Centennial Photo Display: 1960’s, Part III

Alethea Drexler
archives assistant

We had room in the case so we went back and added a few more.

Two more Joseph Schwarting illustrations.  The girl with the umbrella is particularly charming:

IC094 Schwarting HeartBull 19640102 umbrella 600dpi JPG edit

“Girl with red umbrella”, Heart Bulletin, January-February 1964. IC 094 John P. McGovern Historical Collections

Hemodialysis at St. Luke's, mid-1960's.  P-3343 John P. McGovern Historical Collections

“Cervical cancer control”, Cancer Bulletin, November-December 1963, IC 094 John P. McGovern Historical Collections

The machine at right in the image below appears to be a Travenol-type artificial kidney.  Hemodilaysis machines were invented in the Netherlands in the late 1930’s but weren’t produced commercially until the mid-1950’s. They were originally used to treat acute cases such as mismatched blood transfusions and overdoses, but by the 1960’s had gained acceptance for use in long-term renal disease patients.

P-3343 St Lukes dialysis 1960s 600dpi JPG

Hemodialysis at St. Luke’s, mid-1960’s. P-3343 John P. McGovern Historical Collections

Dittrick Medical History Center, Case Western Reserve University: Travenol artificial kidney.  (I would encourage readers to check out the Dittrick’s website; they have a lot of interesting items.)

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Posted in Centennial, Exhibits, Images, Medical Archives

Centennial Photo Display: 1960’s, Part II

Alethea Drexler
archives assistant

Last month’s image exhibit talked a little bit about the high rate of poliomyelitis in the Houston area during the 1940’s and 1950’s, and some of the institutions that sought to treat and rehabilitate its victims.

The following series is from the Victory Over Polio campaign, which set out to mass-vaccinate Harris county residents in July 1962.  It was sponsored by the Junior Chamber of Commerce [Jaycees] and the Harris County Medical Society.

All of these are from Institutional Collection 004, the Harris County Medical Society, box 1 of the “Victory Over Polio” series.

Vaccination stations were set up at area schools.

Vaccination stations were set up at area schools.

IC004 HCMS polio box 1 07 Sabin sobbing JPG

Somebody at Lewis & Coker grocery was a comedian.

IC004 HCMS polio box 1 06 Weingarten JPG

Public service announcement at Weingarten’s grocery.

IC004 HCMS polio box 1 05 JPG

The little girl in the foreground seems to be thrilled that her vaccination comes in the form of a sugar cube and not a shot.

IC004 HCMS polio box 1 04 Colt 45 JPT

Members of the new Colt 45’s baseball team turned out to encourage trepidatious youngsters.

IC004 HCMS Polio box 1 01 JPG

These two are wrapped up in an early computer printout. The chalkboard in the background seems to be running figures on vaccination rates.

The money that was collected for the Victory campaign eventually formed the basis for the funding of the Health Museum, which began as an exhibit in the Museum of Natural Science.

Works consulted:
[1] Museum of Health and Medical Science.
[2] The Untold Museum District, Part III
[3] Harris County Medical Society newsletter, 2014 January 09.
[4] the Bellaire Texan [newspaper], July 18, 1962, on Portal to Texas History online.
[5] Texas Medical Center News online, July 2015.|
[6] Getty Images newsreel, 1962.
[7] Gonzales, J.R., Bayou City History blog at the Houston Chronicle, 2015 February 23.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Centennial Photo Display: 1960’s, Part I

Alethea Drexler
archives assistant

July’s photo exhibit had to be trimmed down, but don’t worry–it’s for a good cause.  We need the display space for a traveling exhibit.  More on that later.

Among the landmark events in the 1960’s:

  • The Friends of the Texas Medical Center Library was founded in 1960[1] and continues to provide support for Library resources.
  • Ben Taub General Hospital opened in 1963[2]. The Harris County Hospital District was created in 1965[3].
    Ben Taub hospital in the early 1960's.

    Ben Taub hospital in the early 1960’s.

    Ben Taub Hospital emergency room, 1960's.

    Ben Taub Hospital emergency room, 1960’s.

  • MEDLINE, the Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System Online, was implemented in 1964 by the National Library of Medicine as MEDLARS[6] (not online, of course). It was the first large-scale, computer-based, retrospective search service available to the public.
    The Medical Center's IBM 7904 mainframe computer system, circa 1969.

    The Medical Center’s IBM 7904 mainframe computer system, circa 1969.

    The appliance in the foreground is an IBM 716 printer, marketed between the mid-1950's and 1969.

    The appliance in the foreground is an IBM 716 printer, marketed between the mid-1950’s and 1969.

  • In 1969, Denton Cooley implanted the first artificial heart. The Liotta-Cooley Artificial Heart is now on display at the Smithsonian Institution.   The films of the surgery are held by the McGovern Collections.

Archives staffer Kiersten Bryant selected some of her favorite 1960’s Joseph Schwarting illustrations:

“Man on phone”, Heart Bulletin, March-April 1964

“Peripheral auscultation: Prospecting with a stethoscope” Cancer Bulletin, September-October 1963

“The Pill and Cancer” Cancer Bulletin, January-February 1968.

