won't be done until tomorrow.

Brazilian pathology blog

Here's a tip from one of the pathologists at work - his friend Luciano Franco of Brazil has started The Background Doc, a blog about interesting autopsies he's done. Of the first four posts, I'd say two were of general interest - polycystic kidney disease and worms in the gut.

Sec of Smithsonian on future

Our friends at the Medical Museion linked to this first - "Wayne Clough is still trying to connect the Smithsonian Institution"

Washington City Paper Best of DC 2009 poll

The City Paper's just started its 2009 poll for Best of DC and you can vote for the museum. Go check it out and vote now.

City of Las Cruces City Museums annual report.

City of Las Cruces City Museums annual report? Why you ask? Museum exhibit dept. alum Carey Crane's heading a department out there now.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Leo Slater lecture on malaria at UMD

The cover of his new book is a photograph from us -

The Maryland Colloquium on the History of Technology, Science, and Environment (MCHOTSE) is pleased to announce its session for March 5, 2009.

Leo B. Slater, author of "War and Disease: Biomedical Research on Malaria in the Twentieth Century" (Rutgers University Press, 2009).

The Colloquium meets in room TLF (Taliaferro Hall) 2110 at the University of Maryland, College Park. Social 'hour' with refreshments, 4:00-4:30 pm; presentation and discussion, 4:30-6:00 pm.

[no precirculated paper available for this talk]

Malaria-a major cause of mortality and morbidity during the twentieth century-remains one of the leading killers in the world today. Malaria's enormous impact on human populations throughout the modern era has often put this disease at the center of colonial expansion, warfare, economic transformation, and North/South global tensions. In the late 1930s, the growing global conflict brought new attention to malaria.

The US antimalarial program during World War II was a Manhattan Project for biomedicine. From 1939 to 1946, it screened some 14,000 compounds for antimalarial activity, clinically ratified atabrine as the drug of choice in 1943, and, by war's end, identified chloroquine as a superior compound. Initiated by the National Research Council, the program drew on a set of intellectual and organizational resources and models extending back to the German pharmaceutical and dye industries and to such domestic institutions as the Rockefeller Institutes and Foundation. Prospectively, the wartimeantimalarial program deserves historical attention as both an undertaking in its own right-one that helped to safeguard millions of GIs-and as a model for future large-scale biomedical research projects. Its later use as a model was perhaps most clearly seen at the National Institutes of Health.

The innovations of the US wartime antimalarial program chiefly lay in three areas: administration, scale, and communication. The program produced not just research findings, novel compounds, and clinical protocols, it also developed new organizational structures for scientific cooperation and distributed research networks. I argue that wartime work was essential to the development of NIH, if only because the confused and faltering structures of the early war years, 1939-1943, suggest that an organizational infrastructure for large scale, multi-center cooperative research did not exist prior to World War II.


Taliaferro Hall is up the hill past the Memorial Chapel, off of U.S. Rte. 1 (Baltimore Ave.) in College Park. The University's web site will provide a map as well as advice on parking [see:; look for building 043]. Many restricted lots at the university are available to the public after 4:00 pm, but attendees are advised to read all parking lot signs carefully. Lots C and L are the closest unrestricted lots (after 4 pm) to Taliaferro Hall.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Calling All Knitters!

On Saturday, February 28, from 2-5 p.m. the NMHM will host a Knitting for Marines charity event to make and distribute helmet liners to Marines stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The liners help to protect our Marines and keep them warm during the harsh winters in these countries.

If you don't know how to knit in the round, this is a great time to learn. Instructors will be on site to help you through the project. If you are an experienced knitter and wish to get an early start on the project, you may download the knitting pattern.

I hope you'll join us! This will be an excellent opportunity to see our new exhibit, "Balad: Trauma Bay II."

Thursday, February 12, 2009

More Lincoln news, this time mentioning the Army Medical Museum!

Another in recent news clips mentioning the Museum, though this one is a little different...

Last night was the official gala re-opening for Ford's Theatre after its two-year renovation. In this article on Bloomberg today you will find mention of the Army Medical Museum (today's NMHM). Here's the money paragraph:
In the aftermath of the assassination, the government bought the theater, which dates to 1861, from Ford for $100,000 and gave it to the War Department for use as storage space and an Army Medical Museum.
This news on the same day our exhibit received the last major element for installation - the remnants of a flag that hung in the state box at Ford's the night Lincoln was shot.


Sex, Sin, and Science: A History of Syphilis in America lecture this Saturday

Sex, Sin, and Science: A History of Syphilis in America

When: Saturday, February 14, 2009, 11:00 a.m.

