From the Archives: First Electrocardiograph, 1913

Electrocardiograph1913

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.

From the Archives: ‘The Thrills of Television,’ 1949

PresbyterianChildren502

This photo appeared in the April 1949 issue of the Presbyterian Hospital Bulletin. The caption reads: “Through the generosity of two members of the Children’s Department Committee of the Woman’s Board, patients in that department now enjoy the thrills of television.”

Presbyterian later became part of Rush University Medical Center.

From the Archives: Christmas Caroling, 1938

NursesSingingCarols1939

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.

From the Archives: Snake Surgery, 1983

By Nathalie Wheaton

In this January 1983 photo, otolaryngologist David D. Caldarelli, MD, left, and his medical team are shown treating an unusual patient.

Flame, a five-foot, poisonous African cobra snake from the Brookfield Zoo, was suffering from mouth cancer.

Despite coming to Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center fully anesthetized, doctors had to work carefully around her venomous fangs. The operation was a success and Flame went back to her “normal snake behavior.”

Nathalie Wheaton is assistant archivist in the Rush Archives. Visit the Rush Archives Web page or explore our collections. The Rush Archives welcomes visitors from Rush and the general public. To learn more, please contact rush_archives@rush.edu.

From the Archives: Flag Day, 1991

By Nathalie Wheaton

In 1991, Rush held its third annual Flag Day celebration on the east Atrium lawn where the Tower now stands.

From Rush’s NewsRounds in July 1991:

The event began with the posting of colors and a wreath-laying ceremony in memory of those who gave their lives in war. Speakers included Don Oder, vice president and chief operating officer of the Medical Center; William Maran, northern division supervisor of Veterans Affairs; and Jim Balcer, veterans’ liaison from the Office of the Mayor.

Veterans celebrated the day by wearing combat fatigues and enjoying shared stories of having “been there.”

Nathalie Wheaton is assistant archivist in the Rush Archives. To learn more, please contact rush_archives@rush.edu. Visit the Rush Archives Web page or explore our collections. The Rush Archives welcomes visitors from Rush and the general public.