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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Letter of the day, May 27

Pretty uninteresting letters save for the note at the end that was in the folder with other letters in this series of correspondence. Also, does anyone know when the federal fiscal year changed from June 30 to September 30?

Shown here is a different letter in the series. Note the signer's first name is spelled Adolf and as Adolph in the one transcribed below.

May 27, 1915.
No. 517.

Hammers Ateliers
31 Lake Street
Chicago, Ill.

Dear Sir: 

When may we expect delivery of orders from this Museum of February 16 and 23, 1915?

These orders should be filled and the specimens received at the Museum previous to the expiration of the present fiscal year, Viz:- June 30, 1915, in order that they may come within the appropriation for that year.

Very respectfully,
Eugene R. Whitmore
Major, Medical Corps, U.S.A.
Curator, Army Medical Museum.


The reply:

Hammer's Ateliers for Scientific Models
Plastic Studio of the Royal University Munich
Munich-Chicago
U.S. Studio and Laboratories
Northwestern University Bldg.
31 West Lake Street
Chicago, Ill., June 2nd/[19]15

Mr. Eugene Whitmore
Curator, Army Medical Museum
Washington, D.C.

Dear Sir:

Your letter of May 27th has been received.

The specimens will arrive here in the near future, as we understood, that they left our European house some time ago.

Very respectfully yours
Hammer's Ateliers
pcr Adolph Hammer



And the note that makes it all worth reading:
Dr. Lamb:
I do not like this man's way of doing business. He speaks of the things coming from their European house; when we know that they are being made here in the United States.
E.R.W.

Here is a catalog that was also in the file:

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Photo of the day, May 26





Medical Department, 05/26/1918. Brest, France. Nurses and doctors with their patients.

Letter of the day, May 26

Lima Peru May 26th 1888

Dr J.S. Billings
Washington D.C.

Dear Sir-

I have just returned from a trip into the interior and found your communication of March 26th last awaiting me. I have received the $168.00 you refer to, and feel very thankfull to you for the prompt payment. In my last expedition I was in quest of just such skulls as you refer to and was accompanied part of the journey by “Dr Green” of the “U.S.S. Alert” but the hunt was very unsuccessfull.

I again leave today for a more extended tour and may do better this time. It would almost be a pity to undo the mummies from their wrappings as it is of interest to know how some of the ancient Peruvians wrapped up their dead for burial. Nevertheless in the wrappings will be found some relicts of interest.

I intend to return to the U.S. within a year hence and will undoubtedly bring with me a variety of mummies there will be some in an Adamite state so if you feel inclined to hold on to yours until then we may make an exchange for some you like better.

The Medical journals you require will be extremely difficult to obtain as they were never printed in one printing house at a time that is were published first in place one then another. All the copies of “El Monitor Medico” can be obtained but they have the audacity to ask 1 Sol per copy for back numbers, over 60 cts of our money. I will look at all medical works about here as soon as time permits. In the meantime forward you a sample copy of “La Cronica Medica” a monthly published here to which if you have not already subscribed you will see the terms on the cover leaf.

You can rely upon me to serve you in any manner I can down this way. Again thanking you for your kindness – I am yours truly

George Kiefer

[added to the bottom of the letter in pencil:] El Monitor Medico Want all prior to 1886, (i.e.) vol I

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Letter of the Day: May 25 - yellow fever

Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 4606

War Department,
Office of the Surgeon General,
Army Medical Museum and Library,
Washington,
May 25, 1900

Dr. Jesse Lazaer
Actg. Asst. Surgeon, U.S.A.
Camp Columbia
Quemados, Cuba

My Dear Doctor:

An order issued yesterday from the War Department, calls for a Board of Medical Officers for the investigation of acute infectious diseases occurring on the Island of Cuba. The Board consists of Carroll, yourself, Agramonte and the writer. It will be our duty, under verbal instructions from the Surgeon General, to continue the investigation of the causation of yellow fever. The Surgeon General expects us to make use of the laboratory at Military Hospital No. 1, used by Agramonte, and your laboratory at Camp Columbia.

According to the present plan, Carroll and I will be quartered at Camp Columbia. We propose to bring with us our microscopes and such other apparatus as may be necessary for bacteriological and pathological work. If, therefore, you will promptly send me a list of apparatus on hand in your laboratory, it will serve as a very great help in enabling us to decide as to what we should include in our equipment. Any suggestions that you have to make will be much appreciated.

Carroll and I expect to leave New York, on transport, between the 15th and 20th of June, and are looking forward, with much pleasure, to our association with you and Agramonte in this interesting work. As far as I can see we have a year or two of work before us. Trusting that you will let me hear from you promptly, and with best wishes,

Sincerely yours,

Walter Reed
Major & Surgeon,
U.S. Army

Monday, May 24, 2010

Articles on medical museums in Malaysia and Ohio

The Lau King Howe (LKH) Memorial Museum - In memory of Lau King Howe, Story and photos by ANDY CHUA, May 22, 2010.

The Rose Melnick Medical Museum - Medical museum exhibits offer a look at vintage equipmentBy Leonard Crist, TheNewsOutlet.org May 23, 2010.

Letter of the day, May 24

New Bedford Mass.
May 24th. 1907.

Miss Olive Mason.
Lansdowne, Penn.

My dear Grandchild.

You wished me to tell you something about the assasination [sic] of President Lincoln, in Ford’s Theatre in Washington, on the evening of April 14th. 1865. (forty two years ago) at which time I was present in the Theatre. On the 13th. I had ridden to the City of Washington, on some business connected with the Ordnance Department, from near Winchester Va. where my Regiment then was, and on the evening of that day, Pennsylvania Avenue, from the Capitol to the Army and Navy Building, was a blaze of glory with red fire, rockets, roman-candles, and bunting, in celebration of the surrender of the confederate General R.E. Lee and his army, which occurred on the 9th four days before. The Cities and Towns of the North, were also celebrating the same event with illuminations and great rejoicing. My friend, Captain Sweet and myself, took a carriage and drove along the Avenue, to see the illumination, and when we were near the Army and Navy Building, some one in the crowd, cried out, “there is General Grant”, and in a moment, our horses were unhitched from the carriage, and the men began to draw it along the street, cheering wildly for General Grant. In the uncertain light, they had mistaken me, for Gen. Grant, probably because I wore a beard something like his, and was in uniform. It was some time before I could make them understand they had made a mistake. My business would keep me in the City for two or three days, and so, on the evening of the 14th. I went to Ford’s Theatre, where the play was to be “Our American Cousin” – the principal actors, being E.H. Southern and Laura Keene. As it was known that the President and party would be there, the House was filled. My seat was in the centre of the Dress Circle, directly fronting the Stage, which gave me an unobstructed view of everything.

