At just thirty-one pages and housed in an inconspicuous wrapper, Benjamin Waterhouse’s The Rise, Progress, and Present State of Medicine. A Discourse, Delivered at Concord, July 6th, 1791, Before the Middlesex Medical Association (1792) is a small volume that could easily be overlooked.
One of the significant and interesting items in our collection is a first edition of the first systematic book of surgery written by an American: John Syng Dorsey’s Elements of Surgery; for the use of students (1813).
Born in Crawfordsville, Indiana in 1869, Dr. Sarah Rebecca Parrish would go on to make noteworthy, international contributions to medicine. After several years working at North Indiana Hospital for the Insane in Logansport, she was appointed by the Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church to serve in Manila, Philippines.
We were excited to discover the signature of George McClellan (1796-1847) in our copy of the first American edition of Robert Willan’s On Cutaneous Diseases(1809). Willan is considered the founder of modern dermatology and the first edition of this book was of great importance; it was one of two dermatological books to first contain color plates and also the first to use the word lupus referring to cutaneous tuberculosis.
John Jones was born in Long Island, NY in 1729. After serving an apprenticeship in the colonies, he went to Europe to further his medical education. In England he learned from William Cheselden, William Hunter and Percivall Pott. He studied medicine at the University of Reims, and received his M.D. in 1751. He returned to New York City and was the first person to perform lithotomy in the colonies.
Within the book, multitudes of pedigree charts of American families who suffer various human diseases or have certain social or physical conditions were presented to validate the eugenic view of the hereditary nature of human diseases and conditions. Because of how influential and well-connected Davenport was during the height of the American eugenics movement, this book was used to disseminate information and knowledge about eugenics to the public and it became the standard textbook of the study of eugenics in US colleges and medical schools for several years.
Officially recognized as the eleventh volume in the series The Medical Department in the World War, this technical manual simply titled Surgery, is more than just a historical account of surgery in the Great War. Within its pages can be found all the uncertainty, destruction, improvisation, heroism, innovation, and determination that frontline medical personal faced in one of the greatest conflicts the world has ever seen.
Tokology: A Book for Every Woman, first published in 1883, was one of the first comprehensive books regarding women’s health. Written by Alice B. Stockham, an early female physician in the United States, the book and the author herself played equally interesting and important roles in many movements of the 1900s relating to women’s health, rights, and sexual expression.