Russell Museum at MGH

Russell Museum at MGH The Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History and Innovation tells the rich story of Massachusetts General Hospital. The museum is temporarily closed to the public.

Stay tuned for updates! Massachusetts General Hospital was established in 1811 to serve Boston's general public. At that time, the sickest and most vulnerable patients were cared for in almshouses, while the wealthy could afford private care at home. Creating a general hospital was an innovative idea. Since its inception more than 200 years ago, Mass General has remained at the forefront of medici

Stay tuned for updates! Massachusetts General Hospital was established in 1811 to serve Boston's general public. At that time, the sickest and most vulnerable patients were cared for in almshouses, while the wealthy could afford private care at home. Creating a general hospital was an innovative idea. Since its inception more than 200 years ago, Mass General has remained at the forefront of medici

Operating as usual

Next in your medical museum at home is breakfast cereal. On this day in 1893, inventor Henry Perky filed a patent for Sh...
08/01/2021

Next in your medical museum at home is breakfast cereal. On this day in 1893, inventor Henry Perky filed a patent for Shredded Wheat cereal and the machine he used to make it. He initially intended to sell the machines, but selling the cereal ready-made became more popular. He was part of the vanguard of ready-made cold breakfast cereals, along with the Kellog brothers who created cornflakes. Both he and the Kelloggs believed in the health-giving power of good nutrition, as part of a late-nineteenth century fad that we’d describe today as “clean eating”. Perky believed that eating wheat and milk together could solve gastrointestinal distress.

Next in your medical museum at home is breakfast cereal. On this day in 1893, inventor Henry Perky filed a patent for Shredded Wheat cereal and the machine he used to make it. He initially intended to sell the machines, but selling the cereal ready-made became more popular. He was part of the vanguard of ready-made cold breakfast cereals, along with the Kellog brothers who created cornflakes. Both he and the Kelloggs believed in the health-giving power of good nutrition, as part of a late-nineteenth century fad that we’d describe today as “clean eating”. Perky believed that eating wheat and milk together could solve gastrointestinal distress.

Next in your medical museum at home is pest control supplies. July 22 is one of the dates frequently cited as the day th...
07/22/2021

Next in your medical museum at home is pest control supplies. July 22 is one of the dates frequently cited as the day that the Pied Piper led rats out of the German town of Hamelin in the popular myth. While the Pied Piper story is legend, medieval towns' need for rat-catchers was very real, as rats were understood to spread plague. It has since been proven that rats are one part of a multi-step process in plague transmission, as it’s the fleas on the rats who pass plague between humans. Many cities used pest control measures to help quell the plague outbreaks that hit the United States between 1900 and around 1950.

Next in your medical museum at home is pest control supplies. July 22 is one of the dates frequently cited as the day that the Pied Piper led rats out of the German town of Hamelin in the popular myth. While the Pied Piper story is legend, medieval towns' need for rat-catchers was very real, as rats were understood to spread plague. It has since been proven that rats are one part of a multi-step process in plague transmission, as it’s the fleas on the rats who pass plague between humans. Many cities used pest control measures to help quell the plague outbreaks that hit the United States between 1900 and around 1950.

Next in your medical museum at home is an old favorite album of music. On this day in 1910, Alzheimer’s Disease was give...
07/15/2021

Next in your medical museum at home is an old favorite album of music. On this day in 1910, Alzheimer’s Disease was given a name. German psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin wrote about the disease in his book Clinical Psychiatry. Alois Alzheimer had written the first published description of a patient with this disease, which he described as “presenile dementia,” four years earlier. Patients with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia often find listening to their favorite music from years past can be an enjoyable way to connect with old memories.

Next in your medical museum at home is an old favorite album of music. On this day in 1910, Alzheimer’s Disease was given a name. German psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin wrote about the disease in his book Clinical Psychiatry. Alois Alzheimer had written the first published description of a patient with this disease, which he described as “presenile dementia,” four years earlier. Patients with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia often find listening to their favorite music from years past can be an enjoyable way to connect with old memories.