“Recent advances in the diagnosis of cancer” Cancer Bulletin, March-April 1965.

Sources consulted:

[1] Friends of the Texas Medical Center Library
[2] Ben Taub General Hospital: Harris Health System
[3] Harris Health System, Wikipedia.
[4] Handbook of Texas Online: Ben Taub (1889-1982)
[5] Texas Medical Center timeline: 1960’s
[6] MEDLARS, National Library of Medicine
[7] Institutional collection 94 Medical Arts Publishing Foundation
[8] IBM

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Posted in Archives, Images

Centennial Photo Display: 1950’s, Part II

The Heart Bulletin was published by the Medical Arts Publishing Foundation in Houston from 1952 to 1971. The back cover of every issue featured cartoons of red arteries and blue veins that playfully illustrate the principles of cardiovascular medicine. Each illustration has a quote about cardiovascular theory from notable philosopher or physician.

Joseph Schwarting, once the only fine arts major on the University of Texas football team, was the lead artist for Medical Arts Publishing Foundation, which was noted for using original art for each graphic in every journal. The company also published The Cancer Bulletin and The Psychiatric Bulletin.

The Texas Medical Center Library’s John P. McGovern Historical Center houses the original artwork for all the publication of the Medical Arts Publishing Foundation. Below are some of the original artwork for the Artery & Vein characters.

Heart Bulletin, May-June 1954

Heart Bulletin, May-June 1954

Heart Bulletin, January-February 1953

Heart Bulletin, January-February 1953

Heart Bulletin, November-December 1952

Heart Bulletin, November-December 1952

Heart Bulletin, May-June 1952

Heart Bulletin, May-June 1952

Heart Bulletin, July-August 1952

Heart Bulletin, July-August 1952

Texas Medical Center Library, John P. McGovern Historical Research Center: http://library.tmc.edu/mcgovern/collections/heart-bulletin/

LIFE magazine, November 17, 1941, page 115.

“Building 203”

P-3305-01 UTMDA radioisotope lab 1950s 600dpi JPG        The Houston Veterans Administration Hospital moved its new radioisotope laboratory—nicknamed the “Atomic Lab”–into this converted Navy barracks in 1952. Its eight thousand square feet included eight laboratories, a cold room, culture transfer and media preparation rooms, a constant-temperature instrument room, sterilization room, the latest in housing for laboratory animals, and an animal operating room.

Medicine began to use radioisotopes in the late 1930’s as tracers in investigation and diagnostics, and to administer radiation as therapy for cancers and thyroid disease.

Dr. Michael DeBakey conducted some of his early vascular surgery research in Building 203. The first Dacron graft surgery was performed at the Houston Veterans Hospital in September 1954.

The vehicle parked out front is a fourth-generation (1947-1955) Chevrolet Suburban. It has a single taillight in the middle of the rear hatch.

P-3306-03 Veterans Administration Hospital radioisotope laboratory, 1950's

P-3306-03 Veterans Administration Hospital radioisotope laboratory, 1950’s

“The men are being trained in how to calibrate a GM (Geiger Mueller, geiger counter). In a calibration, you relate the meter readout to the actual exposure rate in mR[milliroentgens]/hr. The actual exposure rates are indicated on the floor and have been calculated based on the distance from the source and the known activity of the source.  The source is the small metal capsule hanging from a string in the center of the concentric circles on the floor. It is towards the lower right corner of the photo. The source is the same height above the floor as the center of the GM tubes. The latter are the vertical cylinders clipped to the front of the bottom portion of the meter case. Notice that these tubes are aligned up on the concentric circles.

Not sure what units the meters are reading out in, but it is likely to be mR/hour.   If the meter is not reading accurately, it is adjusted. That is being done by turning a small potentiometer with a screwdriver. To access the “pots”, the survey meter case has to be opened up. The electronics (including the adjustable pots) are attached to the top of the meter which has the carrying handle and the meter display.”

Paul Frame
Oak Ridge Associated Universities
ORAU Foundation historical collections
Oak Ridge, Tennessee

P-3305-01, photo of radioisotope laboratory building, Houston Veterans Hospital, ca. 1952; John P. McGovern Historical Collections and Research Center; Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center Library; Houston, Texas.

Black, Homer S., Ph.D., and Glenn R. Cunningham, Ph.D., “A brief history of the Houston Veterans Hospital and its research program, 1949-2003”. http://www.houston.va.gov/about/History_of_Research_Program.asp

American Nuclear Society, “Medical Use of Radioisotopes”; http://www.nuclearconnect.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Medical_Use_of_Radioisotopes_web.pdf

Kahn, Jeffrey, “From radioisotopes to medical imaging, history of nuclear medicine written at Berkeley,” http://www2.lbl.gov/Science-Articles/Archive/nuclear-med-history.html.

