Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Construction Photographs, Circa 1909

As I was hunting for some evidence of when MedChi first publicized our phone number, I came across two photographs of the construction of the 1909 building. They were taken in October,

and November of 1908.

The notes say that from beginning to end, the construction only took seven months! Pretty incredible.
Dr. G. Milton Linthicum, the Chair of the building committee had this to say about the construction.

At the time this was written, the library, then located at the premises on Eutaw Street, just a few blocks away, only had about 7,000 volumes. So the projection of an eventual 63,000 volumes was very ambitious. The highest number of books, journals, etc. recorded was 65,000.
In another little piece, I found this nugget of information.

Here’s the first picture of the light and airy reading room, suitably decorated.

Not too different! A few coats of paint, some book cases and a carpet added and you’ve got the present day Krause Room.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Our Phone Number

As I was doing a spot of research this afternoon, I came across this fascinating piece of trivia. phone number

Now to figure out when phone service came to Baltimore!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Old & the New

In preparation for next week’s Baltimore City Medical Society’s annual meeting and holiday dinner, I was asked to give a tour of the building. Unfortunately, I have another engagement and so I created building information sheets so members could give themselves brief self-guided tours.

In creating the sheet for the 1909 building, I took an early watercolor of the building, which we use on notecards, and scanned it into the computer. Then I took a photograph I had taken earlier and merged it with the watercolor. both images

Because of the Meyerhoff, I can only back up so far, and can’t get the entire building into a photograph! I should probably take another picture of the building now that we have new blinds in the Krause Room and once the leaves are all the way off the trees!

This is a picture of the building I Photo-shopped for a tour right before Halloween. All of our ghostly friends are looking out the windows. tour poster[6]

If you stop by, I will happy to give you a tour.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Is Ruxton a Menace to the Health of Baltimore?

From an article in the September 1890 issue of the Maryland Medical Journal!


And so interesting that they’re talking about climate change in 1890, too!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Happy Halloween!

Our resident ghost popped in to trick or treat. We can’t wait to see what she has in store for us.


Friday, October 23, 2015

Doors Open Baltimore

The Baltimore Architecture Foundation has invited MedChi to participate in the Second Annual Doors Open Baltimore project. This one-day free event welcomes the public to tour buildings passed by regularly, but not often entered. Under the theme Undiscovered Baltimore, the event will feature sites both hidden from view and hiding in plain sight, along with perennial favorites with secrets of their own.

While MedChi has been in the same location since 1909, not many of the general public have had an opportunity to visit the building. During two tours at 10:00 and 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 24,visitors will be able to view some of MedChi’s collection of historic portraits, bio poster 1

see our collection of medical archives, Seals

and tour our stacks, which are home to more than 55,000 volumes dating to the 1600’s and sometimes, even our ghost, Marcia. archives shelfie

For more information, please check the Doors Open website: here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Gundry-Glass Hospital

During the early part of the 1900’s, our Medical Journals were filled with advertisements for private sanitariums and convalescent facilities, many of which were located in country environs with plenty of fresh air and green grass.

Several of these facilities were operated by the Gundry family, and most were located in the Catonsville (now Irvington) section of Baltimore, just inside of the city lines. gundry (1)

Dr. Alfred T. Gundry served as the medical superintendent at nearby Spring Grove Hospital from 1878 to 1891 where he was a pioneer in ending the use of mechanical restraints on psychiatric patients. In the late 1800s, he established the Gundry Sanitarium on his family farm

Certainly, his brother, Dr. Richard Gundry had some luminaries associated with his facility, including Dr. Osler!

gundry (3) 

Several weeks ago, Baltimore Heritage, where our History of Maryland Medicine Board Member, Johns Hopkins is the Executive Director, shared some images of the Gundry-Glass house as it is today.

It’s owned by the city, but is abandoned and is being used as a general dumping ground. image

There are several out-buildings, and a few years ago, an idea was floated to have a resident care-taker live on the property and make sure that it wasn’t vandalized or used as a dumping ground. imageThe State of Maryland has a resident curator program for properties such as this. The “curator” lives in the house rent-free, and agrees to renovate, maintain and care for the property for the length of the tenancy. image

Until it closed in 1997, the property was used as a mental health facility, most recently for children. This property has a long and interesting history, and it’s a shame that it’s been left to fall apart.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

A Visit to UM’s Health Sciences and Human Services Library

I had a chance to visit the University of Maryland’s Health Sciences and Human Services Library earlier this week. The library was founded in 1813, shortly after the medical school was founded, by MedChi member, Dr. John Crawford and following his death the same year, the library acquired his collection of medical books which gave it a great start.  imageIn 1903, another MedChi member, Dr. Eugene Cordell, became the first professional library. Cordell had just finished writing the Medical Annals of Maryland, celebrating MedChi’s first 100 years. Cordell was also a Professor of the History of Medicine and acquired the book collections from the Schools of Dentistry and Pharmacy, greatly enlarging the library. IMG_5190After moving around several times, the library’s newest building opened in 1998 on the corner of West Lombard and Greene Streets. The new building which is light and airy, IMG_5204and features great views from every aspect.

IMG_5202 IMG_5197 IMG_5212

Of course, there is the work of the library that benefits students, professors and the general public. imageSome of the links on the website are shown below, and the staff has been working hard at digitizing their collections, including some of their oldest papers – those from founder, Dr. Crawford. image

Take a wander around the site and see what you can come up with. The link is here.

