From the Archives: Christmas at St. Luke’s, 1946

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

From the Archives: Armour Patient Ward, 1898


By Heather Stecklein

In this 1898 photo, Arthur Dean Bevan, MD, visits patients in the Armour Ward of Presbyterian Hospital.

Starting in the earliest days of Presbyterian Hospital, members of the Armour family endowed beds for patients who could not afford medical care. In 1889, the family endowment grew to the 10-bed ward pictured. Whenever a bed became available in this ward, the patient who occupied it received free treatment.

Presbyterian Hospital is a predecessor to Rush University Medical Center. It opened in 1883 on what is now the Rush campus.

Heather Stecklein is an archivist with Rush University Medical Center. You can contact the Rush Archives at rush_archives@rush.edu or at (312) 942-7214.

From the Archives: Nursing School Gym Class, 1920

By Heather Stecklein

In this 1920 photo from the Rush Archives, nursing students participate in a gymnasium class at the St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing.

The course work at St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing in 1920 included scientific lectures by hospital doctors in anatomy, physiology, pathology and dietetics.

In addition, the curriculum required practical courses including gymnasium exercises, social dance and massage.

The St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing is a predecessor to the Rush College of Nursing. It operated on South Michigan Avenue from 1886 to 1956.

Heather Stecklein is an archivist with Rush University Medical Center. You can contact the Archives at rush_archives@rush.edu or at (312) 942-7214.

From the Archives: Professor Gunn’s Clinic, 1887

Moses Gunn, MD, chair of surgery, Rush Medical College, 1867-1887, conducts a teaching clinic.

By Nathalie Wheaton

This image of a teaching clinic is one of several in Rush Medical College’s 1895 yearbook, The Pulse. Here Gunn poses with his assistants in 1887, months before his death. His son Malcolm Gunn, Rush Medical College class of 1890, stands next to the nurse, Miss Headline. Famed physician James B. Herrick is taking notes, second from right.

Joseph Lister’s antiseptic surgical methods and Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch’s germ theory of disease were popularized in the 1870s and were still relatively new phenomena at the time of this photograph.

Accompanying this photograph in the yearbook is a brief remembrance by Herrick, describing Gunn’s clinics. “I knew Dr. Gunn’s clinic when it was in the transition period from the septic to the aseptic condition,” Herrick’s recollection begins. He goes on to quote Professor Gunn: “I don’t know much about the truth or falsity of the statements concerning bacteria … but I do know that if I wash my hands and wash my patient and my instruments, and use carbolic acid and iodoform, I can accomplish results that I never dreamed of fifteen years ago.”

Herrick also remembers Gunn’s personality and wit. “Said he to one of his assistants, ‘Don’t ever hand me as dull a knife again; I could ride from here to Boston and back again on that knife without a saddle.’ The assistant never gave him a dull knife again.” Continue reading

January Photo of the Month — Rush Archives

Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Anderson, 1945

Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Anderson, 1945

Each month, the Rush Archives selects a photo from its collection offering a glimpse of Rush University Medical Center‘s history, which dates back to 1837.

This 1945 photo features accounting firm founder Arthur Andersen and his wife, who donated to the medical library of St. Luke’s Hospital in honor of Dr. Arthur Elliott, chairman of the library committee.

Arthur Andersen bought out The Audit Company of Illinois to form Andersen, DeLany & Co. in 1918. We now know the company as Accenture. St. Luke’s Hospital merged with Presbyterian Hospital in 1958 to form Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Hospital, which would later become Rush University Medical Center.

Rush Resources

Archives Offers Glimpse into Rush, Chicago History

1914 image of Presbyterian Hospital, which would later become Rush University Medical Center

The Daniel Jones Memorial Building, shown here in 1914, was built in 1888 as part of Presbyterian Hospital. Located at Wood Street and Congress Parkway, it is the oldest building on the Rush campus.

By Heather Stecklein

Want to know more about Rush’s legacy? Contact the Rush Archives!

The Rush Archives is the historical voice of Rush University Medical Center and its predecessor institutions. It is located in the basement level of the Triangle Office Building, and it holds a large collection of papers and artifacts from Rush’s past.

Rush Archivists bring Rush’s history to the public. There are Rush Archives exhibits in four campus locations. Currently, the exhibit, “Battling for the Honor of ‘Old Rush’: Sports at Rush Medical College, 1892-1904” is on display in the Rush Library, on the 5th floor of the Armour Academic Center.

In addition, an exhibit of materials drawn by Steven Economou, M.D., is on display just outside of Room 500 in the Professional Building. The hallway outside of the Archives in the basement level of the Triangle Office Building includes an exhibit of postcards from Rush’s past, a selection of materials from medical advertisements, and a hallway of photographs featuring scenes from Rush’s past.

Members of the 1900 Rush football team

Leaders of the 1900 Rush Medical College football team. Most material in "Battling for the Honor of Old Rush" was donated by Mary Harding, whose grandfather, John E. Schwendener, is on the left.

The Archives has digitized a portion of its collection. If you would like to see a selection of Rush documents for yourself, you can explore the Archives’ growing digital library on the Rush Archives Web site.

The Archives is open to researchers, by appointment, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Archivists Heather Stecklein and Nathalie Wheaton can answer questions about events and individuals associated with this institution since Rush Medical College was chartered in 1837. You can contact the Archives at Rush_Archives@rush.edu or at (312) 942-7214.

Heather Stecklein is an archivist with Rush University Medical Center.

December Photo of the Month – Rush Archives

Each month, the Rush Archives selects a photo from its collection offering a glimpse of Rush University Medical Center‘s history, which dates back to 1837.

Here’s this month’s official photo, which dates back to 1983 and shows Rush employees assembling Thanksgiving food baskets for needy residents of nearby Pilsen.

Rush Employee Activities Committee, 1983. The woman on the far right is Carol Zigman of Community Relations. If you can help identify the other people in the photo, please contact the Rush Archives or leave a comment here.