Arabia Temple Crippled Children’s Clinic

This series of images is of the Arabia Temple Crippled Children’s Clinic. The Clinic was founded in 1920 and operated in space provided by Hermann Hospital during the 1940’s. The building seen here, constructed on Hermann land, opened in 1952. It joined the nonprofit Shriners Hospitals for Children in 1966 and continues to operate as a Medical Center member institution.

The Houston branch treats cleft palate and orthopedic concerns.   Shriners Hospital, Galveston, opened in 1966 and specializes in burn care.

P-2536 Arabia Temple Crippled Childrens Clinic

P-2536 Arabia Temple Crippled Childrens Clinic

This series also constitutes our Tour of Elaborate Wallpaper. Particularly notable are the cherubs in the nursery (which may have been painted) and the Plymouth Rock scene in the lunch room.

P-2537-07 Arabia Temple Crippled Children's Clinic, classroom

P-2537-07 Arabia Temple Crippled Children’s Clinic, classroom

P-2537-06 Arabia Temple Crippled Children's Clinic, nurses' station

P-2537-06 Arabia Temple Crippled Children’s Clinic, nurses’ station

P-2537-05 Arabia Temple Crippled Children's Clinic, patients' room

P-2537-05 Arabia Temple Crippled Children’s Clinic, patients’ room

P-2537-04 Arabia Temple Crippled Children's Clinic, patients' room.

P-2537-04 Arabia Temple Crippled Children’s Clinic, patients’ room.

P-2537-03 Arabia Temple Crippled Children's Clinic, lunch time

P-2537-03 Arabia Temple Crippled Children’s Clinic, lunch time

P-2537-02 Arabia Temple Crippled Children's Clinic, aquatic therapy pool

P-2537-02 Arabia Temple Crippled Children’s Clinic, aquatic therapy pool

P-2537-01 Arabia Temple Crippled Children's Clinic, nursery

P-2537-01 Arabia Temple Crippled Children’s Clinic, nursery

P-2536, Arabia Temple Crippled Children’s Clinic exterior view; John P. McGovern Historical Collections and Research Center; Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center Library; Houston, Texas.

P-2537, Arabia Temple Crippled Children’s Clinic series of interior views; John P. McGovern Historical Collections and Research Center; Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center Library; Houston, Texas.

Handbook of Texas Online – Hermann Hospital: https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/sbh06

Handbook of Texas Online – Texas Medical Center: https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/kct23

Wikipedia – Shriners Hospital for Children (Galveston): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shriners_Hospital_for_Children_%28Galveston%29

Wikipedia – Shriners Hospital for Children (Houston):


Shriners Hospital for Children (Houston): http://www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org/Locations/houston

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Posted in Centennial

Centennial Photo Display: 1950’s, Part I

by Alethea Drexler

archives assistant

Aficionados of midcentury modern architecture, hold onto your hats.

IS042 TCH 1952 Disney back cover 600dpi JPG 1500

Institutional Collection 042 Texas Children’s Hospital, back cover of information booklet, 1952.

. . . as was almost everything else in the Texas Medical Center during the 1950’s.  This somewhat tipsy 1954 aerial includes, from left, Texas Children’s Hospital, St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, Methodist Hospital, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in the foreground, the University of Texas Dental Branch under construction (it would open for the 1955-1956 academic year), Baylor College of Medicine, the brand-new Jesse Jones Library building, and both Hermann Hospitals.  Rice University is in the background; its stadium (1950) is in the upper left.

1954-tmc-aerial crop

1954 aerial view of the Medical Center

Texas Children’s Hospital would eventually look like this:

P-2729 Texas Childrens 1953July17 600dpi JPG

P-2729 Texas Children’s Hospital, July 1953

Their 1952 information booklet had a cover designed by Walt Disney:

Institutional Collection 042 Texas Children's Hospital, 1952.

Institutional Collection 042 Texas Children’s Hospital, 1952.

Next to it was St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, which was chartered in 1945 but, because the plans for it were continuously changed and expanded, didn’t open until 1954.  That’s the Prudential Insurance building (1952-2012) in the background.

P-2723 St Lukes construction 1953 600dpi JPG crop

P-2723 St. Luke’s Hospital, 1953

Methodist Hospital (1919) relocated to the Medical Center in 1951:

P-2715 Methodist 1951 JPG

P-2715 Methodist Hospital, 1951

The new Library opened in 1954:

P-932 TMC Library Jones Building

P-932 TMC Library Jones Building

U.T. M.D Anderson Cancer Center:

P-2582 UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1953.

P-2582 UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1953.

Constructions workers’ cars outside of U.T. M.D. Anderson.

The sedan at left is a 1941 Ford. Its battered companion to the right is a postwar Crosley. Crosley (1939-1952, omitting the war years) was one of midcentury America’s few manufacturers of compact—in this case, subcompact–cars. This car had an 80-inch wheelbase; the famously diminutive Volkswagen Beetle had a 94 ½-inch wheelbase.

Crosley debuted the term “sport utility” in 1948 and was the first American car company to offer four-wheel disc brakes, in 1949.