Some time after the play had begun, the Presinent’s [sic] party entered their box, on the second tier, and as they did so, the whole audience arose and cheered wildly, until the President came to the front of the box, and bowed. The play proceeded until the third act, and while the curtain was dropped for a moment, on one of the scenes, a shot was heard in the direction of the President’s box. Immediately, a man was seen to hurriedly make his way through the President’s box, with a dagger in his right hand, and jump over the rail, onto the stage, about twelve feet below. As he did so, the spur on one of his boots caught in the draping of a flag on the front of the box, and caused him to strike heavily on one foot, and fall to the floor, but he quickly sprang up, and running to the centre of the stage, threw his right hand aloft, still holding the dagger and exclaimed “Sic semper Tyrannis” (which means, Thus always with Tyrants). He then ran across the stage and passed out of sight, at the side entrance. As he jumped from the box, I knew something was wrong, and my impulse was to stop him with a bullet, and I reached for my revolver. It seemed I never regretted anything so much, when I found I had left it at my Hotel. For a minute, a long one it seemed, the people appeared to be dazed, as at some terrible calamity, and then some men jumped over the foot-lights and followed the man with the dagger, and some clambered up to the president’s box to see what was the matter. After a moment, one of them came to the front of the box and announced that the President was shot.

Then cries arose from all parts of the audience, of “catch him”, “bring him on the stage and cut him in pieces”, “kill him” “hang him”. Just after this, Laura Keene, stepped from behind the curtain and said “Wilkes Booth has done this”. She had recognized him as he ran across the stage. In a few minutes the President was carried along the corridor, back of the seats of the Dress circle, down the stairway, and across the street to a private house, where he remained until the following morning, when he died. As he was carried out of the Theatre, the blood from the wound in his head, dropped along the floor, and many of the people dipped their handkerchiefs in therein to preserve as a sacred souvenir of the beloved President. As I left the Theatre, the sound of the news of the terrible tragedy as it passed from lip to lip, could be heard as it extended in ever widening circles from the Theatre as a centre, like the sound of a coming of a mighty tempest, rolling on and on, until it had covered the whole country from the Lakes to the Gulf and from ocean to ocean. Next morning, the black emblems of mourning began to cover the Capitol, the other public buildings, and private residences, and as the sad news reached the Cities and towns of the North, the same thing was done, until the sable pall of unuterable [sic] sorrow seemed to hang over and envelope the land. Business was generally suspended, and the people went about with solemn faces and hushed voices, as if waiting for some even more terrible and impending stroke of Fate.

Never before, and never since, has our country been plunged into such widespread and desolate sorrow; and may the time never again come, when the happy and prosperous people of our beloved America, shall be overshaddowed [sic] with such poignant and heart-wringing grief.

This may give you some idea of that woeful period in the life of our country, and afford an added interest in your readings of its history during the years of the Great Civil War.

Hoping to see you very soon on my return trip from the Jamestown Exposition, I am as ever-
Your loving Gran’Pa.
Henry W. Mason

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Letter of the Day: May 23

JWS/HP/go

23 May 1963

Mrs. Ruby M. Taylor
Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School
McElderry and Caroline Streets
Baltimore 5, Maryland

Dear Mrs. Taylor:

The Medical Museum of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology has an exhibit on human reproduction that should be of interest to your biology classes. The exhibit shows a series of normal embryos and fetuses. A study is presently being conducted on the abnormal specimens, but they will not be on display for several months.

It is hoped that your students will derive much benefit from the embryology, anatomy and other medical exhibits.

Sincerely,

John W. Sheriden
Colonel, MSC, USA
Deputy Curator

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Letter of the day, May 22

[No date on the letter, so we're going with the postmark. Also, one of my favorite things, nice letterhead.]

[May 22, 1918]
Camp Merritt
Sunday

Dearest Mother:
Got two letters from you this week and that sweet card. Also had a couple of letters from Charlie. Didn't get the first letter you and sister wrote, guess they went on over. Dr. Williams is not in N.Y. now- is up in Conn. [Apparent] hasn't his last naturalization papers so can't get in the army.

Met one of my old college friends on the street in N.Y. yesterday afternoon, he is also in service now.

Very hot up here, humidity is great so we feel the heat very much but at that it is a great deal cooler here than in N.Y.

Got my "commutation of quarters" O.K. - am enclosing check for $230 - Use $60 of this for household expenses & tell sister to put the balance on what I owe her. We have had our final physical exam & everything preparatory is finished now and tomorrow morning, we go to the Port of Embarkation & we will be allowed to write no more letters until we get on the other side. I will leave cards here at the port that will be mailed as soon as we arrive safely over there.

Didn't get out to Camp Dix or Mills - would like to have seen Dr Johnson and Archie B.

Capt Sanderson is the man here that I was with in Camp Shelby.

This big drive doesn't look very favorable but I hope they will be able to stop the Germans before they get much farther.

Well, little Mother of mine, altho I'm going far away across the seas, the day never dawns but what I think of the mother and sisters back home and I hope and pray that some day I can come back once more.

I'm proud of the fact that I'm in this war, proud of the work the Medical Corps & Red Cross is doing and I'm trying to do my full share - hoping that when it is all over and peace comes once more, that this old world will be a better, cleaner place to live in. Goodbye - to you and the girls - all the love in the world  and a kiss for each of you.

Luther

Address me.
Capt. L.B. Otken M.R.C.
U.S.A. Base Hospital #22
American Exp. Force
New York N.Y.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Today is the Medical Museum's 148th birthday



148 years ago, a forward-looking medical man in a position of authority authorized the creation of the Army Medical Museum. Here's something I wrote about the creation of the Museum-

Like much of the rest of the country, the Army Medical Department was unprepared when the war began on April 12, 1861. As J.J. Chisolm wrote in his preface to the Confederate Manual of Military Surgery, "Most of those who now compose the surgical staff were general practitioners whose country circuit gave them but little surgery, and very seldom presented a gunshot wound. Moreover, as our country had been enjoying an uninterrupted state of peace, the collecting of large bodies of men, and retaining them in health, or the hygiene of armies had been a study without an object, and therefore without interest". America's last major war had been the much smaller conflict with Mexico thirteen years earlier which began in 1846 and lasted until 1848. As a result, most doctors, whether career military officers or newly-enlisted civilians, had almost no experience with gunshot wounds, especially those made by the newly-developed MiniƩ ball. MiniƩ had developed a conical bullet that came out of a rifled barrel; this high-speed bullet caused a significantly worse wound than the older soft lead ball.

Although, contrary to popular belief, physicians did use anesthesia during the war, medicine had not yet made the great advances now taken for granted. Since germ theory did not exist, bacteria and viruses were not recognized as the cause of disease. Anti-sepsis would not be practiced until the decade after the war. Blood typing did not exist and so transfusions were extremely rare. William Roentgen would not discover x-rays for another 30 years. Penicillin and antibiotics were 80 years in the future. Medical education was extremely simplistic, and the familiar modern hospital-based training would not be instituted until after the turn of the century. Amputation was a common treatment for a wound of a limb, although surgeons tried excision (removal of the damaged bone) more frequently - sometimes causing more problems than if they had amputated. The Department had no ambulance corps. It was not until the second year of the war that Dr. Jonathan Letterman developed a standard procedure for removing the wounded from the battlefield. To address some of these problems, Drs. William Alexander Hammond and John Hill Brinton created the Army Medical Museum.

