Posts tagged: Warren Anatomical Museum

Center hosts Massachusetts high school students for Phineas Gage symposium

By , December 6, 2016
Microsoft Word - Phineas Gage Flyer.docx

Colloquium on Phineas Gage flyer, Courtesy of Nancy Donlon

The Center for the History of Medicine hosted forty students and seven teachers from six area high schools on November 28th for a half-day “Colloquium on Phineas Gage: A Scientific Inquiry.” The AP Psychology and AP Biology students came from schools across eastern Massachusetts and included Medford High SchoolBurlington High SchoolJohn D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and ScienceArlington High SchoolBraintree High School, and Dedham High School. The program was developed and organized by Medford High School AP Psychology teacher Nancy Donlon and was generously supported by the Medford Educational Foundation. Director Scott Podolsky, MD and Warren Museum curator Dominic Hall participated from the Center.

The students were exposed to a panel of Harvard Medical School and independent scholars who presented diverse material on the historical character of Gage and on modern medicine’s

Phineas Gage colloquium t-shirt. Courtesy of Kaitlin Donlon.

Phineas Gage colloquium t-shirt. Courtesy of Kaitlin Donlon.

understanding of the human brain. Harvard Medical School associate professor and Massachusetts General Hospital neurosurgeon Frederick Barker, MD placed the Gage narrative within the 19th-century debates surrounding neuroscience and the rejection and adoption of cerebral localization. Independent scholar Matthew L. Lena discussed the problematic fictions that have been tied to Phineas Gage’s patient history and how one integral case study can inform, support or hinder modern medical practice. The panel concluded with associate director of The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School assistant professor Steven Schlozman, MD‘s presentation on the modern understanding of how adolescent and teenage minds hold information and processes emotion through the construction of narratives.

The colloquium ended with the students breaking into groups and exploring the content presented from the three panelists and their renewed sense of the Gage narrative.

 

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Phineas Gage 3D Print!

By , December 5, 2016
Phineas Gage 3D Print, Courtesy of Graham Holt, Laboratories of Cognitive Neuroscience, Boston Children’s Hospital

Phineas Gage 3D Print, Courtesy of Graham Holt, Laboratories of Cognitive Neuroscience, Boston Children’s Hospital

One of the most interesting developments in the renewed teaching capacity and impact of Phineas Gage is the recent establishment of a printable 3D model of well-known patient’s skull. The print file was created by Graham Holt at the Laboratories of Cognitive Neuroscience at Boston Children’s Hospital, and is based on the 2004 thin-slice computed tomography scans of Peter Raitu and Ion-Florin Talos. The file grants a tangible portability to the Gage skull given that the original usually stays safety ensconced in the Warren Museum Exhibit Gallery. Holt’s 3D print had been downloaded 725 times as of October 3rd. The project was featured on the May 5th 3D Printing Today Podcast (segment at 1:02:30). The Warren Anatomical Museum has been using its own version of the Holt print in on-site, hands-on educational programs.

The print file for the Gage skull can be found in the following two places:

The capacity to print a version of Gage’s skull is an exciting addition to the Gage educational experience. More about the original CT scan is discussed in Ratiu, P., Talos, I. F., Haker, S., Lieberman, D., & Everett, P. (2004). “The tale of Phineas Gage, digitally remastered.” Journal of neurotrauma, 21(5), 637-643. More about the Phineas Gage case in general can be found on Malcolm Macmillan’s Phineas Gage Information Page.

 

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Phineas Gage Event on June 23rd

By , June 10, 2016
Skull of Phineas Gage, Warren Anatomical Museum in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine

Skull of Phineas Gage, Warren Anatomical Museum in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine

On the evening of June 23rd the Center for the History of Medicine will host a set of lectures on the ever-evolving case of Phineas Gage, highlighting new investigations and revisiting important past scholarship. The event is free and open to the public.

