Wednesday, March 13, 2013

New issue of The Grog, A Journal of Navy Medical History and Culture

It is with great pleasure that we present to you the latest edition of The Grog, A Journal of Navy Medical History and Culture. In this issue, we offer our readers an original assortment of stories, essays, trivia and book reviews covering the topics of: the life and lessons of the heroic World War I nurse Edith Cavell; a look back at Hennesey, the only Navy Medicine-themed TV sitcom in history; the Navy's 115-year history of Global Health Engagement; Navy's Medicine and the Knickerbocker Theater Disaster; an illustrated look at service with the FMF; oral history interviews and their application to the arts; notes from the Navy Medical Archives; and a short review of Larry Berman's book, "Zumwalt." As always we hope you enjoy this tour on the high seas of Navy Medicine's past.


The Grog is accessible through the link below.  PDF versions are available upon request. 

Issue 36, 2013



Very Respectfully,




André B. Sobocinski

Historian/Publications Manager

Office of Medical History

Communications Directorate (M09B7C)

Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Another staff departure at NMHM

I hear through the grapevine that Mike Stanley, director of logistics for the Museum, is retiring. The hiring freeze on DOD may mean that he can't be replaced for a while. I'm sure Mike's job was pretty thankless for a long time as the closing of AFIP and the setting up of both a new museum and a new warehouse occurred on his watch.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Navy Medicine's 1993 John Wilkes Booth issue online now

The January 1993 issue of Navy Medicine is digitized and online. It features the article "Identification and Autopsy of John Wilkes Booth: Reexamining the Evidence" by L. F. Guttridge which argues that the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln may not have been caught and executed. Booth's vertebrae are in the Medical Museum.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Here's a cute article about a mini-medical museum

Hospital receives book with 5000 19th century remedies
Idaho State Journal
SODA SPRINGS — The Mini-Medical Museum at Caribou Memorial Hospital received a book from a descendent of Dr. William H. Anderson, who was a registered ...

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

PR: Wellcome Library launches Codebreakers: makers of modern genetics

Yesterday saw the official launch of Codebreakers: makers of modern
genetics, the Wellcome Library's new digital resource which contains over
a million pages of books and archives relating to the history of genetics.

A further half million pages will be added over the coming weeks from the
holdings of the Wellcome Library and our partner institutions at Cold
Spring Harbor Laboratory Library, King's College London, University
College London, Glasgow University Archives and the Churchill Archives

Codebreakers contains twenty archives including the papers of Francis
Crick, James Watson, Maurice Wilkins and Rosalind Franklin, as well as
archives of the Eugenics Society, made available by kind permission of the
Council of the Galton Institute, the papers of J B S Haldane, and the
collections of Guido Pontecorvo and his students Malcolm Ferguson-Smith
and James Renwick at Glasgow University.

Codebreakers also contains over a thousand digitised books covering the
science, history and social and cultural aspects of genetics and related
disciplines, mostly from the 20th century.

You can find out more about Codebreakers and the collections we have
digitised on our website

Phoebe Harkins
Communications Co-ordinator
Wellcome Library
The Wellcome Trust
183 Euston Road
London NW1 2BE
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7611 8628
Mob:+44 (0) 7739 194907
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7611 8369

The Wellcome Trust is a charity registered in England, no. 210183. Its
sole trustee is The Wellcome Trust Limited, a company registered in
England, no. 2711000, whose registered office is at 215 Euston Road,
London NW1 2BE, UK.

An anatomical flap book, animated

Anatomical Flap-Up Illustrations from 1901 Adapted as Animated GIFs


Interesting article on medieval dissection

Grotesque Mummy Head Reveals Advanced Medieval Science

Doctors in medieval Europe weren't as idle as it may seem, as a new analysis of the oldest-known preserved human dissection in Europe reveals

