By: Walter Reed
Date: September 25, 1900
Source: Reed, Walter. Letter to Jefferson Randolph Kean, September 25, 1900. University of Virginia Library. Available online at http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/etcbin/fever-browseprint?id=0... ; website home page: http://etext.lib.virginia.edu (accessed March 14, 2003)
About the Author: Walter Reed (1851–1902) was born in Belroi, Virginia, and received two doctorates of medicine, the first from the University of Virginia in 1869 and the second from Bellevue Hospital Medical College in New York City in 1870. He preferred research to the routine of private practice. His books and articles on typhoid and yellow fever established his reputation and led the U.S. Army to appoint him head of a team of researchers in Cuba. There, Reed eventually isolated the mosquito Aedes aegypti as the carrier of yellow fever.
A flavivirus causes yellow fever. A flavivirus is a type of virus that infects both arthropods (insects) and vertebrates (mammals). Unlike a bacterium, which is a complete cell, capable of multiplying in a host, a virus is just a sequence of...
(The entire section is 1403 words.)
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1900 Rambler and 1900 Pierce-Arrow
By: The Bicycle Museum of America
Source: 1900 Rambler and 1900 Pierce-Arrow. The Bicycle Museum of America. Available online at ; website home page: http://www.bicyclemuseum.com (accessed March 14, 2003).
About the Organization: The Bicycle Museum of America opened on July 23, 1997, in New Bremen, Ohio. Among its collection are nineteenth-century antiques, balloon-tire classics from the 1940s, and the banana seat bikes of the 1960s. Its oldest bicycle is an 1816 German model and its most recent a 1998 Huffy touring bike, the last model manufactured in Ohio.
Between roughly 1890 and 1910, an interest in bicycling for health and recreation swept the United States. Physicians touted the cardiovascular benefits of cycling, and physicists explored its mechanics. The activity was so popular that Scientific American featured an issue on cycling in 1896. By then, the United States had more than 150 bicycle manufacturers who built a thousand models for men, women, and children. The bicycle for two had by then come into its own, though the first models featured cyclists beside one another rather than one behind the other. The side-by-side arrangement made...
(The entire section is 901 words.)
"How to Prevent Consumption (Tuberculosis) and Other Germ Diseases"
By: Gardner Association for the Prevention and Relief of Tuberculosis
Source: Gardner Association for the Prevention and Relief of Tuberculosis. "How to Prevent Consumption (Tuberculosis) and Other Germ Diseases." U.S. National Library of Medicine. Available online at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/exhibition/ephemera/images/tb17.gif; website home page: http://www.nlm.nih.gov (accessed March 14, 2003).
About the Organization: The Gardner Association for the Prevention and Relief of Tuberculosis was organized in 1884 as a nonprofit organization in Rhode Island for the eradication of tuberculosis. Its leaflets offered commonsense advice in helping people avoid contracting tuberculosis and other infectious diseases.
The bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis causes tuberculosis, a disease that was also called "consumption" because it consumed or wasted away its victims. When airborne, the bacterium infects the lungs in humans. Humans may also contract tuberculosis by eating meat or drinking milk infected by the bacterium. In 1908, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a report in its Yearbook of...
(The entire section is 899 words.)
"Preliminary Report of the Committee on Organization"
By: Joseph N. McCormack, P. Maxwell Foshay; George H. Simmons
Date: May 25, 1901
Source: McCormack, Joseph N., P. Maxwell Foshay, and George H. Simmons. "Preliminary Report of the Committee on Organization." Journal of the American Medical Association, May 25, 1901, 1435–1451.
About the Authors: Joseph N. McCormack (1847–1922) was born in Kentucky and graduated from the Miami University at Cincinnati with a doctorate in medicine in 1870. From 1883 to 1913, he served as secretary of Kentucky's state medical board. He chaired the committee on organization of the American Medical Association (AMA) from 1899 to 1913.
P. Maxwell Foshay held a doctorate in medicine and served as the editor of the Cleveland Journal of Medicine.
George H. Simmons (1852–1937) was born in England and attended Hahnemann Medical College, Chicago, where he received his doctorate in medicine in 1882. He then returned to Lincoln, Nebraska, to practice medicine until 1899. He was editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association from 1899 to 1924.
American physicians were very factionalized in the mid-nineteenth century. Organizing efforts had failed, and...
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By: Upton Sinclair
Source: Sinclair, Upton. The Jungle. New York: Doubleday, Page, 1906. Reprinted in New York: Penguin, 1990, 39–44. Available online at http://www.roggeman.com/jungle (accessed March 15, 2003).
