Monday, September 16, 2019

Jewish Baltimore by Gilbert Sandler

I happened upon a copy of the late (great) Gilbert Sandler's book, "Jewish Baltimore" the other day.
Of course, the first thing I did was to check the index for names I recognized. In a section about schools, I saw a listing for School No. 49. I was not surprised, as I'd heard it referred to as the "Jewish Private School."

Here is the section on School No. 49. Click on each image to enlarge.


Even all these years later, School No. 49's legacy continues in Baltimore. 



Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Podcasts on Medical History

Luckily, my commute to work averages less than ten minutes, and on a good day, it's even shorter (but not by much!). So, it's pretty hard for me to listen to podcasts on my commute. As soon as I get involved and up to speed, I arrive home. 

However, I do make a longer drive about every two weeks, but lose radio reception pretty quickly. I have discovered a series of podcasts that I really enjoy - and many of them have medical topics.
The BBC World Service, which is home to high quality radio, broadcasts a series called The Forum. There is a host and generally three guests who are experts on the week's topic. The guests are leading thinkers, academics, artists, philosophers or writers.

I first heard The Forum last year when I was driving around England. They were doing a deep dive into Moby Dick
I was immediately hooked and have been listening to it ever since. Locally, it's broadcast on WYPR-HD's BBC channel at 10:00 a.m. on Saturdays.

As I mentioned, there is a serious and scientific aspect to these shows, each of which lasts about 45 minutes. Some of the medical topics have included:
Other recent topics are Imhotep: The Man Behind the Mummy; James Watt: The Power of Steam; Balloons and How They Changed the World, and many, many more. The show has been broadcasting weekly since 2008, so they have accumulated quite an archive of a vast range of topics.

I hope you'll take a listen, here.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Vision: A Biography of Harry Friedenwald

One of our board members recently lent us the book, "Vision: A Biography of Harry Friedenwald" by Alexandra Lee Levin. The Friedenwalds were a prominent Jewish family of physicians here in Baltimore. 

Our hallways are filled with portraits of members of this family: Harry, Aaron, Edgar, and others. In fact, there are so many family members and so many portraits, we're never sure whether we've matched the right name to the right person. (Click the link to see more information on each portrait.)



Edgar again.


As I said, they're a little hard to tell apart, and since they're not labeled, it's even harder!
Vision is the story of a man and his family and the impact this American Jewish family had on the world. From the book's cover, comes this:
From Jonas Friedenwald who crossed the sea in search of political freedom and economic opportunity, to Jonas Friedenwald [not the same one] who enjoyed a worldwide reputation as an ophthalmologist, we have four generations that, as a family, progressively exemplified personal and cultural adjustment, professional achievement, and devotion to public service of the highest order. 
The Friedenwald family led active lives in both the general and the Jewish fields; they were individualists in whom Americanism and Judiasm were harmoniously blended, each aspect enriching the other.
The family were active for decades here at MedChi, serving on numerous committees, as orators, and as presidents of the Faculty. Jonas, Aaron and Harry served as Presidents, and Harry served on the Centennial Committee, which included the publication of The Medical Annals of Medicine, a compendium of the Faculty's first 100 years. 

It is really amazing to read about this incredible American family who did so much in Baltimore over four generations.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Happy Belated Birthday, Sir William

This summer is going by so quickly, that Sir William Osler's 170th birthday on July 12 just blasted by me. But in this special Oslerian year, I wanted to acknowledge it. 

Sir William was born in Bond Head, Ontario, north of Toronto. If you can imagine the territory, NORTH of Ontario in the middle of the 19th century, you might realize what an isolated childhood Osler had. 

He went to school at Trinity College in Ontario after attending local religious schools in the province. He studied medicine at McGill University in Montreal, the place he always considered his spiritual home.
Following several years of travel on "the continent", he returned to Montreal to become a professor of medicine. 

In 1884, Osler left Canada for America, and a professorship of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, where he stayed for four years.

In 1888, he came to Baltimore to help establish the medical school at Johns Hopkins and become the first physician-in-chief at the newly opened hospital.
His teaching style, based on the European mode of working at the patients' bedside, revolutionized medical education in America. 

At the same time, Osler began work on his seminal book: The Principles and Practice of Medicine, which would remain in print for the next half century. He served as the President of MedChi in 1896, and was responsible for recruiting our long-time librarian, Marcia C. Noyes, and for establishing one of the top medical libraries in the country. 