Where: Russell Auditorium, National Museum of Health and Medicine (AFIP, Bldg. 54)

What: Did syphilis travel from the New World to Europe on Columbus’ ships? What remedies did Lewis and Clark use to treat the disease on their expedition? Why were so many women with venereal disease quarantined in America in both world wars? What impact did the introduction of penicillin have on the spread of venereal disease? Join us for this Valentine’s Day talk with noted medical historian John Parascandola as he discusses his book, "Sex, Sin, and Science: A History of Syphilis in America." A book signing will follow the presentation.

Cost: Free

Odd copies of our Civil War pics in the Library of Congress

I saw one of these pictures referenced in a paper on Civil War wounded (more about that paper anon). They are linked from a nice little page on enlisted soldiers in the Civil War, which I thought was an excellent finding aid.

The top photograph, is a copy photo of four of our Surgical Photographs. The Library isn't quite sure who is in the picture, so I sent them this information via their Ask a Librarian interface:

Brink, John, Pvt. Co. K., 11th Pennsylvania Cavalry Reproduction number: LC-B8184-10376 - upper left. (Surgical Photograph 208)

Decker, Samuel H., Pvt. Co. I, 9th U.S. Artillery Reproduction number: LC-B8184-10376 - lower left (Surgical Photograph 205)

Shutter, Allison, Drummer, Co. C, 7th Pennsylvania Reserves - lower right (Surgical Photograph 204)

Warden, Sergeant. - upper right. (Surgical Photograph 207) - this may have been a fake name. He was found on the streets of Washington and came to the Museum for a photograph, but they never found a record of him.

LC-B8184-10377 Smith, Eben - man on lower left, w/ amputated leg. (Surgical photograph 029)

Volk, Edward, Pvt. Co. D., 55th Ohio Volunteers, Reproduction number: LC-B8184-10377 - skull in upper right corner (Surgical Photograph 212)

LC-B8184-10377 - lower right - not a Civil War soldier - Pvt. John Schranz, 7th Austrian Feldjagers (Surgical photograph 247)

The other skull is anonymous.

We've actually scanned all 400 of these images at 900 dpi - we just haven't figured out how to put them on the web for everyone yet.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Lincoln artifacts at Museum featured in Post

This article talks a bit about the Museum's Lincoln objects, and has pictures of them -
"A Curious-Looking Hero Still Mesmerizes the Nation: Even Tiniest Lincoln Relics Command Reverence," By Michael E. Ruane, Washington Post Staff Writer, Tuesday, February 10, 2009; Page A01.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Cartoons at Walter Reed hospital

Here's a couple of pictures with cartoon themes that have shown up in the process of doing a photo book on Walter Reed Army Medical Center:

Uncle Scrooge poster - WRAMC ward 1970s

Early 1970s ward in Walter Reed Army Medical Center hospital where soldiers wounded in Vietnam were treated. Note the Uncle Scrooge poster on the wall. From the WRAMC DPW collection.


Garry Trudeau visits wounded soldier at Walter Reed Army Medical Center hospital. Courtesy of the Stripe newspaper.

Lincoln Bicentennial Goes Into Overdrive

As we get closer (just a few more days!) to the actual bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth, the pace of news coverage - about Lincoln himself and celebrations in DC and nationwide - is getting ramped up to a fever pitch.

Our new exhibit 'Abraham Lincoln: The Final Casualty of the War' - which Kathleen blogged about earlier - is included in the long list of exhibits in and around DC that are centered on the slain president. So, it's natural then that we're getting some collateral coverage (did I just coin that phrase?) in other write-ups of exhibits at Library of Congress or Smithsonian, or the re-opening at Ford's Theatre like in this article here. (Regrettably, the hyperlink they offer is incorrect. But the name and location is there.)

I'll try to make sure I post other links to worthwhile news coverage as it comes in.

Have you seen the new exhibit in the gallery yet? Are you planning a visit to DC and a visit to the Museum? Let us know about your experiences.

Death of a donor

Almost 20 years ago, Mrs. Dilorenzo contacted us about her husband, Dr. Anthony Dilorenzo's medical material. Alan and I went to her home and picked up a lot of pharmaceuticals, advertising material, books and some medical equipment. These types of visits are always tough, but have to be done. Mrs. Dilorenzo herself passed away recently - "Julie DiLorenzo Church Member," Washington Post Friday, February 6, 2009; Page B07. The collection of her husband's work is available in the Museum.