• The Catheter

    Valsalva’s De aure remained one of the standard treatises on the ear and the Valsalva maneuver gained popularity among physicians and surgeons for diagnosing sources of blockages in the ear. The maneuver, however, contained little therapeutic benefits for cases in which there weren’t blockages in the tube or associated parts of the ear; moreover, it… Continue Reading

  • A Patient Interaction

    An aurist’s assertion of authority could at times be intimidating for deaf patients. An anecdote by a Reverend J. Richard about his “deaf and nervous friend” best demonstrates this intimidation. The friend was too timid to oppose or contradict an opponent, and said “yes” to everything or “no” everything, answering questions as he “conjectured the… Continue Reading

  • On Deafness

    The problems of deafness are deeper and more complex, if not more important, than those of blindness. deafness is a much worse misfortune. For it means loss of language, sets thoughts astir, and keeps us in the intellectual company of man. Helen Keller, in a letter to J. Kerr Love, as told in The Deaf Child… Continue Reading

  • Monday Series: “In the Guise of a Friend” V

    Conclusions: A Debt to Alexander the Aggressor? The deaf community was never at ease with Bell’s eugenics attempts for normalization. When the ABA’s Committee on Eugenics drafted a bill limiting marriage between “undesirables,” the deaf fought back. At his presidential address to the National Association of the Deaf, George Veditz declared that “[i]t is evident… Continue Reading

  • Monday Series: “In the Guise of a Friend” IV

    Regulation not Legislation: Avoiding “14 Million Sterilized” Robert Bruce states that as “a student of heredity, Bell could not resist moving beyond statistics to experimentation.”[1] Sheep breeding and heredity experiments on white cats fuelled Bell’s wistful ambition to be an active, publishing and professional scientist. Word of Bell’s breeding experiments eventually reached Charles Benedict Davenport,… Continue Reading

  • The Sorrows of Deafness

    If, on being introduced to a new circle, you find yourself addressing a person apparently between the ages of eighteen and thirty, who makes small or no reply even to your most piquant remarks, do not immediately set down him or her as either proud, sulky, or irremediably stupid; but let the thought suggest itself… Continue Reading

  • Article Link: “The Analytical Spirit and the Paris Institution for the Deaf-Mutes, 1730-1860”

    As I’m researching for my dissertation, I’m finally digging through a giant pile recent articles from the past years on topics relevant to my dissertation. I thought I’d share some interesting ones with you. Christine Aicardi (University College London) published a piece, “The Analytical Spirit and the Paris Institution for the Deaf-Mutes, 1730-1860” in History… Continue Reading

  • The Regent’s Park: A Charity Fair for the Royal Dispensary

    This representation of a fête champétre and ladies’ bazaar was created by the London lithographer Maxim Gauci (1774-1854). Active from 1810 to 1846, Gauci was amongst the first popular lithographers, producing numerous botanical plates for various publications.[1] This particular print illustrates the lively atmosphere of one of the annual events held in support for the… Continue Reading