by Alethea Drexler
I’m sure you’ve noticed that I like to link to other pages in my blog posts. Phil and I have come across some very interesting, and often very fun, websites–usually while trying in vain to uncover the identity of a Thingamajig–and he suggested that we do a post to share some of our favorites.
1. Close to home:
The Houston Academy of Medicine – Texas Medical Center Library: The library that we serve.
The John P. McGovern Historical Collections and Research Center: Our official name and online home.
The Medical Archives of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions: Baltimore, Maryland.
Rochester Medical Museum & Archives: Rochester, New York.
Historical Notes from OHSU: From the Oregon Health Sciences University Historical Collections and Archives.
Arkansas Country Doctor Museum: Lincoln, Arkansas.
The Bakken Museum: Minneapolis, Minnesota. This is actually a museum of electricity, but of course many of our devices are electric, and many attempt to use electricity for medical purposes.
The Electrotherapy Museum: Mr. Behary helped us identify our Fischer x-ray power source.
Indiana Medical History Museum: Indianapolis, Indiana.
International Museum of Surgical Science: Chicago, Illinois.
John P. McGovern Museum of Health & Medical Science: Right here in Houston.
Mobile Medical Museum: Mobile, Alabama.
Museum of Human Disease: University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
Museum of Nursing History: Springfield, Pennsylvania.
Museum of Questionable Medical Devices: Now part of the Science Museum of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
Mütter Medical Museum: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I was here a couple of years ago when I went to Philly for a family event. It’s nightmarish, but it’s also fascinating. The displays are largely medical specimens: Bones, preserved oddities and dissections, wax moulages.
National Museum of Civil War Medicine: Frederick, Maryland.
National Museum of Dentistry: Baltmore, Maryland.
National Museum of Funeral History: Just north of Houston in Spring, Texas. The NMFH has a display of a 1920’s embalming room, a Civil War era embalming tent, mourning memorabilia, exhibits on the funerals of several presidents (including an accurate replica of Lincoln’s casket), and an incredible collection of hearses.
National Museum of Health and Medicine: Washington, D.C.
Rose Melnick Medical Museum: Youngstown State University, Youngstown, Ohio.
Southern California Medical Museum: Riverside, California.
5. Other areas of interest
Blue Ridge Sanatorium: Charlottesville, Virginia, vicinity. Opened in 1920 and currently under consideration for redevelopment.
A graphic biography of Dr. J.R. Brinkley, notorious quack who made a fortune pushing the “goat-gland operation” in the 1930’s. The original Carter Family were regulars on the high-power radio station he ran out of Del Rio, Texas.
Essex Mountain Sanatorium: Formerly in Verona, New Jersey, but now demolished. This is a lurid site aimed at ghosthunting enthusiasts, but there are some good pictures, site maps, etc.
Some good pictures of an iron lung at the Kansas Historical Society, Topeka. The KHS also has some examples of medical quackery and more medical quackery, bloodletting tools, a belt vibrator (weight-loss quackery), a “Don’t Spit” brick, and a quarantine sign from the 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic.
Piedmont Sanatorium: Burkeville, Virginia, vicinity. This was the counterpart to Blue Ridge, for African-Americans.
Railway Surgery.org: A website dedicated to railroad hospitals. Houston’s Thomas Street Clinic, formerly the Sunset Hospital run by the Southern Pacific Railroad, is included.
Waverly Hills Sanatorium: Louisville, Kentucky. Another ghosthunting site, but it includes a history of the Sanatorium and some good pictures. It is also of interest that the building is being restored instead of demolished, as is usually the fate of old hospital buildings, which tend to be large and expensive to maintain, and quick to go out of date and need extensive and costly renovations as technology changes.