Chicago’s first electrocardiograph was installed 100 years ago at Presbyterian Hospital, which later became part of Rush University Medical Center.
Renowned heart specialist and Rush Medical College graduate James B. Herrick, MD, was instrumental in securing the equipment through a gift from Mrs. Cyrus McCormick, Sr., a noted Chicago philanthropist.
She also helped the hospital acquire an improved model in 1915 and provided substantial funding for research in heart disease.
According to the 1939 issue of the Presbyterian Hospital Bulletin, “It was with the aid of these instruments that Dr. Herrick made his first notable discoveries about coronary thrombosis and started on the trail which has brought fame to himself and immeasurable benefit to humanity.”
Electrocardiography measures the heart’s electrical activity and helps detect abnormalities.
This image, which appeared in the December 1939 issue of the Presbyterian Hospital Bulletin, shows student nurses singing carols in a hospital corridor on Christmas morning, 1938.
“Care is taken not to disturb any seriously ill patients,” the caption explains, “but all others seem to regard this as a happy way of ushering in the Christmas day that is to be spent in the hospital.”
Presbyterian Hospital later became part of Rush University Medical Center.
This photo from 1913 shows a patient undergoing surgery at St. Luke’s Hospital in Chicago. St. Luke’s would later merge with Presbyterian Hospital and become part of Rush University Medical Center.
By Nathalie Wheaton
Employees from Presbyterian Hospital — Rush’s predecessor — volunteered to staff the Army’s General Hospital Unit 13 during World War II in New Guinea. Unit 13 included about 20 doctors, almost 100 nurses and 350 enlisted men (including plumbers, barbers and carpenters).
Throughout its 175-year history, the men and women of Rush University Medical Center have shown courage abroad in the face of danger. Many have saved the lives of servicemen and civilians and helped others heal.
The Rush Archives safeguards the stories of many of Rush’s heroes in its collections.
To learn more about our staff’s service during World War I, World War II or other wars, please contact the Rush Archives at email@example.com.
A Rush security officer poses proudly in his new vehicle, 1987.
This photo was taken in front of the Triangle Office Building, which was the newest building on the Rush University Medical Center campus at the time. The TOB is located at 1700 W. Van Buren St. This image was used in Rush’s main newsletter, NewsRounds, in May 1987 to advertise Rush’s security escort services.
Nathalie Wheaton is assistant archivist in the Rush Archives. To learn more, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the Rush Archives Web page or explore our collections.The Rush Archives welcomes visitors from Rush and the general public.
By Nathalie Wheaton
This postcard from 1917 shows Rush’s Daniel A. Jones Building in all its glory. Built in 1888 at the corner of Congress Parkway and Wood Street, the Jones Building held Presbyterian Hospital’s public patient wards at the time. Presbyterian Hospital is a predecessor hospital of today’s Rush University Medical Center.
This is a rare view as it shows a building across the street (far left side of postcard), where the Eisenhower Expressway and CTA’s Blue Line are today. The building on the far right side is the Rush Medical College Clinical Building, which was razed for the Rawson Laboratory Building. Rawson opened in 1924.
Nathalie Wheaton is an archivist with Rush University Medical Center. You can contact the Rush Archives at email@example.com or at (312) 942-7214.
By Nathalie Wheaton
Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center celebrated its 150th anniversary in 1987. Rush commemorated this milestone with parties, contests and branded merchandise.
In this photo, Rush President Leo M. Henikoff, MD, cuts a special cake for Rush’s sesquicentennial. Henikoff served as president from 1984 to 2002.
Rush University Medical Center’s oldest component, Rush Medical College, was chartered March 2, 1837, two days before the city of Chicago received its charter. That makes us older than Chicago and gives us plenty of history to share.
Rush’s 175th birthday party is March 2 from noon to 1 p.m. in the Armour Academic Center, room 994. Contact the Rush Archives to RSVP and for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or (312) 942-7214
Nathalie Wheaton is assistant archivist in the Rush Archives. To learn more, please contact email@example.com. Visit the Rush Archives web page or explore our collections.
Members of the St. Luke’s Hospital staff donned costumes to perform “Twas the Night Before Christmas” for other employees in December of 1946. St. Luke’s Hospital was a predecessor of Rush University Medical Center.
You can contact the Archives at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (312) 942-7214.