  • “The Odd Fame of Phineas Gage: How Phineas Got His Groove Back, and Why Getting Gage Right Matters”
    • By Matthew L. Lena, Independent scholar

The evening will also include remarks by Center for the History of Medicine Director Scott Podolsky and Warren Anatomical Museum Curator Dominic Hall. The program will last an hour and fifteen minutes and will conclude with a panel of questions and answers. Refreshments will be served.

 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Reception begins at 5:30pm.

Minot Room, fifth floor

Countway Library of Medicine

Harvard Medical School          

10 Shattuck Street, Boston MA 02115

 

Free and open to the public.

 

Registration is required. To register, use our online registration form or email us at  ContactChom@hms.harvard.edu.

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Phineas Gage Event on June 23rd!

By , June 8, 2016

On the evening of June 23rd the Center for the History of Medicine will host a set of lectures on the ever-evolving case of Phineas Gage, highlighting new investigations and revisiting important past scholarship. The event is free and open to the public. The program will last an hour and fifteen minutes and will conclude with a panel of questions and answers. Refreshments will be served.

Skull and life mask of Phineas Gage, Warren Anatomical Museum, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, WAM 00949 & 00950

Skull and life mask of Phineas Gage, Warren Anatomical Museum, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, WAM 00949 & 00950

When: Thursday, June 23, 2016. Reception begins at 5:30pm.

Where: Minot Room, 5th floor, Countway Library of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, 10 Shattuck Street, Boston MA 02115

What: Lecture series on Phineas Gage. Free and open to the public.

 

More details to follow.

 

Registration is required. To register, use our online registration form or email us at ContactChom@hms.harvard.edu.

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Center for the History of Medicine collections in Autumn 2015 Harvard Medicine Magazine

By , December 7, 2015
Cast of John Thelwall, Warren Anatomical Museum, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine

Cast of John Thelwall, Warren Anatomical Museum, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine

Artifacts, artwork and ephemera from the Center for the History of Medicine’s Boston Medical Library and Warren Anatomical Museum collections highlight the “Backstory” section of the Autumn 2015 Harvard Medicine, entitled Voices. Complementing the magazine’s central theme, each historic piece focuses on aspects of human speech and the history of vocal health.

Ephraim Cutter Laryngoscope,  Boston Medical Library, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine

Ephraim Cutter Laryngoscope, Boston Medical Library, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine

Featured from the Warren Anatomical Museum is a phrenological cast of the head of John Thelwall (1764-1834). Thelwall was an English professor of the science of elocution and a prominent member of the London Corresponding Society, which advocated for voting rights and government reform. In 1814, Thelwall published Results of experience in the treatment of cases of defective utterance, from deficiencies in the roof of the mouth, and other imperfections and mal-conformations of the organs of speech : with observations on cases of amentia, and tardy and imperfect developments of the faculties. The cast is part of the Warren Museum’s Boston Phrenological Society collection. In the Society’s  A Catalogue of Phrenological Specimens Belonging to the Boston Phrenological Society (1835), the Thelwall cast was categorized under the faculty of “Language.”

Johann Nepomuk Czermak Laryngoscope, Boston Medical Library, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine

Johann Nepomuk Czermak Laryngoscope, Boston Medical Library, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine

The “Backstory” spotlights four historic items from the Boston Medical Library collection. Ephraim Cutter, Harvard Medical School Class of 1856, designed his own laryngoscope, based on the demonstrations of laryngoscopy pioneers Manuel Garcia and Johann Nepomuk Czermak. The device was manufactured by Cambridge, Massachusetts telescope lens maker Alvan Clark & Sons in 1859. The Library collection also includes a laryngoscope mirror designed by Czermak, who took the first endoscopic photograph. The article displays a drawing of the vocal tract by Medical School instructor in laryngology Franklin Henry Hooper, Class of 1877.

