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Alexander, Hattie Elizabeth (05 April 1901–24 June 1968), microbiologist and pediatrician, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the daughter of William Bain Alexander, a merchant, and Elsie May Townsend, both of Scottish ancestry. The family remained in Baltimore throughout Alexander’s relatively happy and comfortable childhood. She attended Baltimore’s Western High School for Girls prior to enrolling in Goucher College, to which she won a partial scholarship. While at Goucher, her enthusiasm for a variety of sports—hockey, baseball, basketball—exceeded that for academics, and she was an unimpressive student. Nevertheless, she exhibited marked, though largely unapplied, skill in Dr. Jessie King’s bacteriology class, and fellow students in the Goucher yearbook declared that “ambition fires her; hygiene claims her; kindness portrays her.”...

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Angell, James Rowland (08 May 1869–04 March 1949), academic psychologist and fourteenth president of Yale University, was born in Burlington, Vermont, the son of James Burrill Angell, president of the University of Vermont and later the president of the University of Michigan, and Sarah Swope Caswell, daughter of ...

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Franklin Bache. Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine (B01320).

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Bache, Franklin (25 October 1792–19 March 1864), physician, chemist, and author, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Benjamin Franklin Bache, a noted anti-Federalist journalist, and Margaret Hartman Markoe Bache. Franklin Bache’s grandmother, Sarah Franklin Bache, was Benjamin Franklin’s daughter. He received a classical education in the academy of the Reverend Samuel D. Wylie and was awarded both his A.B. in 1810 and his M.D. in 1814 by the University of Pennsylvania. He studied medicine privately with ...

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Bailey, Pearce (22 July 1902–23 June 1976), neurologist and federal health science administrator, was born in New York City, the son of Pearce Bailey, a prominent neurologist, and Edith L. Black. Bailey’s choice of a career was doubtless influenced by the fact that his physician father was president of the American Neurological Association in 1913 and was a cofounder of the Neurological Institute at Columbia University in New York City. After graduation from Princeton University with an A.B. in 1924, Bailey pursued postgraduate studies at Columbia University, from which he received an M.A. in psychology in 1931. He then studied at the Université de Paris, where he earned a Ph.D. in psychology in 1933; took an honors course in chemistry at the University of London in 1934; and earned an M.D. at the Medical College of South Carolina at Charleston in 1941....

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Baldwin, William (29 March 1779–31 Aug. or 1 Sept. 1819), botanist and physician, was born in Newlin, Chester County, Pennsylvania, the son of Thomas Baldwin, a minister of the Society of Friends, and Elizabeth Garretson. He attended the local schools in Chester County. Baldwin’s interest in botany and medicine may have developed from his association with serious amateur botanists Dr. Moses Marshall and ...

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Bancroft, Edward (09 January 1744–08 September 1821), physician, scientist, and spy, was born in Westfield, Massachusetts, the son of Edward Bancroft and Mary Ely, farmers. The elder Bancroft died in 1746 of an epileptic attack suffered in a pigpen, two months before the birth of his younger son, Daniel. His widow married David Bull of Westfield in 1751, and the family moved to Hartford, Connecticut, where Bull operated the Bunch of Grapes tavern. Edward Bancroft was taught for a time by the recent Yale graduate ...

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Barker, Jeremiah (31 March 1752–04 October 1835), physician, was born in Scituate, Massachusetts, the son of Samuel Barker and Patience Howland, farmers. Barker’s early education under the Reverend Mr. Cutter, a Congregational minister, was followed by his study of medicine under Bela Lincoln of Hingham, Massachusetts, from 1769 to 1771. A graduate of Harvard College who had studied medicine under Ezekiel Hersey and in London hospitals and who had received an M.D. from Kings College, Aberdeen, Lincoln had had an unusually academic medical education for the period, a fact that would have a positive influence on Barker’s own medical training....

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Benjamin Smith Barton. Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine (B02422).

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Barton, Benjamin Smith (10 February 1766–19 December 1815), physician and botanist, was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the son of Thomas Barton, an Episcopalian minister, and Esther Rittenhouse, the sister of the prominent American astronomer David Rittenhouse. Barton’s parents died before he was fifteen. At the age of eighteen he began medical studies in Philadelphia with ...

