• Switching On Hearing

    It’s an iconic and powerful photo. The face of a young child, born deaf, hearing sounds for the first time. Jack Bradley, photojournalist from the Peoria Journal Star, captured the exact moment a doctor fitted five year old Harold Whittles with an earpiece and turned on the hearing aid. First printed in the February 1974… Continue Reading

  • On Sharing #histmed Images

    For those who follow me on Twitter or the FTHOQ Facebook page, you already know I share a lot of images on the history of medicine. I’ve come across many of these images while browsing through online archives collection data for my research on experiences of hearing and hearing loss in twentieth-century America. I’m particularly… Continue Reading

  • Acoustic Instruments

    I’ve pretty much been chained to my desk these days, struggling to write the most difficult chapter of my dissertation, which broadly focuses on the historiography of medical specialties and professionalization. The chapter also provides an analysis of how diagnostic instruments (and other medical technologies) served as a nexus for the crystallization of specialist medical… Continue Reading

  • The difference between an aurist and a surgeon?

    “…quacks, and aurists, get reputation for syringing the ear, when surgeons lose it; not because the quack has more knowledge of his profession, but because he takes more pains than the surgeon.” -Unknown, c.1828/1829. (Yes, I’m still holed up in the British Library reading 19th century treatises on aural surgery)

  • Dedications

    One of my favorite parts of experiencing a book–whether it’s a nineteenth century treatise, or a trashy beach novel–is reading the dedication page.  I always wonder how much time and effort the author puts into deciding who gets the honor of the dedication (and of course, thinking about who I will dedicate my dissertation to…) and am at times… Continue Reading