Franklin Henry Hooper vocal tract drawing, Boston Medical Library, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine

Franklin Henry Hooper vocal tract drawing, Boston Medical Library, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine

Also from the Boston Medical Library collection, the piece features the business card of Sarah Fuller, a noted 19th-century speech therapist. Fuller trained at the Clarke School for the Deaf in Northampton, Massachusetts and was the long-term principal of the Boston School of Deaf-Mutes. In 1890 Fuller gave Helen Keller her first speech lessons, using techniques she learned from Alexander Graham Bell. All four items were photographed for the Magazine, and the Hooper drawing is digitally displayed in the online version of the “Backstory.”

Artifact Photographs by John Soares.

Sarah Fuller business card, Harvard Medical Library, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine

Sarah Fuller business card, Boston Medical Library, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine

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WAM Curator Presents at University of Texas Medical Branch

By , October 9, 2015
Ashbel Smith Building ("Old Red"), University of Texas Medical Branch, October 5, 2015

Ashbel Smith Building (“Old Red”), University of Texas Medical Branch, October 5, 2015

Dominic Hall, the Curator of the Warren Anatomical Museum, spoke in the historical lecture hall of the Ashbel Smith Building, affectionately known as “Old Red,” at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) on October 5, 2015. Hall was invited by Paula Summerly, Research Project Manager for the John P. McGovern Academy of Oslerian Medicine, and the members of the “Old Red” Medical Museum Task Force and Heritage Committee to discuss the history of the Warren Anatomical Museum and the Museum’s evolution over its approximately 160-year history.

University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), like Harvard Medical School, has a surviving historical anatomical and pathological collection. In his 1910 Medical Education in the United States and Canada: A Report to the Carnegie Institution for the Advancement of Teaching, Abraham Flexner said of the UTMB collections, “There is a large pathological museum, beautifully kept, every specimen classified, labeled, each indexed; and a notable anatomical museum in which special preparations are most advantageously arranged for teaching use.” Of the approximate 45 museums or specimen collections mentioned by Flexner, he was conservative in such praise. In addition to the UTMB medical museums, Flexner thought very favorably of the collections at McGill, the Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital, the University of Toronto, the Army Medical School, the Iowa Medical College, and the University of Pennsylvania.

UTMB’s “Old Red” Medical Museum Task Force and Heritage Committee has been working since 2009 to revitalize the UTMB pathological and anatomical museums. The Warren Anatomical Museum underwent a similar transformation in 1999 when it was transferred into the Center for the History of Medicine in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine. At the time of Hall’s visit, UTMB was launching its 125th anniversary celebration. The school is the oldest medical college in Texas.

 

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Warren Museum Collections Assistant Continues to Bring New Collections to Light

By , April 3, 2015
Robert Latou Dickinson, by Abram Belskie, Warren Anatomical Museum in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine

Robert Latou Dickinson, by Abram Belskie, Warren Anatomical Museum in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine

Warren Anatomical Museum Collections Assistant Lily Pelekoudas is a vital behind-the-scenes component of the Center for the History of Medicine staff. Lily has been cataloging a mix of new acquisitions and legacy collections for the Warren Anatomical Museum and making them accessible.

Lily started her Warren Museum tenure with the Dickinson-Belskie obstetrical model collection. The collection was built by obstetrician and gynecologist Robert Latou Dickinson and sculptor Abram Belskie to help the public and health care professionals visualize human reproductive anatomy. The 200-model collection is a mix of models made by Dickinson and Belskie and reproductions designed by the Cleveland Health Museum after it acquired the collection circa 1950. Lily researched the origins of the models, redesigned the museum’s photography workflow to better image the works, cataloged the individual details of each piece, reported on their condition, and packed the models in sound housing to provide for their preservation and make them easily accessible for future researchers. Lily’s Dickinson-Belskie work has already facilitated original academic research on the models.

