Images from the Library

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From Robert H.A. Plimmer’s Practical organic and biochemistry (1918).

As always, for more from the Medical Heritage Library, please visit our full collection!

Digital Highlights: New York Journal of Medicine

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Chest x-rays illustrating an article on pulmonary abscess from 1922 New York Journal of Medicine.

New titles from our National Endowment for the Humanities-funded grant to digitize medical journals are going up in our collection on the Internet Archive regularly.

A recent addition is the New York Medical Journal, in a run from 1865 to 1922. The 1865 volume includes an obituary on Abraham Lincoln and articles, notes, and communications on abortion, uterine surgery, scurvy, and diabetes. The volume itself is set in close type with narrow margins. There is no obvious front page graphic or header to identify the journal and it plunges directly into its first article without preamble or introduction.

The 1922 volume, by comparison, includes a very polished title page and front page header. The title page identifies three other titles — the Medical Record, the Philadelphia Medical Review, and the Medical News — which are presumably being published as part of the Journal title. As an odd parallel, the first article in the 1922 volume is also about gynecological surgery, in this case about the use of radium for certain conditions.

As always, for more from the Medical Heritage Library, please visit our full collection!

 

A/V from the Library

Click “play” above or follow this link to watch Smoke in the eye (1996).

As always, for more from the Medical Heritage Library, please visit our full collection!

Images from the Library

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From Elias Ashmole’s Theatrum chemicum britannicum : containing severall poeticall pieces of our famous English philosophers, who have written the hermetique mysteries in their owne ancient language (1652).

As always, for more from the Medical Heritage Library, please visit our full collection!

Digital Highlights: Artificial Limbs

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Illustration of artificial leg.

The rise in demand for artificial limbs — hands, legs, feet, and arms — after the American Civil War can readily be imagined. Recent scholarship in medical history has explored the medical care of the time.

For those who survived serious battlefield wounds, substitutes had to be provided and entrepreneurs in the field stepped forward; among them, was Marks’ Patent Artificial Limbs which issued a small pamphlet in 1867 advertising its wares, announcing the recent winning of a gold medal prize, and offering many testimonials from surgeons and patients of the excellence of the Marks’ limbs.

The writer of the pamphlet clearly does not want to be labelled as a war profiteer; he says early and often that he is drawing on the experience of fourteen years in the business of artificial limbs. He even takes it upon himself to give some advice to surgeons as to the best way to perform amputations with an eye to fitting with a suitable replacement limb after healing.

You can read the entire pamphlet here or look through more of the Medical Heritage Library’s resources on Civil War medicine.

A/V from the Library

Click “play” above or follow this link to watch Singapore Emergency Department’s SARS Experience (2005).

As always, for more from the Medical Heritage Library, please visit our full collection!

Images from the Library

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From Kaviraj Kunja Lal Bhishagratna’s translation of The Sushruta samhita, based on original Sanskrit text (1907).

As always, for more from the Medical Heritage Library, please visit our full collection!

Digital Highlights: For the Fourth…

If you happen to be in the United States, you may be aware that this Friday is the Fourth of July, a traditional celebration of barbecue, fireworks, and sunburn.

In case you feel like lashing out and making your own fireworks (if it’s legal where you are, of course!), we’ve gotcha covered.

Flip through the pages above or follow this link to read James Cutbush’s A system of pyrotechny : comprehending the theory and practice, with the application of chemistry : designed for exhibition and for war : in four parts, containing an account of the substances used in fire-works : the instruments, utensils, and manipulations : fire-works for exhibition : and military pyrotechny : adapted to the military and naval officer, the man of science, and the artificer (1825).

As always, for more from the Medical Heritage Library, please visit our full collection!

Images from the Library

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From Elisha Kent Kane’s The United States Grinnell Expedition in search of Sir John Franklin : a personal narrative (1857).

As always, for more from the Medical Heritage Library, please visit our full collection!

Digital Highlights: “The American Instructor,” or: How to Do A Little Bit of Everything

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Frontispiece picture of “The American Instructor.”

The American Instructor promises to teach a little bit of everything except, perhaps, how to have a successful marriage: The American instructor, or, Young man’s best companion : containing, spelling, reading, writing and arithmetic, in an easier way than any yet published ; and how to qualify any person for business, without the help of a master ; instructions to write variety of hands … ; how to write letters on business or friendship ; forms of indentures … releases, &c. ; also merchant’s accompts, and a short and easy method of shop and book-keeping ; with a description of the several American colonies ; together with the carpenter’s plain and exact rule … ; likewise the practical gauger made easy … ; to which is added, The poor planter’s physician … and also prudent advice to young tradesmen and dealers ; the whole better adpated to these American colonies, than any other book of the like kind.

In 1770, this must have seemed like quite a deal: over 400 pages of instructions in one book. The author even takes the time to explain that the book has been specially edited for an American audience; information from a “British” edition that was of no relevance to North America has been left out. One wonders what a book like this would look like if written in 1780.

The opening section, on how “…to spell, read, and write True English” is a glimpse at the standardization and codification of the English language: there are paragraphs describing the silent ‘g,’ as in ‘reign’ and ‘sign’ and lists of words which must be written with a particular letter; for example, ‘cinnamon’ calls for ‘c’ although ‘s’ has the same sound.

Flip through the pages below or follow this link to read The American Instructor.

As always, for more from the Medical Heritage Library, please visit our full collection!

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