It came from the stacks
Sometimes you just come across a book that calls out to be profiled in our semi-regular “It came from the stacks” posts. This book does just that.
The Toothbrush: its Use and Abuse, a Treatise on Preventive Dentistry and Periodontia as Related to Dental Hygiene by Isador Hirchfeld, D.D.S., F.A.A.P. is a comprehensive tome on the history of the toothbrush and oral hygiene from ancient times to the books publication in 1939, the role of the toothbrush in treatment of oral condition, oral conditions that the toothbrush cannot cure, tooth brushing methods, and even the qualifications of a satisfactory toothbrush. Indeed, this book uses every one of it’s 591 pages to impart valuable knowledge to the reader about the lowly toothbrush.
Readers of The Toothbrush: its Use and Abuse will find chapters with such riveting titles as:
- “The Toothbrush in the Treatment of Suppurative Periodontoclasia (Pyorrhea)”
- “Traumatization of the Soft Tissues by the Toothbrush” (so jam packed it takes two chapters to cover)
- “Abnormalities of the Tooth Surface Induced by the Toothbrush and Various Other Agencies”
- “Tooth Brushing Methods in Common Use”
- “Care of the Toothbrush”
- and… “Cleansing of the Tongue”
On a more serious note, this book really is fascinating but perhaps not as the author intended at the time of publication. There are a large number of pictures illustrating the author’s assertions and descriptions of oral hygiene techniques and materials that we would shudder to think of in the present day.
The Toothbrush: its Use and Abuse is available for check out in the dental library.
The Medical Secretary's Manual, 1966
Dig that cover.
Before dictation machines, tape recorders or speech recognition software, there was shorthand, an abbreviated writing method that increases speed of writing. When The Medical Secretary’s Manual burst onto the scene in 1966, it differed from other medical shorthand books by offering clinically oriented material to accompany the dashes and swoops that encompass stenography. A 1967 JAMA review observed:
Each section is devoted to a particular system or organ of the body. Before confronting the reader with definitions and shorthand symbols for each specific term or phrase, Miss Eshom provides a simplified description of the system under discussion and frequently includes helpful schematic drawings. This background information distinguishes her book from the usual text of medical shorthand.
For avid note-takers with an aversion to technology medical shorthand can still be useful, and indeed, those in need of a simplified overview of anatomy and medical terminology may find the clinical information interesting as well. I suppose that is why this book is still up in the library stacks, keeping the Sixities alive.
The retired professor of surgery, Bert Myers, published a book about x-ray photography. A mere 18 years after the x-ray was discovered by Roentgen, the French scientist Goby took an x-ray of a leaf in 1913 and soon to follow were others that took an interest in the unique and creative art form. Most recently, Myers has been adding color to some of his x-rayed images through Photoshop.
The book mentions four image manipulations: positive, negative, solarized, and line derivation. Below is a positive black & white image of a blue crab.
For more details and an up close look at more photos, the book is available through his website or borrow the library’s copy.
If you aren’t familiar with locating books in our library don’t fret, take a look at our How to find a book tutorial on the library’s homepage (updates coming soon!).
LSUHSC Libraries owns a few books on the medical implications of space flight. All are cataloged under the subjects Space Flight or Aerospace Medicine. All the books in our collection are between 50 and 20 years old, as this isn’t a popular area for monographs.
My personal favorite:
America’s astronauts and their indestructible spirit by Fred Kelly with a foreward by Buzz Aldrin. Published 1986, the author was a former NASA physician and a 1951 alum of the LSU Medical School.
If you’re like me and a fan of the TV show Bones, you might enjoy these two new additions to the library:
The Bone Lady : Life As A Forensic Anthropologist.
Trail Of Bones : More Cases From The Files Of A Forensic Anthropologist.
As director of the Forensic Anthropology and Computer Enhancement Services (FACES) Laboratory at Louisiana State University, Mary H. Manhein unravels mysteries of life and death every day. A fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and an expert on the human skeleton, Manhein assists law enforcement officials across the country in identifying bodies and solving criminal cases. Manhein reveals the everyday realities of forensic anthropology. Going beyond the stereotypes portrayed on television, this real-life crime scene investigator unveils a gritty, exhausting, exacting, alternately rewarding and frustrating world where teamwork supersedes individual heroics and some cases unfortunately remain unsolved. A natural storyteller, Manhein provides gripping accounts of dozens of cases from her twenty-four-year career. Some of them are famous, others less well-known but equally compelling. Possessing both compassion and tenacity, Mary Manhein has an extraordinary gift for telling a life story through bones. Trail of Bones takes readers on an entertaining and educating walk in the shoes of this remarkable scientist who has dedicated her life to providing justice for those no longer able to speak for themselves.
Both books are located at the Dental Library and can be checked out.