March 12: NLM History of Medicine Lecture

You are cordially invited to the next NLM History of Medicine lecture, to be held on Tuesday, 12 March, 2013 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m., in the Lister Hill Auditorium, National Library of Medicine, Building 38A, Bethesda, MD. In recognition of Women's History Month, NLM presents:
"Dr. Sarah Loguen Fraser's Legacy of Social Justice in Medicine"
Sarah Berry, PhD
Hobart & William Smith Colleges
This presentation will address Dr. Fraser's entrance to medicine as the daughter of abolitionists, her career emphasis on providing healthcare for underserved African Americans, Native Americans, and Dominican women and children, and what a recovery project that continues the work of NLM's "Changing the Face of Medicine" exhibition can teach students about historical and present intersections among health, medicine, and justice.
All are welcome.
Sign language interpretation is provided. Individuals with disabilities who need reasonable accommodation to participate may contact Stephen Greenberg at 301-435-4995, e-mail, or the Federal Relay (1-800-877-8339).
Due to current security measures at NIH, off-campus visitors are advised to consult the NLM Visitors and Security website:
Sponsored by
NLM's History of Medicine Division
Jeffrey S. Reznick, PhD, Chief
Event contact:
Stephen J. Greenberg, MSLS, PhD
Coordinator of Public Services
History of Medicine Division
National Library of Medicine, NIH

Thursday, February 28, 2013

"Do you know where the National Museum of Health and Medicine is located?"

Sure I do. It's on an Army base, in an industrial park, in a suburban neighborhood...

The National Museum of Health and Medicine
However, you'd have a hard time answering the following question, "Excuse me, do you know where the National Museum of Health and Medicine is located?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

New medical museum opens in Kansas

New medical museum opens
Shawnee Dispatch
The museum tells that story through exhibits focusing on different countries, Native Americans, diseases, medicines, medical specialties and other areas of ...


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Mutter museum article

Travel: It's what??? Philadelphia's Mutter Museum is 'disturbingly ...
Waterloo Record
The nation's finest and oldest medical museum — it's celebrating its 150th anniversary March 4 — bills itself as "disturbingly informative" and that is ...

Waterloo Record

Friday, February 22, 2013

Bits on medical museums on 2 continents

This is from a first-time visitor to the National Museum of Health and Medicine, who reflects on medical care during the Civil War and today:
C'est la guerre: plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose
by Donna McNeely Burke
In this article, a writer's favorite museum to revisit is the Welcome:
Literary City: Deborah Levy's London
Booker Prize–shortlisted author Deborah Levy takes us on a tour of her literary London. From her cozy garden shed to the medical museum she revisits to why you can wear a bikini on the bus and no one cares, she explores her city with Henry Krempels.
Feb 22, 2013

Why 'Lincoln' should win an Oscar for Best Picture...

...because there's a brief scene of General Daniel Sickles' leg on display at the Medical Museum. Sickles lost his leg at the battle of Gettysburg. The movie is inaccurate as it shows the leg still fully fleshed - which would have stunk amazingly as the flesh decayed off the bone. Instead Museum prepator Schafhirt would have cut and boiled the flesh off, and then wired the bones together so they looked like this picture.
Another scene of a pit of amputated limbs seems to have been influenced by RB Bontecou's photograph "Field Day." And here's the original label for Surgical Photograph 43, Sickle's "Right Tibia and Fibula comminuted by a Cannon Ball."

Upcoming lecture on Medical Museum in NY

What is a sense of place in relation to corporeal subjectivity? If an amputee leaves limb in one place and occupies body in another, how do we define place as rooted by personal location? Likewise if a nation is divided in two by war, what does it mean for a medical museum to display fragments of the bodies of honorable combatants and amputees? How does a museum shape our sense of self, our ideas about nationhood and place, and aid in collective mourning? I argue that the U.S. Army Medical Museum, founded in 1862 during the American Civil War, represented parts of the human body through practices of institutional display and within the pages of sponsored medical publications as both aesthetic objects and medically educational tools. Through an engagement with representations of corporeal fracture in the writings of S. Weir Mitchell and in period photography, lithography, and the field sketches of Winslow Homer, this paper argues that corporeal fracture - made evident within the walls of the U.S. Army Medical Museum and its publications - complicates fixed notions about placement and displacement during and after the American Civil War making living specimens out of some and offering a location for mourning for a nation. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