Dr. Firth's research on Shackleton is explored in the latest Proto podcast, along with research on Edgar Allen Poe's mys...
07/13/2021

Dr. Firth's research on Shackleton is explored in the latest Proto podcast, along with research on Edgar Allen Poe's mysterious death worthy of one of his own stories.

http://protomag.com/articles/podcast-diagnosing-long-dead

Next in your medical museum at home is whole grains. The famed Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton developed a serious illness on an expedition between 1901 and 1904, and while many people have suggested possibilities, it was never properly diagnosed. Paul Firth, MD, an MGH physician who spoke at the museum on Shackleton’s legacy in 2017, recently published a paper with two others arguing for a new answer to this unsolved mystery. Firth and his coauthors make the case that Shackleton’s illness was a heart condition caused by a deficiency of vitamin B-1, or thiamine. This essential nutrient is available in a variety of foods, including whole grains, but was very scarce in the diets available on board ships

Next in your medical museum at home is chocolate. Today, most nutritionists agree that dark chocolate is a healthy food ...
07/08/2021

Next in your medical museum at home is chocolate. Today, most nutritionists agree that dark chocolate is a healthy food in moderation but does not have special properties as compared with other foods with similar nutrients. However, chocolate has historically been used in a variety of remedies. The Aztecs used many parts of the cacao tree, including the beans from which they made chocolate, for coughs, gastrointestinal issues, fatigue and angina. After learning of chocolate from the Aztecs, Europeans tried it for many of the same complaints, as a general cure-all, and as a treatment for smallpox. These treatments were not necessarily mainstream by the time Mass General opened, but medicinal use of chocolate continued into the nineteenth century, for example, as an energy boost for Civil War soldiers.

Next in your medical museum at home is chocolate. Today, most nutritionists agree that dark chocolate is a healthy food in moderation but does not have special properties as compared with other foods with similar nutrients. However, chocolate has historically been used in a variety of remedies. The Aztecs used many parts of the cacao tree, including the beans from which they made chocolate, for coughs, gastrointestinal issues, fatigue and angina. After learning of chocolate from the Aztecs, Europeans tried it for many of the same complaints, as a general cure-all, and as a treatment for smallpox. These treatments were not necessarily mainstream by the time Mass General opened, but medicinal use of chocolate continued into the nineteenth century, for example, as an energy boost for Civil War soldiers.

Next in your medical museum at home (or in your lawn) is grass. Both grass and small leafy plants like clover are a big ...
07/05/2021

Next in your medical museum at home (or in your lawn) is grass. Both grass and small leafy plants like clover are a big part of a sheep’s diet, and on this day in 1996, Dolly the sheep was born. She was the first mammal successfully cloned from an adult cell, and her birth was the proof of the concept that adult body cells could be used for reproducing genetic material. The biggest medical implications of this demonstration were not about cloning, but about possibilities for the future of regenerative medicine -- growing a new organ in a lab from a person’s own cells in order to repair damage or provide a transplant.

Next in your medical museum at home (or in your lawn) is grass. Both grass and small leafy plants like clover are a big part of a sheep’s diet, and on this day in 1996, Dolly the sheep was born. She was the first mammal successfully cloned from an adult cell, and her birth was the proof of the concept that adult body cells could be used for reproducing genetic material. The biggest medical implications of this demonstration were not about cloning, but about possibilities for the future of regenerative medicine -- growing a new organ in a lab from a person’s own cells in order to repair damage or provide a transplant.

Next in your medical museum at home is a pillow. In the early twentieth century, MGH social worker Edith Terry developed...
07/01/2021

Next in your medical museum at home is a pillow. In the early twentieth century, MGH social worker Edith Terry developed a program called the “In-Bed Club” for pediatric patients who had been released from the hospital and were recovering from illness at home. She ensured that her young patients, many of whom were immigrants or first-generation Americans, had what they needed for recovery in their homes, and followed up with their teachers to ensure that they could still get instruction and school materials during extended absences.

Next in your medical museum at home is a pillow. In the early twentieth century, MGH social worker Edith Terry developed a program called the “In-Bed Club” for pediatric patients who had been released from the hospital and were recovering from illness at home. She ensured that her young patients, many of whom were immigrants or first-generation Americans, had what they needed for recovery in their homes, and followed up with their teachers to ensure that they could still get instruction and school materials during extended absences.