The owner of this Crosley had a sense of humor: The elegant swan hood ornament originally belonged to a Packard luxury car. [1]

[1] Crosley Automobile Club: http://crosleyautoclub.com/

Cars in front of M.D. Anderson, 1953.

Cars in front of M.D. Anderson, 1953.

Downtown, Memorial Hospital expanded.

The white building in the background was once biggest Woolworth’s in the world (1949):

P-473-02 Memorial Hospital, April 1951

P-473-02 Memorial Hospital, April 1951

P-2720 Southwestern Poliomyelitis Respiratory Center (1952).

P-2720 Southwestern Poliomyelitis Respiratory Ceter at Jefferson Davis Hospital, 1952

P-2720 Southwestern Poliomyelitis Respiratory Center at Jefferson Davis Hospital, 1952

Harris County was hit especially hard by poliomyelitis in the 1940’s and early 1950’s. The tenth floor of the second Jefferson Davis Hospital (1939) became the Southwestern Poliomyelitis Respiratory Center in 1950. It moved into the annex seen here in December 1951. The new building was air-conditioned and provided state-of-the-art care for sixty acute and twenty recuperating patients at a time. It was also the first hospital program in Houston to treat patients in an integrated setting; there was no separate ward for minority patients.

Word of the Center’s treatment capabilities spread and it began to accept cases from other parts of the United States. In 1953, eight patients traveled from Kentucky in iron lungs, in a modified baggage car of the train.

The Center had to stop accepting out-of-state patients for a time during a surge in cases in 1952. Hermann Hospital, Arabian Temple Crippled Children’s Clinic (now Shriners Hospital), Methodist, and the Veterans Administration Hospital provided room and support for additional patients. The Center also conducted workshops on polio treatment and public health. Methodist Hospital supported Center orthopedist Paul Harrington in developing the Harrington rod procedure to alleviate polio-induced scoliosis, for which existing physical therapy-based treatments had been inadequate[2].

[2]Wooten, Heather Green, The Polio Years in Texas: Battling a Terrifying Unknown, Texas A&M Press, 2009.

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Posted in architecture, Archives, Centennial, Hospitals, Images

Centennial Photo Display: 1940’s, Part II

Alethea Drexler

archives assistant

Opening day of Baylor College of Hermann Hospital’s Corbin and Wilhelmina Robinson Pavilion, 1949.  This addition doubled the number of beds available at Hermann [McGovern Historical Collections P-882].

The new building, with the Hermann Professional Building in the distance to the left.

IC091 Houston_36 Hermann 1949 800dpi JPG

The autoclave room.  P-892 Hermann 1949 autoclave1 1500

The cafeteria.  (Industrial kitchens have changed very little.  This could easily be the serving line in the dining hall in which I worked as a college student, fifty years later.)

P-892 Hermann 1949 cafeteria2 1500

Cafeteria kitchen with vegetable cookers.P-892 Hermann 1949 cafeteria3 vegetable cookers 1500Sheet pressers and folding machine in the hospital laundry.

P-892 Hermann 1949 laundry1 1500Hugh Roy Cullen, Mrs. Cullen, and friends:

P-892 Hermann 1949 opening3 1500* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The construction of Baylor’s Cullen Building, 1946-1947:

P-882-6 600dpi JPGP-882-5 600dpi JPGP-882-2 600dpi JPGP-882-4 600dpi JPGP-882-1 600dpi JPGP-882-3 600dpi JPGIC 91 box 2 Houston_20 Baylor

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Posted in Centennial

Centennial Photo Display: 1940’s, Part I

Alethea Drexler

archives assistant

MS002S03b01 Houston Press 1947 Better Life 600dpi crop letterhead JPGThe 1940’s were big years for the Texas Medical Center.  To begin with, there now was a Medical Center: The Texas Medical Center was planned in the early 1940’s by the trustees of the M.D. Anderson Foundation, to be located on land purchased from the city, next to Hermann Hospital and Hermann Park [IC002 Texas Medical Center].

The dedicatory celebration was held on February 28, 1946, at Houston’s luxurious Rice Hotel.

MS002S03b01 TMC dinner 1946 01 cover 600dpi JPGThose in attendance were served fresh fruit dressed with sherry, celery hearts and olives, squab on toast with butter sauce, rissole potatoes and baby lima beans, salad, rolls, and chocolate meringue glace.

Medical Center founding father Ernst Bertner, M.D., is on the left:

1946-TMC-dedication-dinner-cThe map in the dinner program showed the handful of buildings that were in existence or under construction alongside ambitious plans for future growth [MS002 Ernst Bertner, M.D., S.III b.1 f.1]:

MS002S03b01 TMC dinner 1946 map 03 merged 600dpi 2500 JPGThe buildings that are shown in black are Palmer Memorial Church and the James Autry House on the far right, Hermann Hospital in the middle, the Rice University gymnasium at top, and Baylor College of Medicine, which was under construction, at left (in the middle of the map).  The Autry house, rectory for the church, operated a cafeteria that served Medical Center employees and students during the 1940’s and 1950’s [“The Cornerstone”, Rice Historical Society, Vol. 13, No. 1 Winter 2008].