In addition to the Dickinson collection, Lily has cataloged and photographed 125 unique items in the Warren Museum, making them available for the research community. In all, Lily has taken approximately 1200 photographs of Warren Museum collections. Throughout her work she’s encountered an aspirating kit with a Wyman aspirating trocar, a 100 W x 139 H cm teaching watercolor of a male with inguinal hernia, after Richard Quain’s The Anatomy of the Arteries of the Human Body, and a collection of 20th century intrauterine devices from around the world.

Moving forward, Lily will be working to export these newly cataloged artifacts into the Center for the History of Medicine’s web portal OnView, providing Warren Museum objects for the greater public.

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Warren Anatomical Museum loans artifacts to Ernst Mayr Library Exhibit on Vision

By , December 16, 2014

The Warren Anatomical Museum has loaned two artifacts to the Ernst Mayr Library of the Museum of Comparative Zoology for their short-term exhibit on Vision. The museum’s collections will be on display for approximately 6-8 months in the Northwest Building of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Northwest Building is accessible with a Harvard ID from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm.

Wax teaching model of an eye with granular conjunctivitis, 1876, Warren Anatomical Museum in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine [04652]

Wax teaching model of an eye with granular conjunctivitis, 1876, Warren Anatomical Museum in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine [04652]

The museum loaned a wax teaching model of an eye with trachoma, circa 1860. The wax eye was created by Pariasian model maker Jules Talrich and is part of a collection of 50 similar eye models that were used for teaching at Boston City Hospital. The collection was donated to the Warren Museum in 1876 by Henry Williams, an ophthalmic surgeon at Boston City Hospital.

Also loaned was a Loring ophthalmoscope, manufactured and used in the late 19th-century. The ophthalmoscope was found within the museum’s collection. The Loring

Loring ophthalmoscope, late 19th century, Warren Anatomical Museum in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine [21118]

Loring ophthalmoscope, late 19th century, Warren Anatomical Museum in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine [21118]

opthalmascope was invented by Edward Greely Loring (1837-1888), who graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1864 and was an eye specialist and ophthalmic surgeon at Boston City Hospital, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Manhattan Eye and Ear Hospital, and Brooklyn Eye and Ear Hospital. His ophthalmoscope was a popular design and made by several manufacturers.

The exhibit has a companion Harvard Library Guide.

 

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E. A. Codman Memorial Dedicated at Mount Auburn Cemetery

By , July 24, 2014
Codman memorial and columbarium_v2

E. A. Codman Memorial and Bowditch Columbarium at Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Warren Anatomical Museum at the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine

On July 22, 2014, a group of physicians, many from Massachusetts General Hospital, formally dedicated a memorial to Harvard physician and pioneering medical metrics advocate E. A. Codman (1869–1940). Despite making significant contributions to anesthesiology, radiology, bone tumor identification, shoulder surgery, and the study of medical outcomes, Codman’s remains were unmarked on the Bowditch family plot at Mount Auburn Cemetery. A group of American College of Surgeons‘ physicians sought to rectify this and, led by Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital’s W. Gerald Austen Distinguished Professor of Surgery Andrew Warshaw, raised $20,000 to erect the memorial to Codman on the site. The granite and bronze memorial, designed by sculptor Daniel Altshuler, was placed adjacent to the columbarium that holds Codman’s remains.

More information about the memorial and Codman’s life can be found in Liz Kowalczyk’s July 21, 2014 Boston Globe story “Honoring a once-scorned voice for medical openness.”

The Center for the History of Medicine has many collections associated with E. A. Codman including the Codman, E. A. (Ernest Amory), 1869-1940, papers, records of his bone sarcoma research in the Warren Anatomical Museum, his published works, his radiograph of Henry Pickering Bowditch’s elbow, and the original copy of his 1915 cartoon critical of the Boston medical elite entitled “Back Bay golden goose ostrich.”

A digitized copy of Codman’s 1918 A study in hospital efficiency : as demonstrated by the case report of the first five years of a private hospital can be found in the Medical Heritage Library.

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