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Bernard Becker Oral History

  • OH061
  • Collection
  • 10/19/1990

Transcript of 3 interviews with Bernard Becker conducted in the fall of 1990. In the first interview Becker describes his early years and education. He discusses his undergraduate studies at Princeton University and his mentor there, H. S. Taylor; his graduate studies at Harvard Medical School during World War II and his military service as a psychiatrist; and his post-war residency training and research with Jonas Friedenwald at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins. In the second interview Becker describes the challenges of balancing clinical work, research, and administration as head of the Department of Ophthalmology at Washington University School of Medicine from 1953 to 1988. Becker discusses the expansion of the Department of Ophthalmology, his research in the causes and control of glaucoma, and his efforts to integrate the university’s affiliated hospitals. In the third interview, Becker describes the changes in academic medicine and research from the 1950s to the 1980s. He discusses some of the efforts leading to the establishment of the National Eye Institute in 1968, and his work to fund and construct a new medical library at Washington University. Following the 3rd interview is Dr. Becker's summary of his career. Interviewed by Marion Hunt on October 19, 1990; November 2, 1990, and unknown date [Fall 1990]. OH061. Approximate Length 30 leaves.

Becker, Bernard

Becker Rare Book Collection Donation and Dedication of Archives and Rare Books Photographs

  • VC140
  • Collection
  • 1975

This collection consists of 9 photographs depicting the donation of the Bernard Becker Collection in Ophthalmology & Optics to the Washington University School of Medicine Library and dedication of the new Archives and Rare Books Reading Room and facilites in the Library Annex Building, June 6th, 1975. Depicted subjects include Bernard Becker, MD, Janet Becker, Estelle Brodman, and Gertrude Annan.

Bernard Becker Reprints

  • FC101
  • Collection
  • 1948-1985

5 bound volumes of reprints. Articles on glaucoma and other ophthalmologic topics originally published in various scientific and medical journals.

Bernard Becker papers acquired by rare book librarian in Rare Book Accession 2008-001 and accessioned as Archives Accession 2010-004:
1) One bound volume of congratulatory letters given to Dr. Becker on the occasion of his 25th anniversary as chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, April 27th, 1979.

2) Two 5x7 inch silver gelatin photographs of the staff of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, the first dated circa 1954, the second dated circa 1979.
3) One pamphlet for the occasion of the 25th anniversary including a list of contributors toward an endowment fund in honor of Bernard Becker, April 27th, 1979.

Becker, Bernard

General Hospital 21 Photographs and Drawings

  • VC013
  • Collection
  • 1942-1945

This collection consists of 724 photographs, drawings, diagrams, posters, newspaper clippings, and sheet music, and other ephemera related to the 21st General Hospital. The photographs primarily depict staff and patients of the 21st General Hospital from when it was stationed overseas 1942-1945, as well as views of hospital buildings and grounds. Drawings and diagrams include plans for wiring and plumbing, architectural and ground plans, and some schematic drawings of hospital equipment. Other ephemera in the collection include hand-drawn posters advertising Officers' Club dances, newspaper clippings from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Pictures Section depicting operations at General Hospital 21, and cartoon watercolors depicting soldiers and Red Cross workers.

21st General Hospital

David Nafe Kerr Papers

  • FC100
  • Collection
  • 1942-1993

This small collection is primarily focused on Dr. Kerr's military service during WWII.

Kerr, David N.

Gordon H. Scott Papers

  • FC099
  • Collection
  • 1927-1930

This small collection of correspondence has been arranged into one series that is organized alphabetically. All of the correspondence in this collection is from 1927-1930, when Dr. Scott was an assistant to Dr. Cowdry at the Rockefeller Institute of Medical Research and Assistant Professor of Cytology at Washington University. Subjects include yellow fever studies with E.V. Cowdry, papers in publication, Dr. Dean, and the Rockefeller Institute.

Scott, Gordon H. (Gordon Hatler)

Joseph C. Edwards Papers

  • FC098
  • Collection
  • 1944-1992

Collection includes information regarding the Barnes Hospital-Joseph C. Edwards' Fund for the Care of Patients, including copies of Edwards' "The Art of Medicine, Part I: interpersonal relations between patient and doctor, and Part II: interpersonal relations between patient and hospital" (8 leaves) and "The Care of the Patient and the Art of Medicine, Part II: the cost of medical care" (23 leaves). Also included are materials relating to Dr. Edwards' service in World War II in General Hospital 21 and an undated curriculum vitae.

Edwards, Joseph C.

Gustav Baumgarten Lecture Card Facsimilies

  • VC157
  • Collection
  • 1853-1856

This collection consists of 24 facsimiles of course cards, order of lecture cards, and a matriculation card from Gustav Baumgarten's studies at St. Louis Medical College, and 1 membership card to the St. Louis Medical Society.

