Oneida County Historian Joseph P. Bottini is set to offer an illustrated presentation about the New York State Lunatic Asylum at the Rome Historical Society, Wednesday, April 17th at 7 pm. He will share the founding of this unique institution along with its growth and impact upon the treatment of the mentally ill between the mid-1800s to the 1950s. [Read more…] about NYS Lunatic Asylum History Presentation
A lecture on the 1918 influenza epidemic in the Finger Lakes has been set for Thursday, September 6th at 7 pm, at the Cayuga Museum’s Carriage House Theater in Auburn.
Medical historian and retired professor Teresa Lehr will discuss the flu pandemic, and specifically its local effects. [Read more…] about 1918 Influenza Outbreak In The Finger Lakes
Nellie Bly gained her reputation as a reporter when she exposed poor conditions at the Women’s Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell’s Island. Bly reported on issues of importance to women, producing an important interview with Susan B. Anthony and covering major events in the suffrage campaign.
A free lecture, Nellie Bly: From Blackwell’s Island to Well Beyond, has been set for Thursday, June 14th at 6:30 pm at the New York Public Library Branch on Roosevelt Island, 525 Main Street. [Read more…] about Nellie Bly: Blackwell’s Island And Beyond
Wendel is the author of a family memoir about the 1960s medical team at Roswell Park in Buffalo who made great strides in treating cancer: Cancer Crossings: A Brother, His Doctors and the Quest for a Cure to Childhood Leukemia (ILR Press, 2018). [Read more…] about A Chapter in Buffalo Cancer Research History
A lecture by John Crispin on the famed Willard Psychiatric Center suitcases has been set for Thursday, May 10th at 6:30 pm at the New York Public Library Branch on Roosevelt Island, led .
When Willard Psychiatric Center closed in New York’s Finger Lakes in 1995, an employee discovered a large collection of suitcases in storage in an attic. Many of these pieces of luggage contained the personal belongings of former patients. [Read more…] about Willard Suitcases Update: A Roosevelt Island Lecture
Readers will recall that one of the most important periods of reform in New York history was spurred by the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Fire of March, 1911: in the wake of this horror, protective labor legislation was passed at a frenzied pace, informed by the State Factory Investigating Commission and shepherded through the legislature by Assemblyman Alfred E. Smith and Senator Robert F. Wagner.
It is a tragic, even shameful irony that the Empire State’s major initiative for improving one aspect of its health care infrastructure was to be inspired by another, less well known conflagration. On February 18, 1923, only seven weeks after Al Smith was inaugurated for his second tenure as governor, a fire at a hospital for the mentally ill on Ward’s Island in New York killed twenty-four patients and three state employees. [Read more…] about Ward’s Island Fire And New York’s Charitable Hospitals
Sometimes, I think there would be less interest in fiction, if we only knew more local history. Perhaps I have just been spoiled by the stories that keep bubbling up — as if emanating from the floorboards — in one 1868 house in Newburgh, New York.
Prior owners called it The Fullerton Mansion, although it’s somewhat undersized for a mansion and the original owner, the once-famous trial lawyer Judge Fullerton, is long forgotten. (The same goes for his composer son; see “Lost Newburgh Composer Willie Fullerton”, New York History Blog, June 20, 2017.)
Even less known are the Cathcarts, who owned the house from the first decade of the 20th Century until the depths of the Great Depression. [Read more…] about Newburgh: The Lazell-Cathcart Moment
To mark the centennial of suffrages in New York State the New York Academy of Medicine Library in partnership with the Museum of the City of New York is presenting a free, three-part talk series that examines key battles over women’s ability to control their bodies, health choices, and fertility. The series is supported by a grant from Humanities New York.
“Who Controls Women’s Health?: A Century of Struggle” will examine the struggles over women’s reproductive rights and health as one facet in larger fights for social reform by and for women. The series provides a humanistic lens on the Academy’s historical and current work around the social determinants of health, disparities in health access and provision, and prevention. [Read more…] about Suffrage Series Tackles Reproductive Autonomy, Medical History
The New York Academy of Medicine Library announced the launch of its new digital collections and exhibits website, hosted on the open-source framework Islandora and accessible at http://digitalcollections.nyam.org/.
The new site makes it easy for the public to access and explore highlights of the Library’s historical collections in the history of medicine and public health. [Read more…] about New York Academy of Medicine Library Launches Digital Collections
Cold and flu season once again has sufferers scrambling for any kind of relief from all sorts of medicines. A little over a century ago, right here on Northern New York store shelves, next to cough drops by national companies like Smith Brothers and Luden’s, was a local product made in Malone.
Sprucelets were created mainly from a raw material harvested in the Adirondacks: spruce gum. Like hops, blueberries, and maple syrup, the seasonal gathering and sale of spruce gum boosted the incomes of thousands of North Country folks seeking to make a dollar any way they could. Much of what they picked was sold to national gum companies, but some was used locally by entrepreneurs who established small factories and created many jobs.
Among these was the Symonds & Allison Company of Malone, founded there in 1897 by Charles Symonds and Aaron Allison when the latter purchased half-interest in Symonds Brothers, a convenience-store operation offering food, coffee, candy, and tobacco products. [Read more…] about Sprucelets: An Original Adirondack Medicine