From the Rush Archives: A Visit From St. Nick

SantaPresbyterian1939

If it’s the holiday season at Rush, it must be time to dig into the Rush Archives for photos from Decembers past.

This image from 1939 shows Santa visiting a 9-year-old boy who had to spend Christmas at Presbyterian Hospital (which would later become part of Rush).

“The suit worn by this jolly-looking St. Nick,” says the caption in the Presbyterian Hospital Bulletin, “has been worn here every Christmas for more than 50 years.”

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: 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.

Remembering Rush’s Wartime Heroes


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 rush_archives@rush.edu.

From the Archives: Rush Security, 1987

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 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. 

From the Archives: Daniel A. Jones Building, 1917

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 rush_archives@rush.edu or at (312) 942-7214.