Surgeon General William Hammond

By the end of the spring of 1862, Surgeon General William Hammond's plans for revising the Union Army's Medical Department were beginning to get underway. Secretary of War Stanton had not liked Hammond's aged predecessor, Clement Finley, and had forced him to retire. Hammond had then been appointed, regardless of seniority, to head the Medical Department on April 25, 1862. His appointment was due to the Sanitary Commission's pressure on Stanton for an younger, energetic Surgeon General who could revitalize the department.

At the height of his authority in May of 1862, the newly appointed Hammond had begun making changes in the Medical Department. Most importantly for the study of medicine and eventually its history, Hammond committed the resources of the Department to forming a museum, which would use its collections and the records of the Surgeon General's Office to compile a medical history of the war. Only a few weeks after taking over the Medical Department, Hammond established the Army Medical Museum, the first federal medical research facility. By creating the Museum, Hammond essentially began government-funded medical research which is now seen as such a basic part of the role of government. As Dr. J. J. Woodward, whom Hammond assigned to the Museum, pointed out years after the war:

The establishment of the Army Medical Museum was undoubtedly
suggested by a most pressing need experienced at the
commencement of the late war. There were at that time but
few persons in the United States who had any experience
whatever of military surgery, and there was no place in he
country to which the surgeon about to devote himself to the
military service could turn for definite information or
guidance beyond what he could obtain from foreign works. It
was natural that conscientious men, many of whom had never
seen a gunshot fracture in their lives, should feel a grave
regret that there was no place where, before assuming their
new responsibilities, they could obtain a more realistic
knowledge of the details of military surgery than they could
possibly gather from books and pictures alone." (Woodward,
Lippincott, p. 241)

Hammond issued several orders to implement his ideas. These were published in the form of "circular letters" which were intended to be passed through the Department until everyone had seen them. In Circular No. 2, issued on May 21, 1862, Hammond specifically stated "Medical Directors will furnish one copy of this circular to every medical officer in the department in which they are serving."

This circular established the Museum, stating:

As it is proposed to establish in Washington, an Army
Medical Museum, Medical officers are directed diligently
to collect, and to forward to the office of the Surgeon
General, all specimens of morbid anatomy, surgical or
medical, which may be regarded as valuable; together with
projectiles and foreign bodies removed, and such other
matters as may prove of interest in the study of military
medicine or surgery.

These objects should be accompanied by short
explanatory notes.

Each specimen in the collection will have appended
the name of the medical officer by whom it was prepared.


Shortly after the initial circular letter was issued, Hammond recalled Dr. John Hill Brinton from duty on the western battlefields. Brinton's orders were extremely laconic, telling him only to report to Washington for special duty. Brinton arrived hoping to receive one of the newly-created medical inspectorships, a job for which he felt well-qualified. Instead, he was assigned to the examining board for surgeons, placed in charge of the Museum, and told to prepare the surgical history of the war. Hammond's Circular No. 5, issued on June 9th, formally created The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion and placed the responsibility for accomplishing it on Brinton and Dr. J.J. Woodward. Brinton was assigned the Surgical part and Woodward the Medical.


Staff of the Army Surgeon General's Office after Hammond and Brinton's departure.

Now, almost a century and a half later, the Museum's fortunes have ebbed and swelled, a great pathology institute grew out of it as did the foundations of the National Library of Medicine, and we're about to embark on yet another move, this time to Forest Glen, MD where a new building is about to be started for us.

Letter of the Day: May 21

Internal Revenue Service,
1st District of New York,
Collector’s Office,
Brooklyn, N.Y.,
May 21, 1903

To the Surgeon General, U.S. Army,
Washington, D.C.

Sir:

Referring to your letter of the 20th instant, relative to the delivery of alcohol, I would respectfully state that the U.S. Storekeeper stationed at the distillery will deliver the alcohol on receipt of the duplicate permit issued by the Hon. Secretary of the Treasury to your office. I would therefore suggest that you have the said permit properly receipted, per instructions on the back of the form, and forward same to the Chief Quartermaster of the Department of the East, to be presented by his agent at the Columbus Distilling Co., 450 Greenpoint Ave., Brooklyn, this district.

Very respectfully,

Edward P. Jordan
Collector of Internal Revenue

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Letter of the Day: May 20 (2 of 2)

 

Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 8352

 

War Department,

Office of the Surgeon General,

Army Medical Museum and Library,

Washington,

May 20, 1905

 

To the Surgeon General,

U.S. Army.

(Through the Officer in charge of Museum & Library Division).

 

Sir:

 

I have the honor to ask the Commanding Officer of the U.S. General Hospital at Fort Bayard, N.M. to be requested to have prepared and forwarded to the Army Medical Museum, from time to time, as they can obtained, a series of specimens preserved by the Kaiserling method for the purposes of showing, in their natural appearance, the various lesions of tuberculosis and any other interesting pathological condition that may be encountered at post mortem examination. Such a collection would be of great interest and value, and the number of specimens should be large, in order to show the variations occurring in lesions essentially the same. It is desired to illustrate tuberculosis of all the tissues and organs, including the brain, meninges, bones, serous membranes, testicles, etc.

 

Kaiserling’s method is published in the work on Pathological Technique, by Mallory and Wright, and it requires only care and a little practice to insure success. Sections through organs should usually not be more than an inch in thickness, and for the purpose of identification a small parchment tag, bearing a number in India ink, should be stitched to each specimen. A number of specimens could be shipped in the same container and they should be accompanied by a brief note of the findings at autopsy, stating also whether from the clinical point of view the case was acute, subacute or chronic.

 

Very respectfully,

James Carroll

First Lieut, Asst. Surgeon, U.S.A.

Curator, Army Medical Museum

 

1st Indorsement

Surgeon General’s office,

Museum & Library Division,

May 20, 1905

Respectfully forwarded recommended.

 

C.L. Heinzmann

Col. Asst. Surg. Genl. U.S.A.

In charge of M&L Division

 

Letter of the day, May 20 (1 of 2)

That darn metric system!!

George Tiemann & Co.

67 Chatham Street,
Corner New Chambers Street,
New York City, May 20, 1884

Dear Sir:

We fear we must have made an error in calculating. We calculated 2000 cubic centimeters being a trifle more than 3 1/2 pints. The light bag, when measured, holds just 3 ½ pints & you state that it held only 11 c. centimeters.

Would you not kindly inform us, how many pints a 3000 c.c. & 2500 c.c. is equal to? We calculated 5 ¼ pints for the 3000 & 4 2/5 pints for the 2500 c.c. The workman can make the instrument better by having it in pint measurements.

Is the above calculation correct? As soon as we receive an answer, we shall immediately make them & send them on. Is the tubing in the one (returned) large enough, or would you like it larger?

Very [truly?] Geo. Tiemann & Co.

