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Doctors In Pictures

February 2023
1min read

For anyone interested in pictorial history, the Bettmann Archive in New York City is known to be a small cellar brimful of priceless items which trace visually the progress of man. Its founder, Dr. Otto L. Bettmann, has spent the majority of his 52 years collecting pictures, and his medical files alone number over 10,000 old prints, woodcuts, and cartoons relating to every conceivable medical topic. From this treasure trove Otto Bettmann has culled 1,000 items and has recently presented them as A Pictorial History of Medicine, ranging from the medicine man of ancient times to the medicine man of 1900 when American medicine began its real growth. A “Therapy in Bloomers” section reveals American women doctors not only as a definite feature of the American scene but, like Dr. Reifsnyder ( left ), working as far afield as China, performing difficult tumor operations. The yellow fever epidemic that ravaged the Gulf states in 1878, where evaders of the quarantine were shot ( below ), hastened the sanitation reforms of Walter Reed twenty years later. Another forerunner was the Spirophore ( lower left ), a primitive iron lung used to restore newborn infants.


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