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Mary E. Bass. Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine (B02453).

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Bass, Mary Elizabeth (05 April 1876–26 January 1956), physician, medical educator, and historian, was born in Carley, Mississippi, the daughter of Isaac Esau Bass and Mary Eliza Wilkes. She grew up in Marion County, where her father operated a gristmill and dry goods store. The 1890s economic depression bankrupted Isaac Bass, and the family moved to Lumberton, Mississippi, to invest in pecan orchards. The Basses were pious Baptists and active in civic concerns....

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Beach, Frank Ambrose, Jr. (13 April 1911–15 June 1988), psychologist and educator, was born in Emporia, Kansas, the son of Frank Ambrose Beach, professor of music, and Bertha Robinson. He received a B.S. in education in 1932 from the Kansas State Teachers College in Emporia, where his father taught. Although he had already developed an interest in psychology, he planned to be a high school English teacher. Because of the depression, however, Beach was unable to find a job and so continued in school at Emporia, receiving an M.S. in psychology in 1933. His thesis project was a search for color vision in rats....

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Benedict, Francis Gano (03 October 1870–14 May 1957), chemist and physiologist, was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the son of Washington Gano Benedict, a businessman, and Harriet Emily Barrett. In about 1878 the family moved to Orange Park, Florida, and in 1881 to Boston, Massachusetts, where Benedict attended public schools and took piano lessons because of his parents’ interest in music....

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Jacob Bigelow. Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine (B02900).

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Bigelow, Jacob (27 February 1787–10 January 1879), physician and botanist, was born in Sudbury, Massachusetts, the son of Jacob Bigelow, a Congregationalist minister, and Elizabeth Wells. He grew up on the family farm, which provided the Bigelows with their primary means of support. During his early years, his father emphasized pragmatic concerns, disapproving of his attempts to learn Latin. He was an observer of nature and enjoyed tinkering on the farm, inventing miniature saw mills and better rat traps. In 1802, at age sixteen, he entered Harvard. After obtaining his bachelor’s degree in 1806, he attended the medical lectures of ...

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Bodley, Rachel Littler (07 December 1831–15 June 1888), botanist, chemist, and educator, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, the daughter of Anthony Prichard Bodley, a carpenter and patternmaker, and Rebecca Wilson Talbott, a teacher. An 1849 graduate in classical studies of Wesleyan Female College in Cincinnati, Rachel Bodley taught there and served as preceptor in higher college studies until 1860, when she decided to pursue her interests in botany and chemistry. She began advanced studies in the natural sciences at the Polytechnic College in Philadelphia in 1860 and returned to Ohio in early 1862 to accept a position as professor of natural sciences at the Cincinnati Female Seminary....

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Brödel, Paul Heinrich Max (18 June 1870–26 October 1941), medical illustrator and anatomist, was born in Leipzig, Germany, the son of Paul Heinrich Louis Brödel, an employee of the Steinweg piano works, and Christiane Henriette Frenzel. As a child, Max Brödel showed talent in both music and the visual arts, and at age fifteen he enrolled in the Königliche Kunstakademie und Kunstgewerkeschule zu Leipzig. Required by the Leipzig art school to learn at least one graphic technique, Brödel always acknowledged the importance of his training in lithography. In 1888, he began working part-time as an illustrator for the renowned physiologist Carl Ludwig. At the time, the Leipzig medical school drew physicians and investigators from around the world for advanced training and research opportunities, and, while working for Ludwig, Brödel met the American anatomist ...

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Archibald Bruce. Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine (B03753).

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Bruce, Archibald ( February 1777–22 February 1818), physician, mineralogist, and editor, was born in New York City, the son of William Bruce, a British army medical officer, and Judith Bayard Van Rensselaer. Despite his father’s expressed wish, Bruce pursued medical education and practice. After taking an A.B. at Columbia College in 1797, he continued his studies in New York and then moved on to Edinburgh (M.D., 1800). As was common in this period, his medical education included exposure to the natural sciences, and Bruce developed a lifelong interest in mineralogy. After completing his M.D., he extended his European stay with travels on the Continent to study mineralogy and collect materials for his own mineralogical cabinet....