W. Mathews M.D.
Surg. U.S.A.
Washington D.C.


[Beautiful letterhead, when you take the time to look at it closely.]

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Walter Reed Pictorial History featured in Library Journal


This week's Library Journal includes its most recent edition of "Notable Government Documents for 2009." The Walter Reed Centennial book that Mike and I and several others worked on is included in this list. What an honor. 

This is what they say:
Walter Reed Army Medical Center Centennial: A Pictorial History, 1909–2009. ed. by John R. Pierce & others. Borden Inst. 2009. 279p. illus. maps. SuDoc # D104.2:W17/8. GPO Stock # 008-000-01020-0. ISBN 978-0-9818228-3-9. $35.


The Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC, and its predecessor, Walter Reed General Hospital, have treated millions of active and retired personnel from every branch of the military. This collection of photographs and text pays tribute to the center's legacy.

Letter of the day, May 19

Established 1826
Incorporated 1902
Cable Address: TIEMANCO-NEWYORK

George Tiemann & Co.
Manufacturers of Surgical Instruments

107 Park Row
Cor. New Chambers St.
New York City
May 19, 1915.
J.A.P.

Eugene R. Whitmore, Major, Medical Corps, U.S.A.,
Curator, Army Medical Museum,
Washington, D.C.

Dear Sir:

Answering your communication of the 15th instant we beg to say that we have no record of Army Cases prior to those listed in our catalogue of 1868. We inclose lists of
The U.S. Army Field Case
The "  " Staff Surgeon's Capital Operating Case and
The "  "    "        "          Minor      "              "    -
from our catalogue of 1868 -
The latter would seem the nearest to your list.
The case to which you refer must have been made in the early sixties and was probably taken from our stock or made for some individual surgeon as was frequently the case during the Civil War.

If we can be of any further assistance we beg that you will advise us.

Your obedient servants,
George Tiemann & Co.
by C. Fred Stohlmann, President

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Public medical appeals through the Post Office





The Museum has a stamp (or philately) collection, although not much has been done with it in recent years. Here’s two new additions to it – cancellations attempting to raise funds for medical charities

 

The 1952 appeal for the American Cancer Society seems early, inasmuch as a ‘war on cancer’ hadn’t been declared yet. The American Lung Association is known for putting out its Christmas Seals and we have a fairly good collection through the middle of the last century.

Letter of the Day: May 18

Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 1476

 

War Department,

Surgeon General’s Office,

 U.S. Army Medical Museum and Library,

Corner 7th and B Streets S.W.

Washington, D.C., May 18, 1896

 

To the Surgeon General, U.S. Army,

Washington, D.C.

 

General:

 

I have the honor to report that the roof over the Library room of the Army Medical School is in a very leaky condition. The roof, originally of concrete, began to leak some six years ago. It was then overlaid by a board and tin roof. The boards have become rotten, the tin is riddled with holes in many places, and the whole superstructure should be replaced by a new one, to be paid for from the Museum appropriation.

 

I enclose herewith an estimate of the cost of the repair, viz., $85.00, which I consider very reasonable, and as the work should be done at once, and before rainstorms do further damage, I would respectfully request that I be authorized to accept Mr. Yeatman’s offer, which I herewith forward. To prevent the rotting of the boards in the future, Mr. Yeatman purposes to put in five ventilators to allow the circulation of air between the concrete and the new roof.

 

Very respectfully,

D.L. Huntington

Deputy Surgeon General, U.S. Army

In charge of Museum and Library Division

 

 

May 18 1896

Approved.

Geo. M. Sternberg

Surgeon General, U.S. Army

 

Monday, May 17, 2010

Letter of the Day: May 17, 2 of 2

War Department,

Surgeon General’s Office,

Washington, May 17th 1869

 

Dear Doctor,

 

The Surgeon General “approves” of your sending anything you can spare and deem best to convey to Russia.

 

It is desirable to foster the ‘fraternal’ relations which now exist between the “subjects of the Czar”  + ourselves.

 

Very truly yours,

C.H. Crane

 

Dr. Otis

U.S.A.

Letter of the Day: May 17, 1 of 2

Camp Gaston, Cal.

May 17, 1878

 

Surgeon General U.S.A.

 

Sir

 

I have the honor to enclose herewith a Receipt for a package I have this day turned over to the Post Quartermaster for shipment to you, for the Army Medical Museum.

 

The package contains a four-legged chicken. It was hatched from an egg of a common hen and was born alive. Mrs. Williams, a soldiers wife, told me yesterday forenoon that one of her hens had during the night, hatched out a chicken with four legs which was still alive and doing well. I at once went with her to see it. We found the feathered quadruped but it was dead. I do not know whether it was killed by accident, or whether its malformation was incompatible with a continuance of its life. It must have lived several hours at least.

 

I have not examined any of the viscera but have left all untouched. I have placed it in Alcohol, having first filled the alimentary canal with Alcohol, so far as I could by introducing a tube into the throat and allowing as much to run in as would do under a hydrostatic pressure of about one foot.

 

This specimen may not be rare or valuable but it is the first of the kind that has fallen under my observation.

 

Very Respectfully,

Your Obt. Servt.

C.E. Price

Asst. Surg. U.S.A.



A note on the envelope said the Museum's anatomist discarded it.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Accession of the day, May 16

A.M.M No. 10548
Pathological Section

Washington, D.C.
May 16, 1893

Lamb, Dr. D.S.
Pathologist, A.M.M.




Sternum showing attachment of eight cartilages on left side.

From Barbara Lippert, white, single, age 30 years, who was left handed. Died March 10, 1893. Necroscopy by Dr. Lamb, Mar. 11, 1893, for Dr. Amelia Erbach.

See Photographs Nos. 83 & 84 N.S. A.M.M.
Specimen received May 16, 1893

Letter of the day, May 16

[Numbered Correspondence 3138]
May 16, 1898.

Capt. Paul Clendenin,
Asst. Surgeon, U.S. Army.
Key West Barracks, Fla.

Dear Sir:

I have the pleasure of acknowledging the receipt, on this day, of a fragment of shell with pieces of cloth removed from the chest of Manuel Rivas, wheelsman of the Spanish Steamer, "Guido", and a few cigarette papers found in his pocket. The Surgeon General desires me to thank you for this interesting contribution, the first received at this Museum from the present war.

Very respectfully,
Walter Reed,
Surgeon, U.S. Army,
Curator.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Letter of the day, May 15

[Numbered Correspondence 8336]
May 15, 1905.

To the Surgeon General,
U.S. Army.
Washington, D.C.

(Thro' the Officer in charge Museum & Library Division, S.G.O.)

Sir:-

I have the honor to request that in order to facilitate the proper transaction of business a telephone be installed in the room adjoining the office of the Curator.

On the numerous occasions when it becomes necessary to use the telephone in communicating with the War Department, the Attending Surgeon's Office, Washington Barracks, Fort Myer, the various hospitals or physicians in the city a messenger must be sent from the floor below and the descent must be made to the same floor to reach the telephone from which the message comes. This involves a loss of time that could be remedied by the installation of a telephone with a new number to insure direct communication.