About the Author: Upton Sinclair (1878–1968) was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and studied at the City College of New York and Columbia University. While at Columbia, he wrote six novels. Of these, The Jungle (1906) won him celebrity. Not content as a novelist, he unsuccessfully ran four times for political office in California. His closest bid came in 1934 when he narrowly lost the gubernatorial race.
Like the rest of the U.S. economy, the meatpacking industry grew rapidly during the nineteenth century. Its success stemmed from the expansion of hog raising from western Ohio through Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, and Iowa. In the west and south lay the grasslands on which cattle fed. The cattle range spread from Texas in the south to the Dakotas and Montana in the north.
Chicago, sitting astride the hog and cattle empires and blessed with a network of railroads running both east and west, emerged as the center of the...
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FDA-Federal Meat Inspection Act
By: James Wilson
Source: Wilson, James. FDA-Federal Meat Inspection Act. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Available online at ; website home page: http://www.fda.gov (accessed March 15, 2003).
About the Author: James Wilson (1835–1920), born in Scotland, immigrated to the United States in 1852. He served two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1897, President William McKinley (served 1897–1901) appointed Wilson secretary of agriculture, a position he held until 1913, making him the longest-serving agriculture secretary in U.S. history. In addition to authoring the Meat Inspection Act in 1906, Wilson convinced Congress to add the Bureaus of Chemistry, Plant Industry, and Soils to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The U.S. meatpacking industry that arose during the nineteenth century centered in Chicago, which sat astride the hog-raising lands of the Midwest and the cattle ranges south and west of hog territory. The industry fed Americans and people overseas. To meet the demand for beef and pork, meatpackers had to process thousands of carcasses a day.
The speed of this process encouraged sloppiness and unsanitary practices....
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Pure Food and Drug Act
By: Harvey W. Wiley
Source: Wiley, Harvey W. Pure Food and Drug Act. Matrix. Available online at http://coursesa.matrix.msu.edu/~hst203/documents/pure.html; website home page: http://coursesa.matrix.msu.edu (accessed March 15, 2003).
About the Author: Harvey W. Wiley (1844–1930) received his doctorate in chemistry from Harvard University in 1873. He was a professor of chemistry at Purdue University between 1874 and 1883 and chief of the Bureau of Chemistry in the U.S. Department of Agriculture between 1883 and 1912. He was also the author of the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906.
The safety and wholesomeness of food and drugs suffered a crisis of confidence at the beginning of the twentieth century. Two movements exposed contaminated and impure foods and ineffective and dangerous drugs.
The first movement was in 1900, when Theodore Roosevelt testified before Congress that he and his troops became ill eating the canned meat the U.S. Army served as rations during the Spanish-American War (1898). Following this congressional investigation, newspapers began to...
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"An Epidemic of Acute Pellagra"
By: George H. Searcy
Date: July 6, 1907
Source: Searcy, George H. "An Epidemic of Acute Pellagra." Journal of the American Medical Association, July 6, 1907, 37–38.
About the Author: George H. Searcy (1871–1947) received his doctorate in medicine from the University of Pittsburgh in 1895. His interest in the diseases of poverty led him to study patients at the Mount Vernon Insane Hospital, an asylum for blacks in Alabama, where he attributed the incidence of pellagra to a microbe in corn. Although this idea was wrong, it focused attention on corn, a culprit in the disease.
IntroductionU.S. scientists discovered the first vitamin in 1914, with others to follow. By 1940, nutritionists had come to understand that humans needed a minimum intake of calories, protein, vitamins, and minerals for good health. The next year, the National Academy of Sciences and the
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Letter to Commissioner of Indian Affairs Francis E. Leupp
By: Susan La Flesche Picotte
Date: November 15, 1907
Source: Picotte, Susan La Flesche. Letter to Commissioner of Indian Affairs Francis E. Leupp, November 15, 1907. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Available online at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/exhibition/if_you_knew/images.dir/le... , http://www.nlm.nih.gov/exhibition/if_you_knew/images.dir/le... ; website home page: http://www.nlm.nih.gov (accessed March 15, 2003).
About the Author: Susan La Flesche Picotte (1865–1915), graduating first in her class, received her doctorate in medicine from the Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1889. The first American Indian woman physician, Picotte treated American Indians on the Omaha Reservation in Nebraska from 1889 to 1893, when her own health began to deteriorate. She also worked to raise awareness in the Bureau of Indian Affairs of the American Indians' medical needs.
American Indians crossed from Siberia to North America some thirteen thousand years ago, at the end of the last Ice Age. Thereafter cut off from the...