Next in your medical museum at home are rubber bands. While historically, many devices for helping people heal from seri...
06/29/2021

Next in your medical museum at home are rubber bands. While historically, many devices for helping people heal from serious muscular injuries were assembled with wood, metal, and leather straps, today, many of them are lightweight plastic, velcro, and other adaptable materials. In 2013 the MGH Department of Occupational Therapy created this splint for the recipient of a hand transplant to use while he recovered from the transplant surgery. It uses rubber bands to provide flexible tension and support.

Next in your medical museum at home are rubber bands. While historically, many devices for helping people heal from serious muscular injuries were assembled with wood, metal, and leather straps, today, many of them are lightweight plastic, velcro, and other adaptable materials. In 2013 the MGH Department of Occupational Therapy created this splint for the recipient of a hand transplant to use while he recovered from the transplant surgery. It uses rubber bands to provide flexible tension and support.

Next in your medical museum at home is s*x ed or reproductive health information. On this day in 1957, the US Supreme Co...
06/24/2021

Next in your medical museum at home is s*x ed or reproductive health information. On this day in 1957, the US Supreme Court ruled in Roth v. United States that obscenity is not protected by the First Amendment. Local, state, and federal laws against “obscenity” had been used to ban distribution of information on s*xual and reproductive health, and distribution of contraceptives, since the late 19th century. In 31 states, laws explicitly listed contraceptive information as an example of obscenity. The biggest, but not the only, turning point in judicial precedent around contraceptives was the 1965 ruling Griswold v. Connecticut that invoked an implied constitutional right to privacy for the first time.

Next in your medical museum at home is s*x ed or reproductive health information. On this day in 1957, the US Supreme Court ruled in Roth v. United States that obscenity is not protected by the First Amendment. Local, state, and federal laws against “obscenity” had been used to ban distribution of information on s*xual and reproductive health, and distribution of contraceptives, since the late 19th century. In 31 states, laws explicitly listed contraceptive information as an example of obscenity. The biggest, but not the only, turning point in judicial precedent around contraceptives was the 1965 ruling Griswold v. Connecticut that invoked an implied constitutional right to privacy for the first time.

Next in your medical museum at home is motor oil. On this day in 1969, the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio caught fire...
06/22/2021

Next in your medical museum at home is motor oil. On this day in 1969, the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio caught fire, an event that was possible because of the amount of industrial waste, including oils, on the surface. The river had caught fire about a dozen times before and was not the only polluted body of water to have ignited, but the event received widespread attention because of the growing environmental movement. It is often cited as one of the events that sparked the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The environment and human health are inextricably linked, and earlier this year, Mass General created a new center for the environment and health. https://www.massgeneral.org/news/press-release/New-center-for-the-environment-and-health-launches-at-mgh

Next in your medical museum at home is motor oil. On this day in 1969, the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio caught fire, an event that was possible because of the amount of industrial waste, including oils, on the surface. The river had caught fire about a dozen times before and was not the only polluted body of water to have ignited, but the event received widespread attention because of the growing environmental movement. It is often cited as one of the events that sparked the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The environment and human health are inextricably linked, and earlier this year, Mass General created a new center for the environment and health. https://www.massgeneral.org/news/press-release/New-center-for-the-environment-and-health-launches-at-mgh

Next in your medical museum at home is a hairbrush. MGH has had an option for patients to receive hair care since 1981. ...
06/17/2021

Next in your medical museum at home is a hairbrush. MGH has had an option for patients to receive hair care since 1981. That year, the Ladies’ Visiting Committee, an auxiliary volunteer and fundraising group (now known as the LVC), opened what it called “beauty services.” It was one of many patient wellbeing initiatives run by the LVC starting with the gift shop which opened in 1943. Today, the LVC operates both a hair salon and a program to supply cancer patients with wigs. Many large metropolitan hospitals have a salon available to patients to help them feeling comfortable and like themselves during long hospital stays, but they are still the exception and not the rule.

