Medical History Collections

Claire Enkosky - July 9th, 2013

New York Heritage has a plethora of fascinating medical history collections to satisfy your every curiosity.

Many New York hospitals, like the Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton, were and still are run by the Catholic church and staffed with nuns.

Youngsters today have probably never seen a nurse's cap (outside of Halloween), and might be even more confused by the large white cornettes that nuns wear, as seen in this 1934 photo:

Many of the hospitals in New York are teaching hospitals, like SUNY Upstate in Syracuse. Incidentally, the Hospital of the Good Shepard, a religious hospital founded in 1872, became part of the current University hospital of SUNY Upstate.

One of the sub-collections of the SUNY Upstate Medical University collection is about Fairfield Medical College, which operated from 1812 to 1841. The collection includes a great little memoir by Dr. Mather, who talked about the establishment of the Fairfield Academy and how it happened to be related to the founding of Hamilton College in Clinton, NY.

Some of the most interesting images from these hospital collections are the equipment and procedure shots, like this X-Ray from the SUNY Upstate collection:

Then after they take the x-rays, the doctor might record his notes in a dictaphone!

Afraid of hospitals?

Dr. R. V. Pierce of Buffalo knew how to cure what ailed you. He might have recommended this 1914 diuretic or, if you were really, really sick, maybe his Golden Medical Discovery would do the trick (and "tone the system")

Check out the full list of medical history collections on New York Heritage:
Crouse Hospital
Highland Hospital
Lourdes Hospital - Daughters of Charity
Rochester Medical Museum & Archives
SUNY Upstate
University of Rochester Medical Center, Eastman Institute for Oral Health