Can pain relief be attributed to the use of static magnets? Is T’ai Chi an effective intervention for rehabilitating stroke victims? Can biofeedback (a therapy that uses specialized devices to help individuals learn how to influence the function of organs or body systems that arenâ€™t usually thought to be under conscious control) control urinary incontinence?
Complementary Therapies in Rehabilitation: Holistic Approaches for Prevention and Wellness, edited by Carol M. Davis (EdD PT), attempts to addresses these questions and more. Rest assured, this is not some crunchy book on new age medicine. All chapters are written by licensed rehabilitation professionals, 12 of which hold PhDs in areas such as physical therapy, pathokinesiology, biochemistry, and neurophysiology, and backed up with references as well as a healthy dose of skepticism.
22 chapters are divided into 5 sections, beginning with an introductory manifesto on “energy techniques as a way of returning healing to healthcare.” Section two delves into the science that supports complementary therapies, such as quantum physics and psychoneuroimmulology. The final sections (body work, mind/body work and energy work, respectively) cover various approaches to rehabilitation, including Tai Chi, Myofascial Therapy, Yoga, and Rolfing.
In addition to very useful chapters and images on the use of T’ai Chi and Qi Gong in rehabilitation, what I like about this book is that the authors of the chapters offer a degree of skepticism when it comes to their subject, and hold no punches if the available research evidence is not up to snuff. As Neil Spielholz, author of the chapter “Magnets: what is the evidence of efficacy?” puts it, “Do not complain that you cannot get your work into the peer-reviewed literature when the reason is that the ‘research’ does not qualify as being credible.” References are provided at the end of each chapter, another trove of information for specific holistic approaches.
Overall, Complementary Therapies in Rehabilitation: Holistic Approaches for Prevention and Wellness is well-written and easy to read, either all at once or for a a specific technique. As written in the dedication, the book is for “all those people who are willing to hold an open mind and a positive attitude about the findings of ‘new science’…[and to] those helping to move science forward for the good of improved patient care.” For those interested in complementary approaches to patient care, and the theories behind it, this book is an excellent starting point.
Complementary Therapies in Rehabilitation: Holistic Approaches for Prevention and Wellness (3rd Edition: 2009)
Carol M. Davis, Editor
WB 320 D29c 2009
AVAILABLE FOR CHECK OUT — NEW BOOK SHELF — 3RD FLOOR OF LIBRARY
Welcome to the first installation of an occasional series called IT CAME FROM THE STACKS: an exploration of the hidden gems in our collection
The Knife Man: Blood, body snatching, and the birth of modern surgery by Wendy Moore (2005)
Available on 4th floor Library Stacks: WZ 100 M78k 2005
This book is about John Hunter, an orphaned Scottish boy who grew up to become 18th century London’s premier maverick surgeon, “as reknowned and respected in Georgian England as he was feared and reviled.” The Knife Man explores this larger than life figure, a master surgeon and anatomist who is not only considered the father of modern surgery, but also an inspiration for literary works from Dr. Doolittle to Frankenstein.
Interesting things I learned from this book:
John Hunter at one point orchestrated a heist of the corpse of the “Irish Giant“, at the time the world’s tallest man, regardless of the Giant’s explicit orders to the contrary. Hunter was so afraid of getting caught that in preparing the specimen, “he hurriedly chopped the Goliath into pieces, threw the chunks into his immense copper vat, and boiled the lot down into a jumble of gigantic bones. After skimming the fat out of the cauldron, Hunter deftly re-assembled the pile of bones to create [his] awesome skeleton.”
In his exploration of sexually transmitted diseases, John Hunter performed a series of experiments on an ‘anonymous subject’ that included inoculating the unnamed man with gonorrhea and recording the effects of various treatments. It is widely postulated the subject of this experiment was Hunter himself. His work Treatise on the Venereal Disease, which stemmed from this research, is available free online.
Though Hunter was a renowned & beloved medical teacher, counting Edward Jenner, who developed the smallpox vaccine, and Dr. Philip Syng Physick, American surgeon, among his many students who carried on Hunter’s zeal for medical education. Hunter’s brother-in-law Edward Home would not hold him in such high regard. After his death, Home stole and burnt many of Hunter’s copious notes, but not before plargiarizing several of Hunter’s unpublished experiments as his own.
Hunter was an avid collector of exotic animals as well as an anatomist skilled in making medical preparations of human bodies. His collection was so large that he built a museum in his Leicester Square home to house the over 13,700 preparations. Hunter’s home was the inspiration for the house in R.L. Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. After Hunter died of heart failure during a meeting with his rivals at St. George’s Hospital in 1793, the collection languished until 1799, when it was bequeathed to the Royal College of Surgeons.
Bottom line: The Knife Man offers a lively, educational and sometimes tragic glimpse into the rise of modern surgery, as told through the life of one of surgery’s greatest masters.