Baylor University College of Medicine relocated from Waco to Houston in 1943  and was housed in a former Sears warehouse until the Cullen Building was completed in 1947.  It separated from Baylor University in 1969.  The University of Texas Hospital for Cancer Research was founded 1941, now UT M.D. Anderson Cancer Center) had been established a few years earlier [IC002 Texas Medical Center].

MS002S03b01 UTMDACC 1944 01 JPGBy 1948, the dedicatory map was becoming reality.  This 1948 aerial shows the completed Baylor College of Medicine, Hermann Hospital’s new building and the Hermann Professional Building under construction, and the oval drive that would eventually encircle the Library building [IC002 Texas Medical Center]:

1948-TMC-Aerial library-lot_bates-bertnerArchitect Karl Kamrath’s concept for a Streamline building [MS071 S.4, F.6]:

1940-MS071-S4-F6-Kamrath-TMC-conceptCivil engineer Herbert A. Kipp was president of the River Oaks Corporation and was responsible for the layouts of the subdivisions in River Oaks, Glenwood Cemetery, Hermann Park, and the Texas Medical Center. The Corporation sent him on a research tour of other medical centers in the fall of 1944 in preparation for his work on the Medical Center. The colorful originals of some of his travel ephemera are held by the TMC Library’s McGovern Historical Collections. [IC002 Texas Medical Center, Series I, box 25].

An early admonishment to keep an eye on your luggage and keep your carry-ons to a minimum:

NYNHN railroad 2 300dpi-1500The Office of Defense Transportation oversaw railroads from 1941 through 1945 in an effort to ensure that transport was adequate both for civilians and for the war effort [The Presidency Project].

Missouri Pacific Railway envelope with a “V for Victory” theme.  :

Mo-Pac 1 300dpi-1500Hotel rates have changed a little in the past seventy years.

Atlanta, Georgia’s, Winecoff Hotel, featured at the bottom of the left-hand column, would be the site of the deadliest hotel fire in United States history in 1946 [Winecoff Hotel Documentary]:

Hotel Sir Walter Raleigh 1 300dpi-1500American Airlines ticket envelope.  The plane resembles a Douglas DC-3:

American Airlines 1 300dpi-1500A little more about Houston’s medical community during World War II:

Nursing as a profession had suffered a blow during the Great Depression, and many nurses became unemployed or had to scrape by on reduced hours and wages [“Nursing During the Great Depression“, Scrubs, August 27, 2012].  The Second World War created both renewed need and new opportunities for nurses.

Lois and Barbara Burnett, Hermann Hospital School of Nursing students, in 1940.

IC086 P-box02 F-1 Burnett 600dpi JPGInterns and nursing students at Hermann Hospital, 1943.  The girl at far right is wearing a one-piece playsuit, which probably had a skirt she could button over the shorts for street wear [Institutional Collection 086 Hermann Hospital Archives, P-box 02, folder 1].

IC086 P-box02 F-1 interns nursing students 1940s 600dpi JPGHermann’s pediatrics department, Christmas 1945:

IC086 P-box02 F-1 HH pediatrics christmas 1941i jpgLydia Moglia, Hermann Hospital School of Nursing class of 1932, in her Army Nurse Corps uniform (and epic victory rolls), signed “I haven’t lost the twinkle in my eye, October 1945″ [Institutional Collection 086 Hermann Hospital Archives, P-box 02, folder 1].

IC086 P-box02 F-1 Lydia Moglin HHSN1932 1945 600dpi JPGMoglia grew up on a ranch in Bruni, Texas, a tiny town near Laredo. She served in the Army Nurse Corps in Europe from 1942 to 1945, in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater in 1945 and 1946, and again during the Korean War from 1950 to 1954, in between working in hospitals in Houston, Laredo, and Corpus Christi [Ancestry.com; Findagrave.com].

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Posted in Centennial

Centennial Photo Display: 1930’s

Alethea Drexler
archives assistant

Pendleton & Arto, Inc. medical supplies, January 1930

Houston’s Medical Arts Building (1926-1980’s) housed physicians’ and dentists’ offices, and related businesses such as this medical supplier.

1930-01jan-1-detail“Vivian Maddox, medical records librarian, and hospital ‘sweetheart’.” (undated, circa 1938)
IC 086 Hermann Hospital archives P-box 2 folder 6

Hermann Hospital apparently kept a pair of pet burros in the yard behind the hospital. The screened porches on the back of the nurses’ dormitory are in the background.

IC086 P-box2 F6 Vivian Maddox med rec lib and burro 600dpi JPG

1936 Hermann Hospital School of Nursing graduating class
IC 086 Hermann Hospital archives

1936 HermannSchNursing 600dpi JPG

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

The following pictures are from a sizable collection of images of Memorial Hospital, from the 1930’s and early 1940’s.  Most of the information about them comes from notations included with the photographs.