(The entire section is 1548 words.)
"The Conduct of a Plague Campaign"
By: Rupert Blue
Date: February 1, 1908
Source: Blue, Rupert. "The Conduct of a Plague Campaign." Journal of the American Medical Association, February 1, 1908, 327–329.
About the Author: Rupert Blue (1868–1948) was born in Richmond County, North Carolina, and received his doctorate in medicine from the University of Maryland in 1892. The following year, he joined the Marine Hospital Service as an assistant surgeon. He worked with health officials throughout the United States in combating plague and yellow fever. Between 1912 and 1920, he was the U.S. surgeon general.
The bacterium Yersinia pestis causes plague. The bacterium lives in the gut of the flea Xenopsylla cheopis, which transmits the bacterium to mammals by biting them, much as female mosquitoes transmit malaria, yellow fever, and the West Nile Virus by biting humans. Plague is usually a disease of small mammals like rodents. Infected fleas can transmit plague to humans, though both the spread of the disease and its lethality vary with outbreaks of plague.
Plague exists in three forms. The first is bubonic plague, whose symptoms include fever and swollen lymph nodes, which humans have since antiquity...
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"Soil Pollution: The Chain Gang As a Possible Disseminator of Intestinal Parasites and Infections"
By: Charles Wardell Stiles
Date: May 23, 1913
Source: Stiles, Charles Wardell. "Soil Pollution: The Chain Gang As a Possible Disseminator of Intestinal Parasites and Infections." Public Health Reports, 28, no. 21, May 23, 1913, 985–986.
About the Author: Charles Wardell Stiles (1867–1941) was famous for his work to cure hookworm. He taught at the Johns Hopkins Medical School for forty years, as well as at Georgetown University, and was the U.S. assistant surgeon general from 1910 to 1930. He investigated many animal diseases, such as trichinosis and parasitic worms. He served for nearly forty years on the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature. He coauthored the Index-Catalog of Medical and Veterinary Zoology, which was published between 1902 and 1920.
The prison system began much later than the arrival of Europeans in the New World. The early colonists very often used public punishments, such as forcing people to stand in the stocks. These were wooden structures that were locked around the hands and head of a prisoner who would then stand in them for hours or days. Other early punishments included whipping and being forced to wear letters, including the infamous scarlet letter, meaning...
(The entire section is 1736 words.)
"Early History, in Part Esoteric, of the Hookworm (Uncinariasis) Campaign in Our Southern United States"
By: Charles Wardell Stiles
Date: August 1939
Source: Stiles, Charles Wardell. "Early History, in Part Esoteric, of the Hookworm (Uncinariasis) Campaign in Our Southern United States." The Journal of Parasitology, 25, no. 4, August 1939, 283, 296–308.
About the Author: Charles Wardell Stiles (1867–1941) was famous for his work to cure hookworm. Educated at the University of Leipzig, among other institutions, he worked at the Bureau of Animal Industry before he taught at Johns Hopkins Medical School and Georgetown University. He investigated many animal diseases, such as trichinosis and parasitic worms; and worker's health issues, such as mine sanitation and the health of cotton mill workers. He spearheaded new rules in zoological classifications and helped to form the Rockefeller Sanitary Commission.
Hookworm was less studied and less noticed than the epidemic diseases that spread across the American South in the nineteenth century. One reason for this is that hookworm, unlike cholera or malaria, rarely killed directly, and especially not in large numbers. Some did die from the lasting effects of hookworm, but this was not directly due to the hookworm. Rather, it was because the hookworm-ravaged...
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Abraham Flexner: An Autobiography
By: Abraham Flexner
Source: Flexner, Abraham. Abraham Flexner: An Autobiography. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1960, 70–71, 74–78, 80–81.
About the Author: Abraham Flexner (1866–1959) was a Louisville native who graduated at nineteen with a bachelor's degree from Johns Hopkins University. After founding his own prepatory school and spending time in Europe, he wrote a study of American medical schools, which changed medical education forever. He eventually became the assistant secretary of the General Education Board and then founded the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University in 1930. He served as director of that school until 1939.
The United States, being a colony of Great Britain, not surprisingly based its early medical education on British policies. However, there were few hospitals and colleges, so the British model could not be fully followed. In Britain, a mix of college education and apprenticeships were used, but in the colonies most future doctors were trained through apprenticeships of up to three years. The apprentice paid a fee and helped the doctor, and the doctor gave him training, room, board, and books to read. Medical schools were started in the late...
(The entire section is 4218 words.)