Very Respectfully,
James Carroll
1st Lieut., Asst. Surgeon, U.S.A.
Curator, Army Medical Museum

A note on the reverse:
May 16, 1905
Respectfully returned to the officer in charge, Museum and Library Division, Surgeon General's Office, with the information that the Secretary of War has decided that the number of telephones in use in this office cannot be increased. If, however, the officer in charge thinks the placing of a telephone in Lieut. Carroll's room will be of more importance to the service than where they are now located, one of them now in use can be removed to his room; otherwise, no further action will be taken upon this application.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Letter of the day, May 14 (2)

[Numbered Correspondence 8350]

Caney River Oil Co.
General Office
Harvey, Illinois

Chas. F. Craver, Pres.
M.W. Miles, Vice Pres.
James A. Sharp, Secy.
Arthur H. Craver, Treas.

Our Oil Lands are in Chautauqua Co., Kansas

Monett, Kans. 5/14 '05
Army Medical Museum
Washington, D.C.

I have in my possession the back bone of a large mare that died on my premises here about three years ago - presumably from being poisoned - which back bone is rigid throughout its entire lengty from coccyx to first vertebra of the neck. There are occasional markings showing where the vertebral joints should be & the scars at junctions of the ribs are at the usual intervals, also an occasional part of rib is in place.

It has been broken into two parts - one from coccyx forward is (32") in length & the next piece is 8" in length. - This break is at the marking of a vertebral junction, but it plainly shows that the whole length of 40" was in life rigid & one solid piece. The mare of whose skeleton this is a part was well known this this vicinity - as being an animal of great strengths and value & during her lifetime exhibited no peculiarities that would suggest anything abnormal in her structures. Do you care to investigate this case & would this specimen possess any monetary value? Kindly reply to me at Monett, Chautauqua Co. Kan.

I oblige
Yours truly
W.H. Harp

The reply:

War Department,
Office of the Surgeon General,
Army Medical Museum and Library
Washington.

May 20, 1905.

Mr. W.H. Harp
Monett,
Chautauqua Co.
Kansas

Sir:

Referring to your letter of the 14th inst., in regard to the diseased spine of a mare, I would state that this Museum possesses several specimens of this kind, "spondylitis deformans". I would be pleased to add your specimen to the Museum collection but would not care to pay for it, except the express charges for forwarding.

Very respectfully,
C.L. Heinzmann
Col. Asst. Surgeon General, U.S.A.
In charge of Museum & Library Division.

Letter of the day, May 14

[Numbered Correspondence 659]
Copy

Edge Hill, King George Co., Va.
May 14, 1895

The Army & Navy Medical Museum,
Washington, D.C.

Gentlemen in charge:-

I enclose you a root that was plowed up by a farmer in this county a few days ago. I am unable to determine what it is. I shall be very glad if you will kindly inform me what it is, etc. The farmer said there was nothing growing above the ground. He found three of the roots together, one of them was about 3 times as large as the one I send.

Any information you can give me will be highly appreciated.

Yours very respectfully,
(Signed) F.F. Ninde, M.D.

May 15, 1895, original transmitted with root to Hon J. Sterling Morton, Secretary of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Letter of the Day: May 13

Fort McPherson, Nebraska
May 13th 1872

George A. Otis
Ass’t Surgeon, U.S. Army,
Curator, Army Medical Museum,
Washington, D.C.

Sir:

Pursuant to your request of the 10th ult. I prepared for transportation to the A.M.M. the specimen in the case of Private James Casey, Comp. “D” 3rd Cavalry, whose left foot was amputated by Syme’s method, but the A.A.Q.M. at this post, being unaware of any authorization in the premises, referred the matter to the Chief Quartermaster of the Department, from whom, as yet, no instructions have been received. Will you, therefore, please inform me by what authority specimens are forwarded to the A.M.M. by the Q.M. Department and whether, in the absence of any such authority or custom in the Q.M. Department, specimens should be forwarded to the A.M.M. by express, at the expense of the Medical Department.

Very Respectfully,
Your Obedient Servant
F.W. Elbrey
Asst. Surgeon U.S. Army

Visibly Human exhibit

Visibly Human exhibit

Visibly Human exhibit

Visibly Human exhibit

Visibly Human exhibit

Visibly Human exhibit

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Letter of the Day: May 12

 

Cavalry Depot, Jefferson Barracks, MO

May 12, 1880

 

To the Surgeon General, U.S. Army

Washington, D.C.

 

General,

 

I have the honor to report that I have forwarded to your office, in a box containing “Hospital Records” a tin can, containing a specimen of ulcerated rectum, inverted. A full history of the case to which the specimen relates, will be found in the Report of Sick and Wounded of this Depot for the month of April 1880.

 

Very Respectfully,

Your Obdt Servt

Edward P Vollum

Major and Surgeon, US Army

 

Blacksmith Herman Schunke – E – 6th Cavalry

Medical Section A.M.M.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

New Exhibit at NMHM: "Wounded in Action: An Art Exhibition of Orthopaedic Advancements" through Veterans Day

 

 

NEW EXHIBIT!

"Wounded in Action:

An Art Exhibition of Orthopaedic Advancements"

Now through Veterans Day 2010

pearson_joseph_2_home_from_war.jpg

 

Home from the War by Joseph Pearson

“Wounded in Action,” an exhibit of art works inspired by experiences with the wounds of war, opened at NMHM on May 7. This is the first major national installation for “Wounded in Action.”

 

The exhibit is in two parts: approximately half of the installation is here at NMHM while the rest is installed at the University of Maryland Baltimore Health Sciences/Human Services Library and Southern Management Corporation Campus Center.

 

"Wounded in Action" is produced and organized by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

 

Read the NMHM news release:

http://nmhm.washingtondc.museum/news/wounded_in_action.html

 

Learn more about “Wounded in Action” online at http://www.woundedinactionart.org/

 

 

Letter of the day, May 11

[Numbered correspondence 2240]

I like the font they use for their products:

May 11, 1897.

Messrs J.B. Colt & Co.
115 & 117 Nassau St.
New York, N.Y.

Gentlemen:

Your letter of the 8th instant and the box containing the transparency were received yesterday. I have examined the metallic frame, but I prefer the wooden frame shown by your agent, and which I consider more suitable for our purpose. Before sending the transparencies, you will please have them carefully examined to see that they are in perfect condition. I notice that on the transparency received yesterday and which I have this day returned to your address by Adams Express, are a number of defects or blemishes; the pictures will be exhibited in the Museum hall and will be seen by many visitors and closely scrutinized, and it is therefore necessary that I should have them in the best possible condition.

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

The letter above was in response to this one:

James B. Colt. Charles Goodyear.
J.B. Colt & Co.
Manufacturers of
Self Focusing Arc Electric Lamps, Projection Lanterns, Lantern Slides
and specialties
P.O. Box 2773.
115 & 117 Nassau Street, New York, New York.