Memorial Hospital from the air, circa 1928-1938
McGovern Historical Collections P-467

Memorial as it appeared through most of the 1930’s. The building had been expanded several times already in the 1910’s and 1920’s, and would be enlarged again in the early 1940’s. [1]

The large light-colored building in the upper left is the Phenix Dairy, established in 1914 and once a major distributor in the South. This area is near the Julia Ideson building of the Houston Public Library, but is otherwise all skyscrapers now.
[1] Memorial Healthcare System, Handbook of Texas online.

P-467 Memorial 1928-1938 600dpi JPG

Memorial Hospital from the air, circa 1940
McGovern Historical Collections P-466

Note how much the area has changed:

The big Victorian house in the lower left is gone, replaced by a Mission-style building and Carl McMillian’s Ford dealership. There is a new gas station across the street.

The Neoclassical building and Queen Anne house on the block to the left have been replaced by a modern office building, and there are two pharmacies, the L&L and the Continental, within a block of the hospital.

P-466 Memorial 1940 aerial 600dpi JPG

Christmas Eve at the Memorial Hospital children’s home, 1937
McGovern Historical Collections image P-487

The nurse at left, sitting on the gurney, was also an attendant in the baby respirator demonstration.

The “little white cottage” was the former nurses’ dormitory and was located behind the main hospital building, which is visible in the background.

1937-p-487 Memorial Hospital Christmas Eve 1937

1936 Oldsmobile ambulance, Memorial Hospital
IC 086 Hermann Hospital archives P-box 2 folder 8

Until the 1950’s, civilian ambulances were used primarily to transport patients, not to treat them en route, so car-type models similar to hearses (many cars served as both) were standard. The taller, van- or truck-based ambulance that could carry more equipment and allowed more room for emergency personnel to work replaced the sedan-delivery in the 1970’s. [2]
[2] EMT Resources.
[3] Fire History.

1936 IC086 Folder 8 Memorial Hospital Oldsmobile ambulance 600dpi edit JPG

Flash board, 1930’s
McGovern Historical Collections P-549

Memorial Hospital “staff flash board, for coming in and out”. Mr. and Mrs. Jolly’s indicators are at the upper left.

P-549 Memorial call board 600dpi JPG

Lillie Jolly and nursing supervisors, 1936
McGovern Historical Collections P-439

Lillian “Lillie” Wilson Jolly was a graduate of the Kentucky School of Medicine School of Nursing and arrived in Houston in the first decade of the twentieth century. She became Memorial Hospital’s—then Baptist Sanitarium—Superintendent of Nurses in 1912 and spent the next 35 years building the school of nursing into a first-class establishment. The school was renamed for her in 1945. [4]

Thelma Parry, seated at left, appears in both the baby respirator and children’s home pictures.
[4] Ted Francis and Carole McFarland, The Memorial Hospital System: The first seventy-five years, Larksdale, Houston, 1982. Page 63-64.

P-439 Lillie Jolly and nurses 1936 600dpi JPG

Nursing station, 1930’s

A hallway and small nursing station in Memorial Hospital’s maternity ward.

Nursing Station II 300dpi

Maternity ward nurses, 1930’s
McGovern Historical Collections P-520

A posed photograph but a nice one, complete with a newly-minted Houstonian.

1930s P-520 memorial Nurses 1930s 600dpi JPG

Maternity ward room, 1936
McGovern Historical Collections P-439

Newly-furnished, home-like, room in Memorial’s maternity ward.

P-451 Memorial maternity room 1936 600dpi JPG

Baby respirator, Memorial Hospital.
McGovern Historical Collections image P-546

“1932. This infant respirator has already saved the lives of a dozen newborn babies. It is the only machine of its kind in the South. Called the Iron Lung because it compels breathing, preventing babies from being asphyxiated. Another friend donated a large Iron Lung for children and adults after seeing this machine.”

This type of iron lung is called a Drinker respirator after one of its developers. Iron lungs work by alternating negative and positive pressure within their sealed body chambers—the negative pressure creates a vacuum around the patient that expands the chest cavity, compelling inhalation, and then a cycle of positive pressure compels exhalation. Negative-pressure ventilators of this type only came into use in the late 1920’s, so the acquisition of this in 1931 was quite a coup. At the time, it was one of only 36 in all of the United States and Canada. Hospital administrators publicized the new baby respirator to spur fundraising for an adult-sized one.

The donor, J.W. Neal, was a Maxwell House Coffee distributor, banker, and philanthropist. His papers are held by the Houston Metropolitan Research Center. [5]

[5] Ted Francis and Carole McFarland, The Memorial Hospital System: The first seventy-five years, Larksdale, Houston, 1982. Page 48.
[6] National Museum of American History online.

