For our final #MuseumWeek post we're talking about why we LOVE medical history and why we hope that love is contagious! #loveMW
It's not uncommon for the Dittrick Medical History Center to be referred to a bit like a cabinet of curiosities, a niche museum, or perhaps more kindly, a "hidden treasure." Although we've always worked to make collections accessible and major public engagement efforts are underway, we still often have to make the case for the (sometimes not so) implicit question "Why should I care about medical history?"
The answer tends to go a little like this:
Medical history is the history...
Guest Post by Jessica Borge
If you worked in the North American birth control industry in the latter half of the twentieth century, you would have likely encountered Percy Skuy’s museum of contraceptive curiosities. Percy was a marketing man for the Canadian arm of Ortho Pharmaceutical, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson dealing in contraceptives and gynaecological care. Percy would go on to become president of the company. He began amassing contraceptive devices in 1965, and the collection soon attracted interest from far and wide. It was the time that family planning was gradually becoming an acceptable topic for open...
Blog by Diana Suciu, student at Case Western Reserve University
Essay winner, USNA 287Q Gothic Science, SAGES 2015
Instructor: Dr. Brandy Schillace
From the late 1800’s until the 1960’s, the distribution and acquisition of contraceptives was banned in many American States. It was a popular belief, upheld by the enactment of the Comstock Law, that contraception would lead to promiscuous behavior. Passed in 1873, the Comstock Law enforced a heavy ban on all paraphernalia or literature associated with the topics of pornography, erotica, and contraception (Sex in the City, 1840’s, Dittrick Museum). The law was named after Anthony Comstock, a man who...
Sex, contraception, and reproduction: if you think those are topics best avoided in a museum, think again! Next week, the Dittrick hosts its annual Percy Skuy Lecture on the History of Contraception, and this time, it's all about temperature. Hot under the collar? It might be your cycle! Leo J. Latz, a Chicago doctor, first championed the Rhythm Method (based on work by Ogino-Knaus) in the United States. In 1932 Latz published The Rhythm of Sterility and Fertility in Women, which sold over 200,000 copies by 1942; he contended that the “findings of modern science disclose a rational, natural,...