May 8th, 1897.

Dr. D. L. Huntington,
Surgeon General's Office,
War Department, Washington, D.C.

Dear Sir:
We express you to-day one of the transparencies mounted in a metallic frame, which we think is to be preferred to the wooden frames our representative showed you when in Washington. These frames cost considerable more apiece than the wooden ones, but as they will be on permanent exhibition in the Medical Museum, we think we are justified in going to this extra outlay, as the attention of people who are interested in them will be called to the complete manner in which they are protected by these metallic trimmings. We wish, of course, to submit the sample to you before we send on the complete order, which will be about week after next.
Of course, there will be no additional charge to you for the frames, as we assume this extra expense ourselves.

Trusting to hear from you at your early convenience, we are,

Yours respectfully,
J.B. Colt & Co.,
R.C.D.

May 11, 1897, transparency returned





Monday, May 10, 2010

Letter of the Day: May 10

Smithsonian Institution,
Washington, May 10, 1875

Dr. George A Otis,
Army Med. Mus.

Dear Sir:

We have the pleasure of acknowledging the receipt of the Indian scalp referred to in your letter of the 4th of May. This will be placed in the Ethnological Museum of the Institution in connection with other objects of a similar character.

Truly yours etc
Joseph Henry
Sect. S.I.

This is in reference to these two letters:

May 4, 1875

General-

I am instructed by the Surgeon General to acknowledge the reception, through your headquarters, of a communication from the Seminole Negro Scout “Avann (?) his + mark Parino,” transmitting an Indian scalp and also a ferrotype picture of the scalper. These specimens have been numbered 703-704 Sect VI, (Miscellaneous Section) of the Army Medical Museum for transfer to the ethnological cabinet of the Smithsonian Institution.

I am, General, very respectfully,
Your obedient servant,
George A. Otis,
Asst. Surgeon, USA
Curator, A.M.M.

August, USA, Brig. General C.C.
Commanding Dept of Texas
San Antonio, TX

~~
May 4, 1875

Professor –

I have the honor to transmit for the ethnological cabinet of the Smithsonian Institution, in accordance with the arrangement between the two Museums, an Indian scalp with a ferrotype of the scalper, received by the Surgeon General with the letter copied on a succeeding page.

I am, Professor,
With the highest respects,
Your obedient servant,
George A. Otis
Asst. Surgeon, USA
Curator, A.M.M.

Henry, Professor Joseph
Smithsonian Institution
Washington, DC

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Letter of the day, May 9

From our Otken Collection of correspondence. Dr. Otken was a surgeon with the American Expeditionary Forces in World War 1.

U.S. Army Base Hospital No. 22
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Friday, May 9th [1918]

Dearest Mother:
Your letter & the girls' came yesterday, glad to hear from you of course.

Sent the girls some post cards today & a picture I had made to Sister.

Has rained up here the last few days & has been real cool again. Had a letter from Charlie yesterday, sorry I can't go by Washington and see him. Got my commission all right & sent it on to Frances to put with my other papers.

Find this a nice lot of men, majority of them are Masons & everything is very congenial. Had a nice letter from Dr. Lee this morning, I wrote him shortly after I got here.

Sunday one of the Doctors carried me up to his summer home on a little lake about thirty miles north of here. There were six Drs. & their wives out there, all belong to the Base, We went up in auto's [sic]. Had a nice ride and a great dinner then drove back in the evening. It is a beautiful country, lots of small lakes - say a mile or two long and one half to one mile wide. The rich people from here have their summer homes along the shores & it certainly is beautiful.

Twelve of us had to act as pall bearers in a military funeral Monday for Lt. Col. Daum[?], an aviator killed in a fall at Dayton, Ohio.

We are all impatiently awaiting orders to leave here - we expect them before the week is out. Oh, yes, about that wool helmet. All those things [were?] given me when I got here - furnished by the Red Cross, helmet, muffler, gloves, socks, toilet kit etc. so if you have made that one, send it to Charlie he probably hasn't one.

Miss Hodges wrote that a new major had arrived to take Major Crawford's place but Maj. Crawford hasn't been ordered away as yet.

I see where a lot of drafted men are going to Shelby - so they will have lots of work at the Hospital there now.

Col. Baylis wired me congratulations when my commission came, so I wrote & thanked him a few days ago.

Sister wanted to know if [I] was on the surgical service - yes. There will be [illegible] men on the medical service over there, as practically all the cases are surgical.

Much love to all at home.
Luther

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Letter of the Day: May 8

U.S. Army Post Hospital,
Fort Union, N.M., May 8th 1879


To the Surgeon U.S.A.
Washington, D.C.

Sir,

I have the honor to inform you that I have this day turned over to the Post Quartermaster at this post, one box containing the heart of Leander A. Case, late Corporal of Co. “F” 15 Infantry, who died at this hospital April 14th 1879 of paralysis of heart. For history of this case see 3rd page of monthly reports of sick and wounded for April 1879.

Enclosed please find Quartermasters receipt for the box.

Very respectfully,
Your obt. Servt.
Carlos Carvallo
Asst. Surgeon U.S.A.
Post Surgeon

Friday, May 7, 2010

Letter of the day, May 7

Shown is the list of medals sent for consideration.

Ed. Frossard,
Coins, Stamps, etc.
787 & 789 Broadway, N.Y.
Collections quickly catalogued
At Special Rates.

May 7, 1890

My dear Sir,
In reply to your favor of yesterday inquiring about medical tokens, etc, I beg state that it was designed not to separate the lot of Famine tokens, but in view of the fact that several are slight varieties of each other & that you do not wish to accumulate duplicates, I have decided to allow you to make the 23 selections (A.M.M. Nos. 1172-1194 Misc. Sect.) desired from lot of 44 and to return the others with balance Medical medals not selected from this lot.

Thanking you for promptness in making selection,

I am Sir Very respectfully Yrs
Ed Frossard

Dr. J.S. Billings

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Newly-scanned accession record

Many of the accession records we're scanning are text documents only, but the third one I looked at this morning while doing the dreaded quality review held the image below. The record states only this:
Fetus, third trimester. Unable to determine what specimen demonstrates. [Upon request, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology could not provide any corresponding documentation for this case.]

Letter of the day, May 6

You can't judge a book by its cover.

[#]641
Charges against watchmen in S.G.O.

War Department,
Surgeon General's Office,
Washington, May 6, 1895

Lieut.Colonel J.S. Billings,
Deputy Surgeon General, U.S. Army,
In charge of Museum and Library Division,
Surgeon General's Office, Washington, D.C.

Sir:-

A respectable looking German woman called upon me this morning and stated that she is the wife of Frederick Neujahr, a Watchman at the Army Medical Museum. She complains that her husband neglects to give her any portion of his pay and treats her badly; that he spends his money in dissipation, and that he brings alcohol from the Army Medical Museum to drink at home. She also charges that William McCoy, a Watchman at the Museum, is a drunkard, and that he and Neujahr spend their money at Ruppert's Saloon.