American Registry of Pathology retains museum staff contract

The American Registry of Pathology has a long, convoluted history, but was regularized in 1976 with a Congressional charter to support the now-defunct Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. During the time I worked in the Museum, they supplied contract labor for about 2/3 of the staff of the Museum. With the awarding of an almost $6 million dollar contract last week, that role will apparently continue.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Index to "Photographs of Surgical Cases and Specimens" online now

 A PDF scan of the finding aid for the Civil War pictures taken at and published by the Army Medical Museum - Index to "Photographs of Surgical Cases and Specimens" and Surgical Photographs, 3rd edition (1994) has been put online at

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

African-American Civil War Surgeons in the NLM Collections lecture

You are cordially invited to the next NLM History of Medicine lecture, to be held Tuesday, 12 February 2013 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m., in the Lister Hill Auditorium, National Library of Medicine, Building 38A, Bethesda, MD.  In recognition of African-American History Month, we present:
"Oak Leaves on his Shoulders: Discovering African-American Civil War Surgeons in the NLM Collections."
Jill L. Newmark
Exhibition Registrar/Traveling Exhibition Service,
History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine
During the American Civil War, African American men and women served as medical personnel in hospitals and on the battlefield.  Histories of Civil War Medicine often overlook their participation and contributions, since few personal accounts of black surgeons and nurses exist and materials are often hidden amongst the thousands of Civil War records throughout the country including the National Library of Medicine.  This presentation explores one hospital in Washington, D.C. and follows the journey of discovery that uncovered several African American Civil War surgeons.  The presentation will highlight newly discovered materials from the History of Medicine Division and how they illuminate the story of these surgeons. 
All are welcome.
Sign language interpretation is provided. Individuals with disabilities who need reasonable accommodation to participate may contact Stephen Greenberg at 301-435-4995, e-mail, or the Federal Relay (1-800-877-8339).
Due to current security measures at NIH, off-campus visitors are advised to consult the NLM Visitors and Security website:
Sponsored by
NLM's History of Medicine Division
Jeffrey S. Reznick, PhD, Chief
Event contact:
Stephen J. Greenberg, MSLS, PhD
Coordinator of Public Services
History of Medicine Division
National Library of Medicine, NIH

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Newspaper profile of the Mutter Museum

See Albert Einstein's brain and other matters of medical history ...
Allentown Morning Call
The nation's finest and oldest medical museum — celebrating its 150th anniversary March 4 — bills itself as "disturbingly informative" and that is ...

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Medical Museum in Lincoln movie

I'm told that Sickles' leg and the medical museum briefly feature in the hit movie Lincoln.

Staff departures, catching up again

Anatomical collections curator Franklin Damann is leaving in February to set up a lab.

Apparently the exhibit designer position left by Navjeet Singh has been filled.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Medical illustration and history of medicine at Belskie Museum

DSCF5972The Belskie Museum of Art & Science in northern New Jersey has medical illustration and history of medicine sculptures done by Abram Belskie. I recently visited it and took some photos of his works.

It appears as though they may hold his papers which might make an interesting research project. Belskie worked on a Birth Atlas in 1940. The museum publishes a small booklet about him that's available at the information desk.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Another Brad Meltzer interview on mysterious medical museums

Brad Meltzer Hunts "The Fifth Assassin"
Kiel Phegley,
Comic Book Resources January 15 2013

Medical museum spurs thriller idea

Brad Meltzer's new thriller gets Oval Office insight

Mon, Jan 14 2013

By Kurt Anthony Krug

"Meltzer explained that the idea for the book came during a visit to the little-known U.S. Army-run National Museum of Health and Medicine near Washington."

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Who's buried in John Wilkes Booth's grave?

A deathbed claim
Enid News & Eagle
Elements of the 16th New York Cavalry tracked Booth and an accomplice to a .... and since have been preserved at the National Museum of Health and Medicine.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Staff departures, catching up

Exhibit designer Navjeet Chhina departed the medical museum in the late summer of 2011. He'd like BM's readers to know that.

Another departure is imminent, I'm told.

History of drugs - article of interest

Ancient pills found in shipwreck offer rare insight into early ...
The results offer a peek into the complexity and sophistication of ancient ...