William M. McPheeters Diary

  • FC097
  • Collection
  • 1840-1856

William McPheeter's bound handrwitten diary. A diary recorded during residency at the Philadelphia Hospital at Blockley (the Philadelphia Alms House Hospital, later Philadelphia General Hospital). Entries concerning the Blockley service begin 25 May 1840, end 19 April 1841. Subsequent entries relate to McPheeters's move and early professional career in St. Louis, and are dated 1841-1856.

McPheeters, William M.

John C. Herweg Oral History (OH079)

  • OH079
  • Collection
  • March 2005

Candace O'Connor conducted the interview with John Herweg as part of her research in the history of the St. Louis Children’s Hospital for the hospital’s 125th anniversary publication. Approximate Length: 1 hour and 53 minutes.

O'Connor asked John Herweg to discuss his experiences at St. Louis Children's Hospital during the Alexis Hartmann era, 1936-early 1960s. As a medical student at Washington University in 1942-1945. he found the milieu at Children's Hospital was exciting, almost magical, because the medical and nursing staff were early adopters of each new antibiotic. Diagnosis was key in cures of children with meningitis and mastoiditis, who could be cured if caught in time. The pediatrician in-chief Alexis Hartmann Sr. and Jean Valjean cook provided guidance to the medical students in their sophomore, junior and senior years to save children’s lives.

Herwig reviews his experience as a student, intern, and resident of the Washington University School of Medicine in the early 1940s, and his memories of thrilling teachers such as Hartmann Sr. and Zebatine Hybias???? [Zentay?}. They knew medicine not only the laboratory aspects but clinical aspects. Hartmann brought patients and their mothers to the amphitheatre as well as the clinic where students saw clinical practice demonstrated. Herwig also rubbed shoulders with outstanding people who were research scientists besides the five research scientists, who were or were about to be Nobel Laureates including Carl and Gerty Cori, Joseph Erlanger, and Dr. Hershey in Bacterioiogy.

Hartmann insisted that Herweg stay for his internship and residency. Herwig was one of the bright medical students that Hartman recruited into pediatrics and nutured along. He helped them rise.

He mentions his first wife, Janet Scovill, who had finished her pediatric residency at Children’s (Which Children’s ) before him. [She died in 1958.} He also speaks of his present wife Dottie Glahn, who was head nurse of the infant ward at St. Louis Children’s Hospital from 1947-1959.

The interviewer asked him his recollections of Mrs. Langenberg, Gracie Jones and other women on women on the Board of Children’s hospital. He also briefly discussed interactions with Estelle Claiborne, the hospital administrator.

He recalls that World War II’s major effect on St. Louis Children’s Hospital was reduction of the number of house officers. The residents who were in charge of the hospital during the nighttime hours were consequently overworked.

The budget was very stringent at the end of the war. For example there were 2 glass syringes and they had to be autoclaved before use and they were in constant use. The staff cooled Patients were co by blowing a fan over a 50 pound cake of ice to make up for a lack of air conditioning.

Concerning the Butler Ward, the segregated ward for African-Americans, he admits the house officers might have integrated Children's Hospital earlier. He thought integration came about when Dave Golden called up Hartmann later and said he wanted to put an African patient on a ward by treatment needed rather than in the Butler ward. Hartmann agreed and Herwig thought that was the beginning of integration of St. Louis Chidlren's Hospital.

As to whether Hartmann sr. was prejudiced, Herweg didn't think so. He said Hartmann sr. had good relations with Helen and Homer Nash and later Alison Nash, Homer's daughter, at Homer G. Phillips Hospital. But he notes that Hartman wasn't an activist like Park White. He then recalls his impressions of Park White who he also admired.

Herweg, John C.

Walter C. G. Kirchner Reprints

  • FC096
  • Collection
  • 1898-1939

Forty short publications on fossil flora, bacteriology, surgery and medicine by Walter C.G. Kirchner and a few short publications by Arthur Hollick, Elizabeth Britten, and others. The subjects of the medical and surgical reprints include heart and spleen surgery and the treatment of fractured skull and spine, hernia, bowel obstruction, aneurisms, ascites, and wounds to the diaphragm, heart, chest, and abdomen. A table of contents and index for the publications are bound into the volume. A short letter from D.S. Brown of Brownhurst to Walter C. G. Kirchner, 1898, is bound after fossil plant reprints as item 1d. Of special interest is the annual report of the city hospital (1907-08) and Clinic at City Hospital (1906) where Kirchner was superintendent from 1907-1910. Also of interest is "The Bacterial Examination of River Water." (1905), based on work done when he was assistant bacteriologist in the Health department of St. Louis, 1899-1901.

Kirchner, Walter C. G.

John T. Hodgen Collection

  • FC095
  • Collection

This collection consists of reprints, a bibliography, and biographical information on John T. Hodgen. Also included in the collection are original letters by him, a correspondence file on the Hodgens by descendant Stuart Mudd, reports and exhibits of an ethics case in 1867, and material on the Hodgen lectures, 1922-1982.

Hodgen, John T. (John Thompson)

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