You will please investigate as to the truth of these charges, and if the men referred to are improper persons to be employed in the responsible position of Watchman, they should be discharged.

Very respectfully,
Geo. M. Sternberg
Surgeon General,
U.S. Army


The first follow-up letter:

Army Medical Museum
May 7, 1895

In the matter of complaint against the night watchmen Wm McCoy and Fred. Neujahr I have the honor to report that for the past eight months while I have been on duty as Superintendent of the Museum and Library Building I have known them both as careful and efficient watchmen. Both are punctual in their attendance and I have never seen either of them under the slightest influence of liquor. The woman who lodged the complaint against Mr Neujahr, and who pretends to be his wife, tried to gain admittance to the building at night and was refused by Mr McCoy. She then threatened that she would report him for drunkenness. She called again this morning in company with a man, both being very much under the influence of liquor, and I considered it my duty to request them to leave the building and to tell them that should they persist in their endeavor to gain admittance in their present condition, I should have them arrested.

(sgd) Michael Flynn


The second follow-up:

S.G.O.
Mus and Lib Bldg
May 8, 1895

Sent Col. J.S. Billings

Sir

I enclose the report of Mr Flynn, the superintendent in the matter of complaint against watchmen McCoy and Neujahr. Both have been on duty in this office for over 20 years and no complaint has ever reached me as to drunkenness on the part of either. Mr. Neujahr denies the charge of having taken alcohol. The bulk of this article is kept locked in the store-room, which is not accessible to Mr Neujahr, and on inquiries in the laboratories of Drs Gray and Hodge, where generally a small quantity is kept for immediate use, I learn that they have not missed any. I am informed that the complaining woman has frequently figured in the Police court.

Very Resp.
CJM

Letter of the Day: May 6 - CSI Medical Museum part 4

He did it!

Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 1463

May 6, 1896

Major W.G. Moore,
Superintendent Metropolitan Police,
Washington, D.C.

Dear Sir:

I beg to return herewith, per Messenger, the package which you left this morning for examination, and to report that in addition to the larger stain on the front of the garment I have been able to find two other stains, both of which gave, under the microscope, blood corpuscles resembling in many respects human blood corpuscles.

Very respectfully,

Walter Reed
Surgeon, U.S. Army
Curator

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Aaos reception

Aaos opening reception Russell senate bldg

Letter of the Day: May 5 - CSI Medical Museum, part 3

This isn't the end of the story! Check back tomorrow!
Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 1457

Headquarters of the Metropolitan Police,
District of Columbia,
Washington, May 5th 1896

Dr. Walter Reed,
Surgeon, U.S.A.,
Curator U.S. Army Medical Museum and Library,
Washington, D.C.

Dear Sir:-

I beg to make my grateful acknowledgements for your prompt compliance with my request of May 3rd, and to assure you that you will find me willing and ready to serve you whenever it may be in my power to do so.

Very respectfully & obediently yours,
W.G. Moore
Major & Sup’t. Met. Police

Museum Program: "What's Eating You? People and Parasites" Lunchtime Talk, 5/13, 12pm, free!

 

SAVE THE DATE! MARK YOUR CALENDARS NOW!

“What’s Eating You?  People and Parasites” Lunchtime Talk at Medical Museum, 5/13, 12pm, free!

 

Join the National Museum of Health and Medicine and author Eugene H. Kaplan 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, May 13 for a brown bag lunch featuring a reading and discussion of Kaplan’s book, “What's Eating You?: People and Parasites.” In “What's Eating You” Kaplan recounts the true and harrowing tales of his adventures with parasites, and in the process introduces readers to the intimately interwoven lives of host and parasite. Kaplan will read excerpts from his book; a book signing will follow. Topics will cover leeches attacking soldiers in Vietnam, lice attacking lovers in New Orleans, worms attacking eaters in Israel and what to do when you return from a trip and suspect you have a parasite. Kaplan is the Donald A. Axinn Endowed Distinguished Professor of Ecology and Conservation (emeritus) at Hofstra University.

Books are available for purchase at the Museum’s gift shop.

Where: NMHM (Building 54), in Russell Auditorium

When: Thursday, May 13, 2010, 12:00-1:00 p.m. (bring your lunch!)

Questions: (202) 782-2673 or http://www.nmhm.washingtondc.museum

 



 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Letter of the Day: May 4 - CSI Medical Museum part 2

Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 1457

 

May 4, 1896

 

Major W.G. Moore,

Superintendent Metropolitan Police,

Washington, D.C.

 

Dear Sir:

 

In accordance with your letter of May 3rd I beg to report that a careful microscopical and chemical examination has been made of the stain on the shoe which was left with me this morning by one of your detectives. The result of these examinations prove that these are not blood stains.

 

Very respectfully,

 

Walter Reed

Surgeon, U.S. Army

Curator

 

Tune in tomorrow for the Police response.

 

 

 

 

Planner chosen for Walter Reed

From today's Washington Examiner:
The 3-minute interview: James Wood


By: William C. Flook

Examiner Staff Writer

May 4, 2010

Wood, a principal at architectural firm Perkins & Will, discusses the firm's selection as master planner for the 62-acre Walter Reed site. The Army hospital is set to relocate in 2011.

The Fenty administration cited your experience with the Presidio of San Francisco, the site of another Army hospital, as a reason behind your selection. How are the projects similar?

There were two general hospitals in the Army at the turn of the 1900s: Walter Reed and Presidio. ... They both served the same purpose for the Army when they were created. ... Because of that, they have a similar infrastructure in terms of [being] hospitals both created around the same time, both projects centered around a historic hospital complex. Presidio is much larger: 1,400 acres versus 62 acres that we are dealing with.

What are the constraints on how this site can be redeveloped?

There are two primary constraints: One, the historic nature of certain structures on there, and they've got adaptive reuse of those structures. And two, we're helping the city prepare their request for the transfer of that land. And part of that requires [U.S. Housing and Urban Development] looking at this in terms of opportunities for homeless assistance programs.

Do you have a sense of what surrounding neighborhoods want?

We don't yet. We have four community engagement exercises that we're going to go through in this process, actually sit down with the community and understand what the needs of the community are, how they view the existing base and how they view the opportunities on the base to re-engage the community.

Are there early themes emerging for what this site should look like?

One of our project views is the site shouldn't look like anything -- you want to take this site and incorporate it into the urban fabric of the neighborhood. Right now, it's a secure base, it stands out, it's a bump in the middle of the neighborhood.

- William C. Flook

The Internets are amazing

When we post a letter of the day, we create a catalog record and link the author and recipient to the record. That gives us a fighting chance of finding that letter again. Just now, as I was creating the record for today's letter, I had a choice of several Reynolds and didn't know which one I should choose (one record had just the last name and another had just C. Reynolds). So I googled. Incredibly, when I googled C.R. Reynolds, the post I'd made 17 minutes before was the third hit on the first page. I love technology.

Letter of the day, May 4

We have several exchanges between Mrs. Lyon and the Museum scheduled for November, so check back for them.