My thanks to the staff who took time to meet with me!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Magic Wand: Aaron Sopher

In looking through some 1960’s and 1970’s Maryland Medical Journals, I recognized some of the sketches as having been done by local artist, Aaron Sopher. He was born in East Baltimore in 1905 and attended the Maryland Institute College of Art. He started his career as an illustrator for the Baltimore Sun and later went on to have his illustrations and cartoons featured in periodicals including The New Yorker.

He tended towards leftist politics and I read that Sopher “tended to infuse his drawings with moral undertones and often tried to depict influential movements of the time from the beatniks in the 1950s to the Vietnam protests a decade later…” Reading that, I understand this sketch, which appeared on the 1968 cover of the Maryland Medical Journal. hippies 1968The issue featured several stories on the Flower Power movement happening at that time, and included a now-hilarious article on “Hippie Talk: From Acid to Zap”.image

A few years later, Sopher began illustrating the advertisements for Taylor Manor Hospital in Ellicott City, which was a rather swish mental hospital at the time.

In the summer of 1971, Sopher illustrated an article about being safe at the beach. Sopher Summer

Then in 1973, there was this small illustration. Jan 1973

It’s certainly interesting to see an illustrator like Sopher in our Journal. I am now curious as to how it all came about.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Magic Wand: The Great Baltimore Fire

Surprisingly, there’s not much information about MedChi’s role after the Great Baltimore Fire of 1904. imageAt that point, our HQ was on Eutaw Street, well north of the where the fire raged. The northernmost point of the fire was Fayette map

When I was working on the Osler book, I found this passage:

In 1904, the Baltimore Fire wiped out a large part of the business part of the city, and with it, a lot of the rent-producing property belonging to the John Hopkins Hospital. Rockefeller was appealed to in the hope that he might tide over the period of curtailed income, and he finally decided to do so, but before one word came of his donation, Osler had written to the President of the Hospital Trustees, that he would be willing to turn over his salary of $5,000 a year for ten years to take care of the institution’s publications.

As I was looking through some Maryland Medical Journals from the early 1900’s, I found this.Baltimore Fire

And then a few issues later, this advertisement for the recently-opened Belvedere Hotel.belvedere

I wonder how many physicians were affected by this and whether MedChi played any significant role during the fire with medical care.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Magic Wand: Old Ads

Looking through the old journals, and I am talking 1800’s and early 1900’s, you find a range of amazing advertisements. Some of them seen completely insane in light of what we know now, and others are just peculiar. Here are a few I found recently.IMG_0010IMG_0011IMG_0013

I had to enlarge this image below because it’s completely crazy! There’s a man hovering above everything, someone who looks like they’re fishing, and someone who looks like they’re getting ready to walk on water.


Swimming – the beautiful art!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

From the Magic Wand: Our Buildings

One thing that my magic wand makes so simple is scanning articles from old issues of the Maryland Medical Journals. Instead of lugging a year or two’s worth of magazines up to my office, I can just sit and leaf through them and scan them on the spot. So, I am launching a new series: From the Magic Wand!

In the 1990’s, there was a series of articles, mainly written by Joseph M. Miller, M.D., a retired surgeon. He covered myriad topics ranging from our building to our presidents. I have scanned a number of these pieces and will be presenting some of the more interesting ones.building

This article is about all of the buildings where MedChi’s been housed. Funnily enough, while I was scanning this, a group came through and we talked about the buildings a bit. building 2building 3building 4

I am trying to figure out what to do with everything I scan. Any ideas?

Friday, August 14, 2015

The Young Marcia

As I was looking through some of the Maryland Medical Journals from the late 1980’s, I stumbled across this lovely image of the young Marcia Noyes. I have another early image of her, maybe taken around the same time, since the dress is very similar in both.Young Marcia

If this was taken around the beginning of her career, it would have been just when she came to work for us. I’d love to find the original of this picture, so that the type on the reverse doesn’t bleed through.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

My New Toy… uh, Tool!

On a fairly frequent basis I am asked to find a journal or book and scan a few pages of it for someone. While this at first read, sounds like a simple task, it’s fairly time consuming. Here’s the process:

  1. Leave my office.
  2. Go downstairs either to the Krause room, or to the Stacks.
  3. For the Stacks, up four flights of stairs to find the book.
  4. Back down four flights of stairs, across to “our side” of the building and then up a flight of stairs to my office.
  5. Scan the book.
  6. Repeat steps one, two, three and four.

I heard about a literal magic wand, and after some research, purchased one for the office. imageIt’s actually a portable wand scanner! I just got it and it’s amazing. It can scan a page at either 300, 600 or 1200 dpi, and it’s portable, and has WiFi. When I have to go to the Stacks, I just take it along with me, scan the pages of the book that I need and voila! I am finished. I come back to the office, download the files and send them off.

One of the first things I scanned was a page from the Chronicles of Baltimore mentioning my multiple greats-grandmother, Ellen North Moale. IMG_0006 (2)

And then I got to work scanning in a series of articles from an old issue of the Maryland Medical Journal for a member. I can scan the pages either as a JPG or a PDF.

Just for fun, we tried scanning one of our paintings and were amazed at the detail which came out at just 300 dpi resolution! You can see every brush stroke. IMG_0006

I am thrilled at how much easier my magic wand is going to make my searches!