NLM History of Medicine Lecture

You are cordially invited to the next NLM History of Medicine lecture, to be held Wednesday, 16 January 2013 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m., in the Lister Hill Auditorium, National Library of Medicine, Building 38A, Bethesda, MD:
"Calculating with Mortalities in Restoration London:  John Graunt and his Natural and Political Observations.
Kristin Heitman, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Medical History
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD
The paper will discuss Graunt's ground-breaking epidemiological and statistical work with plague and other diseases in 17th century England. Drawing upon NLM's extensive holdings of Graunt's published works, this lecture will examine the development, evolution, distribution, and reception of Graunt's book through its five editions.
All are welcome.
Sign language interpretation is provided. Individuals with disabilities who need reasonable accommodation to participate may contact Stephen Greenberg at 301-435-4995, e-mail, or the Federal Relay (1-800-877-8339).
Due to current security measures at NIH, off-campus visitors are advised to consult the NLM Visitors and Security website:
Sponsored by
NLM's History of Medicine Division
Jeffrey S. Reznick, PhD, Chief
Event contact:
Stephen J. Greenberg, MSLS, PhD
Coordinator of Public Services
History of Medicine Division
National Library of Medicine, NIH

Jan 16: Comic book & thriller writer Brad Meltzer at Politics & Prose

Why should you care? On his website, Meltzer writes:

 In this case, it began with a government employee who told me that I needed to come to a secret museum that almost no one knew about.  Naturally, I was suspicious, so I asked him what they had at this so-called museum.  Then he told me:  We have pieces of Abraham Lincoln's skull, the bullet that killed him, and even the bones of John Wilkes Booth, if you want to see them.

I take issue with the 'so-called' and 'secret' - the Medical Museum's been open to visitors since the 1860s.

Brad Meltzer - The Fifth Assassin

Jan 16 2013 7:00 pm
Jan 16 2013 8:00 pm
Meltzer's latest D.C. thriller features Beecher White, hero of The Inner Circle, as he untangles a plot to kill the president—a plot that goes back to the very first presidential assassination. Researching the four successful attempts on the lives of chief executives, White discovers a long-running conspiracy.

The Fifth Assassin (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780446553971
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Grand Central Publishing, 1/2013

Friday, December 28, 2012

Staff departures at NMHM

Jim Curley of Historical Collections and Emily Wilson of HDAC will be departing the Museum with the turn of the year. Wilson's contractor position has been advertised.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Einstein's brain samples

Einstein's brain: Even on the surface, extraordinary -
Los Angeles Times
One hundred sixty of the slides, made from 240 "blocks" of Einstein's brain, are at Princeton's University Medical Center, and an additional 560 slides are housed at the National Museum of Health and Medicine, until recently on the grounds of Walter ...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Voice of America visits medical museum

Visit to a Medical Museum; Plastic Surgeon Makes Healing Trips to ...
Voice of America
The museum also has anatomical collections of bones and preserved human organs. The National Museum of Health and Medicine opened as the Army Medical Museum ...

Sunday, August 5, 2012

VOA on National Museum of Health and Medicine

US Museum Showcases National Medical Collection
Voice of America
The National Museum of Health and Medicine originally opened as the Army Medical Museum during the Civil War. It's celebrating its 150th anniversary with a ...

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Google Alert - "National Museum of Health and Medicine"

Web 2 new results for "National Museum of Health and Medicine"
The National Museum of Health and Medicine: America's hidden ...
The National Museum of Health and Medicine. It's not large like Mount Rushmore , iconic like the Statue of Liberty, or symbolic like The White House. It's small ... NMHM Holds 25th Annual Forensic Anthropology ...
bySubmitted by: National Museum of Health and Medicine. Franklin Damann, Anatomical Collections Curator at the National Museum of Health and Medicine ...

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Museum-related publication is notable.

The Government Printing Office has put up a blog post at noting that the Library Journal has listed its 2011-2012 Notable Government Documents at
Included is Legacy of Excellence: The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, 1862–2011 which the Museum archives significantly contributed to. You can read the book here -

AFIP swan song book picked as notable

New post on Government Book Talk

Librarians Pick Notable Federal Books- 2012 Edition

by GPOBookstore

It's that exciting time of year again if you're a publisher of Federal publications. It's the equivalent of the Academy Awards, the Emmy Awards or the Grammy Awards… Well, maybe that's pushing it, but when the American Library Association's (ALA) Government Documents Round Table or GODORT convenes the Notable Documents Panel of its Publications Committee to choose the top government-produced publications of the previous year, we can't help but get caught up in the excitement.