This is the same J.E. Ash who made the comment about "bottled monsters," where we got our blog's name.

Noble J. Gregory

Member of Congress
First Kentucky District

Home Address:
Mayfield, Kentucky

Congress of the United States
House of Representatives
Washington, D.C.

May 4, 1939

Colonel James E. Ash,
Curator, Army Medical Museum,
Washington, D.C.

Dear Colonel Ash:

On display in your museum you have the bodies of five babies, and the placard by these bodies merely gives the date of their birth.

For your information, these babies were born in my home town of Mayfield, Kentucky, on April 29, 1896, to Mrs. Elizabeth Lyon, who is now a resident of Kevil, Kentucky, and who is eighty-two years of age. These boys were named Matthew, Mark, Luke, James and John. It strikes me that proper recognition should be given in this instance, and it is my suggestion that a placard be placed with these bodies giving the facts which I have above outlined.

I am sending you herewith two newspaper clippings recently appearing in the Mayfield, Kentucky, Messenger giving additional facts pertinent to this case.

I will appreciate your reaction to my suggestion, and if you desire further or more complete information before giving recognition as is due, I will be glad to secure the information for you.

Sincerely yours,
N.J. Gregory

NJC-cl


And the reply:

War Department
Office of the Surgeon General
Washington

May 8, 1939

Honorable Noble J. Gregory
Congress of the United States
House of Representatives
Washington, D.C.

Dear Mr. Gregory:

My assistant, Lt. Col. J.E. Ash, Curator of the Army Medical Museum, has furnished me with the enclosed photostat copy of the caption that is at present in the case with the “Mayfield Quintuplets” and a photostat copy of a letter from the then Curator of the Museum to Mrs. Lyon, in which you will note it was promised the specimen would simply be numbered. It is contrary to the policy to use names on specimens at the Museum, particularly when they are from persons still alive. The effort is made to maintain as high a scientific atmosphere as possible at the Museum and to keep the exhibits as impersonal as practicable.

I appreciate your interest in this particular “specimen” and thank you for the recent clippings. We are particularly glad to learn that Mrs. Lyon is still living. You might be interested to know that she visited the Museum during her trip to Canada in 1934 to see the Dionne Quintuplets.

In response to your suggestions, Colonel Ash has prepared a new caption, a copy of which is also enclosed, in which you will note that the name of the town has been added and also the interesting point about the babies’ names. According to our file, the fifth name was Paul instead of James. We still feel it would be well to adhere to our policy of omitting Mrs. Lyon’s name.

Sincerely,

C.R. Reynolds,
Major General, U.S. Army,
The Surgeon General.

Encls:
1. Present caption.
2. Ltr 2/25/16 from A.M.M. to Mrs. Lyon.
3. New caption.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Letter of the Day: May 3 - CSI Medical Museum

Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 1457

Headquarters of the Metropolitan Police,
District of Columbia,
Washington, May 3rd. 1896

Dr. Walter Reed,
Surgeon, U.S.A.
Army Medical Museum

Dear Sir:-

This department has under arrest a colored man named Noah Warner on suspicion of being concerned in the murder of John W. Hall April 7th last. On one of the shoes take off Warner are stains which are thought to be blood. Learning that you are an eminent expert in analyzing blood, I would ask, if I am not trespassing on your time and generosity, that you will kindly make an analysis of the stains on this shoe and advise me of the result. As early a reply as is compatible with your other duties will be greatly appreciated by

Yours very respectfully,
W.G. Moore
Major & Sup’t. Met. Police

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Ceremony for Wounded in Action Exhibit at the Russell Senate Bldg Washington D.C.




was very successful thanks to all involved.

Letter of the Day: May 2 - Smithsonian crania collection

Smithsonian Institution
Washington May 2, 1868

Dear Sir:

In compliance with the desire expressed by you to acquire some of the duplicate crania of the Smithsonian collection for the Army Medical Museum, I take much pleasure in transmitting the specimens mentioned in the accompanying invoice, and hope they will be found to constitute an important addition to the collection under your charge.

Very respectfully
Your obt servt

Joseph Henry
Secy, S.I.

Dr. Otis
Army Med. Mus.
Washn.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Letter of the day, May 1

Sometimes these letters are surreal; we don't know the context or they seem like stream-of-consciousness ramblings. I had to read this one several times to realize he was talking about different topics when I thought he referred to the same topic all the way through, because he didn't believe in paragraphs.

This letter and the one posted on April 22 refer to the Gibson Collection in our Anatomical Collections: 229 pathological skeletal specimens. A collection of pathological skeletal specimens from the cabinet of Philadelphia physician William Gibson (1788-1868) purchased by the Army Medical Museum in 1868 from the widow of his son, Dr. Charles Bell Gibson of Richmond, VA. Documentation is poor. Contains a cranium with a gunshot wound collected from the Battle of Waterloo.

Richmond Va
May 1st 1868

Dear Doctor

Enclosed please find Packers List of 5 boxes – being the last of the Gibson Cabinet. I am glad that it is done. I superintended the whole packing & did a good deal of packing myself. I think that when the bill goes in you will be surprised at the small amt. it cost here to do it. I got a young M.D. very poor to help me & would like to know about how much I should give him[,] he working faithfully 3 1/2 days. The wax was packed by an adept[?] – so called. I am fearful that the number called for on the catalogue will not hold out. 1 leather preparation is also missing the bones moreover & so [illegible] pictures. I will send you tomorrow a box containing a splendid specimen of Encephaloid of the lower jaw – I thought that it would be best to send the entire head & part of the neck as it would show better in that way the size &c & if you think well of it, have it mounted entire in a large jar – Dr Brower kindly let me have it – he is in charge of the Ft. Hospital & will furnish me with a history of the case tomorrow. In regard to those calculi I don’t think that I can get any history of them – if I recollect aright that one with a needle is described in Gibsons Surgery[.] MaGuire [sic] received his calculi &c all safe this morning – I went out with him yesterday to Howard Grove Hospital where he ligated the abdominal aorta. Upon cutting down he found that the aneurism embraced the whole of the [illegible] Illiac & impinged upon the aorta whilst trying to find out the whole extent it suddenly burst & cooly compressing the aorta above he succeeded in throwing a ligature around it about 1 [1/2?] inches above the bifurcation. The man lived nearly 11 hours. This morning we went out & made a P.M. [post-mortem] The sack was very large & the aorta much diseased where tied & above also. I wanted to get the specimen & send it on at once but DeLamater the chief of the Ft[?] bureau here gave Dr Brower positive orders this morning that no specimen should be sent to Washington unless it went through his office. For which I thank him very much as I have watched the case for three weeks in order to get it. I know exactly what will be the result he will probably send 2 or 3 things on & then that will be the end of it.

Get me a positive order to get these pathological specimens & I can [allude?] to them.

I am afraid that you will get very tired of my numerous notes

Yours truly

[John] Janeway

Dr Simmons wished me to say that business of a private nature prevented his returning to Washington, but that he will call on you when he goes there again