1932-P546-memorial-baby-respirator edit

Iron lung, Memorial Hospital, 1937
McGovern Historical Collections P-547

This is an Emerson (John Haven Emerson, 1906-1991) iron lung, an improvement on the Drinker design. It seems to have been Memorial’s second adult-sized iron lung; the first one was a Drinker model donated in 1931 shortly after the gift of the baby respirator. The slide-out bed and portals in the side that allowed nurses to attend to patients without removing them from the lung were Emerson innovations.

Iron lungs were expensive—this one would have cost around a thousand dollars, and the earlier Drinker model almost twice that—and still relatively rare in the 1930’s. Note that this one was also funded through public donations. [6]
[6] National Museum of American History online.

1937-P547-memorial-iron-lung-a 1937-P547-memorial-iron-lung-b

Hydrotherapy bath, 1937
McGovern Historical Collections P-243

Public donations also purchased this Hubbard tank. The tank’s shape, with its narrow “waist”, allowed attendants to work with the patient without removing him or her from the bath. The water in this was likely heated and agitators provided a gentle “massage”. This is probably being used to treat a joint disorder such as juvenile arthritis. [7]

The man at the far right appears to be Robert Jolly, superintendent of Memorial Hospital and husband of Lillie Jolly of nursing fame. [10]
[7] Free Dictionary online.
[8] Merriam-Webster online.
[9] WebMD.
[10] Ted Francis and Carole McFarland, The Memorial Hospital System: The first seventy-five years, Larksdale, Houston, 1982. Page 63-64.

P-243 Memorial hydrotheraphy bath 1937 600dpit JPG

“Fever cabinet”, 1930’s
McGovern Historical Collections P-548

This apparatus is a “fever cabinet”, used to raise a patient’s body temperature for therapeutic purposes. Induced fevers were used to treat several conditions, including some infections and forms of arthritis. A related picture shows this machine being used on a child, so it, along with the Hubbard tank, may have been part of an effort to treat a childhood joint ailment by increasing circulation.[11]
[11] Merriam-Webster online
[12] Wikipedia – Pyrotherapy

P-548 Memorial fever cabinet 1930s 600dpi JPG edit

Tissue Laboratory, 1930’s
McGovern Historical Collections P-550

Memorial’s tissue laboratory. The white appliance in the left foreground is a centrifuge and the cabinets to the left of the “tissue room” door may be incubators.

P-550 Memorial tissue lab 1930s 600dpi JPG edit

Radiology department, 1930’s
McGovern Historical Collections P-564a and P-564b

Memorial Hospital’s x-ray equipment.

P-564a Memorial radiology 1930s 600dpi JPG P-564b Memorial radiology 1930s 600dpi jpg

Radiology department, 1930’s
McGovern Historical Collections P-551b

Radiograph viewer in Memorial Hospital’s radiology department. The images in the upper row are of a kidney and ureters, apparently enhanced by an intravenously-administered iodine contrast medium, which would have been a new concept in the 1930’s. The lower row may be a barium series of the gastrointestinal tract. The use of barium sulfate contrast medium was introduced in 1904. [13]

Radiology was often referred to as “roentgenology” until the mid-twentieth century, for x-ray pioneer Wilhelm Röntgen.
[13] Norman Williams, Christopher Bulstroned, and P. Ronan O’Connell, eds., Bailey and Love’s Short Practice of Surgery, 26th ed., CRC Press, 2013, page 1274.
[14] British Society for the History of Radiology online.

P-551b Memorial x-ray viewing box 1930s 600dpi JPG

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Posted in Centennial, Images

Metadata Team in Japan

By Philip Montgomery
Head of the McGovern Historical Center

TMCL archivists and COO in Tokyo

Gakushuin University, Tokyo. January 28, 2015. After a full day of talking about metadata, we stumbled outside to a cold dark day. We were hungry, but jubilant after crawling over some hurdles about naming conventions and metadata schemes. Enough is enough. From left to right, Yo Hashimoto, Philip Montgomery, Sandra Yates, Izumi Hirano, Professor Irisawa, Dr. Kaori Maekawa, Owen Ellard.

In the last week of January, Owen Ellard, the Chief Operating Officer of the TMC Library, Sandra Yates, the archivist and special collections librarian, and I traveled to Gakushuin University in Tokyo as guests of the university as part of an ongoing project to digitize the papers of the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission. The trip was funded through a generous grant from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. Professor Masahito Ando is the principle investigator for the grant and served as our host.

In this photo, we had just emerged from a conference room where we spent most of the day discussing metadata and working out details for our digital pilot project. Sandra and I have been working with this team of Gakushuin archival graduate students for more than a year, which included several predawn Skype meetings. Working in person with this team was great fun. When this photo was taken I was a bit dazed and hungry enough to be verging on cranky. Then we headed off to an unforgettable night of great food and conversation.

Posted in ABCC, Japan, Travel

Centennial: Photo Display, Part II

Grand Central Railroad Station, circa 1900-1915 [1] – 431 Franklin Street (near I-45 and Washington Avenue). Built in 1887, replaced in the 1934 by the Art Deco station that is now incorporated into Minute Maid Park, and demolished in 1960[3].