Each year, this ALA GODORT's Notable Documents Panel selects what it considers to be the most "Notable Government Documents" published during the previous year by Federal, state, and local governments and includes the list of winners in its prestigious Library Journal (LJ).

According to its website, Library Journal is "the most trusted and respected publication for the library community. LJ provides groundbreaking features and analytical news reports covering technology, management, policy and other professional concerns to public, academic and institutional libraries. Its hefty reviews sections evaluate 8000+ reviews annually of books, ebooks, audiobooks, videos/DVDs, databases, systems and websites."

This year, as usual, many of the Federal publications the panel selected are available through the Government Printing Office's Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) libraries and GPO's Sales Program.

Out of all of the Federal Government documents LJ looked at in the past year, here are some of those it found most notable:

  Keeping America Informed: The United States Government Printing Office 150 Years of Service to the NationPublisher: Government Printing Office (GPO)GPO's own role in producing excellent Government publications in its 150 years of history gained it a place on the GODORT list for the past year:

"Liberally illustrated with historical photographs and facsimiles of famous government documents, this volume will appeal to a wider audience than depository librarians. Historians and history buffs who have an interest in government and how it interacts with both the private sector and public employee unions will find a compelling story that focuses on the federal government's obligation to keep citizens informed about its activities." - LJ

  Statistical Abstract of the United States 2012 (Hardcover)Statistical Abstract of the United States 2012 (Paperback)

Publisher: Commerce Department, U.S. Census Bureau

The Statistical Abstract of the United States, published since 1878, is the standard summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States. It is designed to serve as a convenient volume for statistical reference and as a guide to other statistical publications and sources. The latter function is served by the introductory text to each section, the source note appearing below each table, and Appendix I, which comprises the Guide to Sources of Statistics, the Guide to State Statistical Abstracts, and the Guide to Foreign Statistical Abstracts.

The Library Journal adds an important update about this: "In addition to being the quintessential statistical resource of all time, Statistical Abstract is a Notable Document for 2011 simply because this edition will be the last produced by the Census Bureau and distributed through FDLP. Future editions will be published commercially, so librarians will still have options for maintaining the continuity of their print collections. A classic reference tool." - LJ

  Macondo: The Gulf Oil Disaster. Chief Counsel's Report 2011Publisher: National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling

"The National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill was created by President Obama and charged with investigating the root causes of the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry. The committee concluded that the cause of the blowout was not mechanical. Instead, a number of poor management decisions, combined with an inadequate regulatory structure and an indifferent regulatory agency, overwhelmed the safeguards designed to prevent such disasters. Plenty of illustrations and photographs offer a glimpse into the technology of offshore oil rigs." - LJ

  Then Came the Fire: Personal Accounts From the Pentagon, 11 September 2001Publisher: Defense Dept., Army, Center of Military History

"In 2011, there were many publications designed to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001. In addition to the 59 people aboard the flight that struck the Pentagon, 125 people in the Pentagon were killed. The editors of this memorial volume have collected the stories of eyewitnesses, including the military and civilian personnel who escaped the burning building and first responders and reporters at the scene. It also includes hundreds of photographs."- LJ

  Freedom by the Sword: The U.S. Colored Troops, 1862-1867Publisher: Defense Dept., Army, Center of Military History"

In what may be the definitive operational history of black troops in action during the Civil War, [author] Dobak describes the differences in how freedmen and runaway slaves were recruited, how they lived, and how they were trained. Most important, it considers how gallantly these men performed in combat at a time when many of their own leaders questioned whether they would be willing to fight for their own freedom and for that of their families. Much of the documentation comes from the 'War of the Rebellion' series." - LJ

  Legacy of Excellence: The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology 1862-2011 Publisher: Defense Dept., Army, US Army Medical Department Center and Schoo1, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Public Affairs Office, Borden Institute