Next in your medical museum at home is a hairbrush. MGH has had an option for patients to receive hair care since 1981. That year, the Ladies’ Visiting Committee, an auxiliary volunteer and fundraising group (now known as the LVC), opened what it called “beauty services.” It was one of many patient wellbeing initiatives run by the LVC starting with the gift shop which opened in 1943. Today, the LVC operates both a hair salon and a program to supply cancer patients with wigs. Many large metropolitan hospitals have a salon available to patients to help them feeling comfortable and like themselves during long hospital stays, but they are still the exception and not the rule.

Many, many centuries ago, probably in the Egyptian city of Akhmim, embalmers treated the bodies of a woman named Taosiri...
06/15/2021
Mummy Cam- June 2021 | Emory | Michael C. Carlos Museum

Many, many centuries ago, probably in the Egyptian city of Akhmim, embalmers treated the bodies of a woman named Taosiris and a man named Padibastet with the utmost care. They preserved them so well that their mummies are still intact today. However, the mummies need some conservation. The Carlos Museum at Emory University is livestreaming the process on June 14 through 18, from 10-noon and 2-4 pm. One of the conservators, Mimi Laveque, has also cared for Padihershef, who was mummified around the 6th century BCE in Thebes and is now the MGH Ether Dome’s resident mummy! Tune in to the livestream here: https://carlos.emory.edu/mummy-cam-june-2021?fbclid=IwAR1yccwgIPn0h7-rVMJ92vJYD4GSt-8KqY115VQ-35YA1XuPCHkiugtJR80

Watch the Carlos Mummy Cam Live! The Carlos Mummy Cam is here!

"It’s the immune system—the body’s line of defense against infection--that will deliver us from future threats,” says Br...
06/13/2021
New Initiative Supercharges the Study of the Immune System

"It’s the immune system—the body’s line of defense against infection--that will deliver us from future threats,” says Bruce Walker, MD, director of the Ragon Institute of Mass General Hospital, MIT and Harvard.

Being a museum of both medical history and innovation, we at the Russell Museum are always interested when researchers have #WordsfortheFutureMW. For more information on current research on the immune system, see https://www.massgeneral.org/news/hotline/HTL050721/new-initiative-supercharges-the-study-of-the-immune-system

New Initiative Supercharges the Study of the Immune System

#ArtIsEverywhere... including in scientific volumes! These excerpts from a book in the hospital's archives and special c...
06/12/2021

#ArtIsEverywhere... including in scientific volumes! These excerpts from a book in the hospital's archives and special collections were a part of a printable coloring book MGH created for #ColorOurCollections, an annual social media coloring festival. https://library.nyam.org/colorourcollections/

#ArtIsEverywhere... including in scientific volumes! These excerpts from a book in the hospital's archives and special collections were a part of a printable coloring book MGH created for #ColorOurCollections, an annual social media coloring festival. https://library.nyam.org/colorourcollections/

For #CaptionThisMW, we'll offer no context, just a photo from the hospital's archives. Give us your best captions in the...
06/11/2021

For #CaptionThisMW, we'll offer no context, just a photo from the hospital's archives. Give us your best captions in the comments (accuracy not required)!

For #CaptionThisMW, we'll offer no context, just a photo from the hospital's archives. Give us your best captions in the comments (accuracy not required)!

In the "From the Pages of Proto"  kiosk at the museum, we have an exhibit based on a Proto magazine story about the segm...
06/10/2021
PNAS 2020 Cozzarelli Prize Winner for Class II: Biological Sciences

In the "From the Pages of Proto" kiosk at the museum, we have an exhibit based on a Proto magazine story about the segments of DNA that have previously been called "junk DNA" or "genetic dark matter." This past year, a team of scientists including MGH's Jeannie Lee, MD, PhD, uncovered a meaningful piece of the puzzle. #EurekaMW

https://youtu.be/5TEef828u_I?t=14

B2 and ALU retrotransposons are self-cleaving ribozymes whose activity is enhanced by EZH2Alfredo J. Hernandez, Athanasios Zovoilis, Catherine Cifuentes-Roja...

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Ms Flaherty: the urge to write. Yes, I have been writing like mad into my notebook, I am 66 overcame cancer basically and home alone in my apartment in Seattle. Western Penna native and never married. Dennis Percherke
Is the museum open on saturdays in November?