Central DepotFor many years, Houston advertised itself as “The City Where 17 Railroads Meet the Sea” to emphasize that it was a modern, technologically progressive city, capable of handling the bounty of crops the state produced. The locomotive was included on the city seal when it was adopted in February, 1840. The city fathers were optimistic: Houston wouldn’t have an operational rail line until 1853. The Buffalo Bayou, Brazos, and Colorado Railroad was the first railroad in the state and only the second west of the Mississippi. It was also the earliest branch of today’s Southern Pacific[4].

Baptist Sanitarium, circa 1917: Resurrecting another blog post (October 1, 2010) brings us back to Baptist Sanitarium, before it became Memorial Hospital and then half of Memorial Hermann.  An anonymous nursing student[5] kept a photo album in the few years leading up to World War I.  The hospital in those days was on an unpaved street, and on a streetcar line.

Baptist 1917Young men and cars, circa 1917: The back of the album has pictures that seem to be of friends, family, and travel destinations, and finally of Fort Sam Houston during the War.  One of the informal pictures is of two young men and their cars.  The car on the left is an early 1910’s Ford[6]:

CarsThe second car presented something of a challenge.  The quality of the original photo isn’t great and a lot of the detail was blotted out by intense lighting, awkward photo exposure, and age.  The shape of the grille was extremely common in the early- to mid-1910’s and is of little help, but the high-set headlights, tall radiator cap ornament, and metal “apron” below the grille itself are unusual.

Car IIA lot of Googling and an email to a car club confirmed that it is a 1912 or 1913 Hupmobile[8]  Both the Ford and the Hupmobile[9] would have been inexpensive cars.

Houston Light Guards, circa 1900[10]: The Light Guards formed in 1873 as an early militia group.  Their original Romanesque armory was built at Texas Avenue and Fannin Street in 1893.  It was sold in 1925 and the Light Guard built a new Art Deco home on Caroline Street[11].  The second building[12] now houses the Buffalo Soldiers Museum[13].

Light GuardsHermann Estate office and staff, circa 1910-1920[14]: We think this was at the Stewart Building office (1906-1973) at Fannin and Preston. According to the Bayou City History blog (2012 June 5), it was the first reinforced concrete building in the city[15].
The clock above the rolltop desk advertises “G.A. Pfeiffle[?] Watch Inspector, S.S.&S. Ry, Greenville,Tex.” This would have been the Sherman, Shreveport, and Southern Railway, which had its offices in Greenville and was sold to the MKT in 1901[16].  Apparently the Estate staff frugally bought secondhand clocks.

Estate officeMcKinney between Main and Travis, circa 1920[17]: The church at left is the 1896 Romanesque home of the First Presbyterian Church. This building burned in 1932[18]. It was near the old Carnegie library at Main and Fannin[19].

McKinneyMain at Commerce, circa 1900[20]: The Chimene Furniture Company, visible in the distance, was located at 210 Main Street. The building that housed it was demolished and replaced in 1904 by a new office building[21]. Other businesses include a dry good shop advertising books, stationary, and clothing; a book exchange, and something called the Racket Store, which seems to have been a type of dry goods or general store.

Main at CommerceThere is very little left now[22]:

Main at Commerce 2014210 Main may be the building that replaced Chimene’s[23].

210 Main 2014 02The building across the street with the conical tower, though, is still there[24]:

210 Main 2014 03 conical towerSources consulted:

[1] McGovern Research Center Hermann History photo collection, folder 24.

[2] University of Houston Library digital image collection, Historic Houston Photographs.

[3] Chicago rail fan.com, Houston.

[4] Houston Business Journal, Betty T. Chapman, January 14, 2011, “Grand Central Station: The place where ’17 railroads meet the sea'”.

[5] McGovern Research Center, Institutional Collection 022, Baptist/Memorial, World War I nursing scrapbook.

[6] Hubcap Cafe.com, Ford.

[7] LaFierre Classic Cars, 1911 Hupmobile 20.

[8] Hupmobile Club.

[9] Wikipedia: Hupmobile.

[10] McGovern Research Center Hermann History photo collection, folder 24.

[11] Handbook of Texas Online: Houston Light Guards.

[12] OffCite.org, Jesse Hager, March 26, 2009, “A Building Worth Saving“.

[13] Buffalo Soldiers National Museum.

[14] McGovern Research Center Hermann History photo collection, folder 18.

[15] Bayou City History Blog, June 5, 2012, “Photos show the heyday and end of the Stewart Building“.

[16] Handbook of Texas Online: Sherman, Shreveport, and Southern Railway.

[17] McGovern Research Center Hermann History photo collection, folder 25.

[18] First Presbyterian Church, Houston, Our Story.

[19] Wikipedia: Houston Public Library.

[20] McGovern Research Center Hermann History photo collection, folder 24.

[21] Galveston Daily News, October 12, 1904, “Houston News” section.  Found on MyHeritage.com.

[22], [23], [24] Google Maps.

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Posted in Archives, Centennial, Exhibits, Images