"In 1862, shortly after the Battle of Antietam, army surgeon general Brigadier Gen. William Hammond ordered the establishment of the Army Medical Museum. Surgeons working on Civil War battlefields were encouraged to preserve anatomical specimens, such as severed limbs and diseased organs, and send them to the museum for further research. From the start, the museum made its displays of specimens and instruments, as well as its medical library, available to the general public. Under the leadership of later curators, such as John Billings and Walter Reed, the museum evolved into the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. Readers interested in the history of science, especially medical science or in the devastating effects of Civil War weaponry on the human body, will be fascinated by the hundreds of graphic photographs." - LJ

How can you get these publications from this year's Federal Notable Government Documents collection?

  • Buy any of these publications online 24/7 by shopping the Notable Government Documents 2012 collection at GPO's Online Bookstore.
  • Buy them at GPO's retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday-Friday, 9am to 4pm, except Federal holidays, (202) 512-0132.
  • Find these publications in a library near you.

About the Author:  Michele Bartram is Promotions Manager for GPO's Publication and Information Sales Division and is responsible for online and offline marketing of the US Government Online Bookstore ( and promoting Federal government content to the public.

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The tragic death of President James Garfield

The tragic death of President James Garfield

 CBS News' Sunday Morning July 1 2012

In 1881 James A. Garfield became the second U.S. President to be assassinated. As Mo Rocca learns, however, his death could have been avoided.

[Book author Candace Millard did research in the Museum, and former Museum curator Jeff Reznick appears]

Monday, July 2, 2012

Friday, June 22, 2012

What Would Sickles Do?

When I worked in the Museum for about 25 years, many times we found ourselves asking, "What Would Sickles Do?"* Sickles was a man of action, and took action when he perceived a need. I've noticed that many of the sites for sharing information about the Museum, including this one, are not being maintained, and some (as noted in the rest of the post) are actively being ruined, so I've decided to step back in.

The NMHM's public affairs office has moved the Museum's website and taken down a lot of material the Guide to the Collections (which listed over 500 large groupings of material for researchers), any articles written by staff, all the transcripts of the AFIP Oral histories, the Archives annual reports and probably more.

They did take the time to go through the Archives annual reports, cull all the users of the Archives over 20 years, and put it in one big list. They converted all the finding aids to pdfs, which probably makes them less visible to search engines. The also broke all the links in the History of Medicine Finding Aids Consortium search engine hosted by the National Library of Medicine.

You can still find the Guide to the Collections at the Internet Archive or buy a print copy at cost from Lulu. Fortunately Internet Archive had crawled the site and you can find all the useful missing material here. However, search engines will no longer pull this up for you apparently, based on a quick test for the Foreword to Photographic Atlas of Civil War Injuries (which you can still read here).

*Actually we didn't because he was a bit of a loon - see Gettysburg, battle of or, Key, Philip Barton, murder of.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Walt Whitman in the Civil War article online

Here's an article by my former colleagues about Whitman and the Army Medical Museum:

Remains of War : Walt Whitman, Civil War Soldiers, and the Legacy of Medical Collections
Lenore Barbian, Paul S. Sledzik, Jeffrey S. Reznick

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Nov 10: Cancer Education Film at the National Academy of Sciences

This is presented by friends of mine who really know their stuff and should be excellent. I'm planning on seeing it.

The Reward of Courage
Thursday, Nov. 10, 6 p.m. (doors open at 5:30 p.m.)
Keck Center, 500 Fifth St., N.W., Room 100

Join us for a screening of The Reward of Courage , the first public education film about cancer. Released 90 years ago this fall, the film introduced many ideas about cancer that are familiar today. A copy of this hitherto lost silent film was recently discovered, and in excellent
condition. A specially commissioned musical score, performed live by the
Snark Ensemble, will accompany the film.

More Information & RSVP


David Cantor PhD
Deputy Director
Office of History
National Institutes of Health
Bldg 45, Room 3AN38, MSC 6330
Bethesda, MD 20892-6330
Phone: 301-402-8915 (Direct)
301-496-6610 (Office)
Fax: 301-402-1434

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Dr. William Gardner's death notice

Today's Post ran a death notice for Dr. William Gardner, the head of the American Registry of Pathology which supported the AFIP's missions and thus the Museum as well.