In 1905, Osler and his family left Baltimore for a new life in Oxford, England,
where he had accepted the position as Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University. He lived there until his death in December of 1919, 100 years ago. 
Sir William Osler
12 July 1849 – 29 December 1919

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Cultural Exchange: Sheppard Pratt

I recently found out that Sheppard Pratt has a museum, a library and archives. So I contacted the curator/librarian/archivist and made an appointment to visit. 

Many years ago, I had volunteered at SP. Nothing psychiatric, but playing tennis with the teenagers who were in residence. While there, I got a great appreciation of the Victorian-style architecture, designed by Calvert Vaux, who was an associate of Frederick Law Olmsted, who is responsible for the look of some of Baltimore's notable inner suburbs.
While the hospital has greatly changed since I was last there, the bones are still familiar. New buildings have been added, some of the land is now home to "University Village," the dorm community of Towson University. 

While the Museum was small, it was quite charming, with a number of artifacts from Moses Sheppard's life there. His old book cases were still filled with his books, 

his old statistics book was on display, 

and the silver service from the former Nursing school was shining and polished. 

Although the buildings have been extensively renovated over the decades, there are still glimpses of the original details, including this beautiful Victorian tile work.

For many years, Sheppard Pratt advertised in the Maryland Medical Journals (the pre-1900 ones are on-line here), and I remembered that I had scanned one. This is probably from the late 1800's or very early 1900's, and describes the hospital in detailed terms.

My most sincere thanks to Lisa Illum, the curator/librarian/ archivist for spending the morning with me and showing me her treasures!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Liriodendron: Dr. Howard Kelly's Summer Home

I had the opportunity to tour Liriodendron, the summer home of Dr. Howard Kelly, one of the Big Four at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Kelly and his wife, whom he had met while studying in Germany, were parents of nine children. Like many of the other early Hopkins physicians, many of whom were Canadian (Osler, Cullen, Barker, etc.) Kelly and his family summered on a lake in Ontario.
But as more and more children arrived, bring in a rustic camp in rural Ontario was more than Mrs. Kelly wanted to manage. Mrs. Kelly and six of the children are shown below.
The Kellys bought a property in Harford County, just outside of the county seat of Bel Air in about 1898.
The Georgian Revival mansion was designed by the Baltimore architecture firm of Wyatt & Nolting, who also designed many other Baltimore area buildings, including the massive Fifth Regiment Armory, the Pikesville Armory, the Clarence Mitchell Courthouse, the Roland Park Shopping Center, and St. Michael and All Angels Church.
The scale and splendor of Liriodendron is more suited to Newport, RI, than to sleepy Bel Air, MD. The house is set on a raised stone foundation and is constructed of stuccoed brick, with two-and-a-half stories. It is T-shaped, with the service wing serving as the stem of the T.
The house is spanned by a wisteria-covered veranda with semi-elliptical porches at either end.
The house sits facing west on the highest point of the property, the better to catch the prevailing breezes.  For serious architectural details of the house, please read the Medusa report, here
Dr. Kelly also had a house on Eutaw Place in Baltimore City's Bolton Hill neighborhood, which also functioned as a gynecological clinic for Dr. Kelly's private practice.
It is marked with a blue plaque to show its historic significance. 
Liriodendron is occasionally open to the public, but otherwise is used as an event space and art gallery. 

Monday, June 10, 2019

Another Successful Hunt Lecture!

Thanks so much to everyone who came to the annual Thomas E. Hunt, Jr, MD History of Maryland Medicine Lecture last week. And a very special thanks to Dr. Paul Rothman, Dean of the Medical Faculty at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine. 

More than 100 members and friends of MedChi, as well as several of Dr. Hunt's family members attended the lecture, entitled "Sir William Osler, MD: Yesterday & Today.

Dr. Allan Jensen, Chair of the History of Maryland Medicine Committee was responsible for recruiting Dr. Rothman, and introduced him at the Lecture. 

Dr. Rothman compared medicine at the time that Dr. Osler was operating at Hopkins, and how when Osler wrote the first edition of "The Practice of Medicine", he was still an avid supporter of blood-letting! Now we are working with nano-technologies and artificial intelligence. One can only wonder what Sir William Osler would have thought about all of that!