Dr. Gardener was the ultimate supervisor of over 200 people, and a busy man. I personally got along well with him, and enjoyed it when we talked history together. My condolences to his family.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

New Navy history of medicine blog sneak peak

It's not quite ready for prime time (as they used to say), but stop by and check out it -

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Museum reopens to public

since nobody who still works there posted this...


Exhibits will focus on human anatomy/pathology, Civil War medicine

September 15, 2011, Silver Spring, Md.: After more than 30 years at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in the District of Columbia, the National Museum of Health and Medicine has completed its relocation to its new home at the Fort Detrick -- Forest Glen Annex in Silver Spring, Md. The Museum will open its initial temporary exhibitions to the public on September 15, 2011.

Initial exhibits available to the public at the Museum's new location will feature artifacts and specimens related to Civil War medicine and human anatomy/pathology. "To Bind Up the Nation's Wounds" offers an in-depth view of military medicine at the time of the Civil War, and features the amputated leg of Union Maj. General Daniel E. Sickles. "Visibly Human: Health and Disease in the Human Body" features natural human specimens as well as plastinated artifacts, displaying normal and abnormal body functions. "Visibly Human" includes specimens such as a leg affected by a parasitic infection known as elephantiasis, a human trichobezoar, and more—including some of the "most requested" items from the collections.

The new building, located at 2500 Linden Lane in the Forest Glen section of Silver Spring, features a state-of-the-art collections management facility to house NMHM's 25-million-object National Historic Landmark collection.

The Forest Glen Annex is overseen by Fort Detrick in Frederick, Md. The new Museum was built under a design-build contract awarded to Costello Construction of Columbia, Md. and managed by the Baltimore District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The new NMHM offers a designated visitor parking lot and visitors will need to present photo identification upon entry to the Museum.

Exhibits available this fall are the first step in an ongoing exhibition development program that will culminate on May 21, 2012, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Army Medical Museum (today's NMHM). Stay tuned in coming months for a more revealing look at what is yet to come.

Visit the Museum's website,, and Facebook page, for details.

About the National Museum of Health and Medicine

The National Museum of Health and Medicine, established in 1862, inspires interest in and promotes the understanding of medicine -- past, present, and future -- with a special emphasis on tri-service American military medicine. As a National Historic Landmark recognized for its ongoing value to the health of the military and to the nation, the Museum identifies, collects, and preserves important and unique resources to support a broad agenda of innovative exhibits, educational programs, and scientific, historical, and medical research. The Museum has relocated to 2500 Linden Lane, Silver Spring, Md., 20910. Visit the Museum website at or call (301) 319-3300.

Friday, September 9, 2011

I'm done folks

After 22 and 1/2 years of being in charge of the Archives and working at the Museum, today was my last day. I wish the best to my former colleagues and the Museum. I'll probably post my new contact information here when I have it, but the work of this blog should fall to other hands now.

Mike Rhode

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Well, sadly the Museum outlasted the AFIP

September sees the end of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. It grew out of the Museum during World War II, and took the Museum over after the War, but due to BRAC it's been closed and some of its functions divided. Bits of the AFIP's tenure remain of course - lots of AFIP numbered specimens are in the Museum, and lots of former Museum specimens will be in the Joint Pathology Center. The numbering systems remain intertwined. And of course this blog is named for a remark by an AFIP head.

I found it in a quote from one of the former curators. World War II confirmed the Army Medical Museum's primary role in pathology consultation. James Ash, the curator during the war and a pathologist, noted, "Shortly after the last war, more concerted efforts were instituted to concentrate in the Army Medical Museum the significant pathologic material occurring in Army installations." He closed with the complaint, "We still suffer under the connotation museum, an institution still thought of by many as a repository for bottled monsters and medical curiosities. To be sure, we have such specimens. As is required by law, we maintain an exhibit open to the public, but in war time, at least, the museum per se is the least of our functions, and we like to be thought of as the Army Institute of Pathology, a designation recently authorized by the Surgeon General."