Rabies Treatment in the early 1900s

Amazing what you can learn from one little postcard!  My great-grandfather, James F. Newell, was treated for rabies in 1911.  He had to travel  to Chicago and stay there a month while he got the injections at the Chicago Pasteur Institute, one of many such clinics set up around the world by Louis Pasteur.

Here’s the card, sent to Leo, his 13 year-old son.

Mr. Leo Newell, Virginia, Ill

Chicago Apr 29, 1911
Well Leo it is raining today & yesterday. I am doing very well.
When I get home I will be a good sieve. I will do to sift most anything.
They punch two holes with a needle every day in my stomach.
Hope you are still improving. There is a man here 70 years old taking
JF Newell

The clinic was located at 812 Dearborn Ave (now 812 North Dearborn Street) in Chicago — looks just about the same today! ¬†Thanks to Dr. Bert Hansen of Baruch College, CUNY for the b&w postcard and for deciphering the word “treatment”!

And here’s a fascinating letter from the Chicago Pasteur Institute summarizing its success to date (as of 1908). ¬†Thanks to Caitlin Hawke of the Pasteur Foundation for sharing this. ¬†It is signed by the director, Antonio Lagorio.

Vintage St. Patrick’s Day Post Cards

I was curious about the imagery used one hundred years ago.  Out of 17 different card designs, no leprechauns!  Harps appear on 5 cards; white smoking pipes, scenery (esp. castles) and poems all appear on 7 cards, and shamrocks appear on all 17 cards.  Enjoy!

From the Leo A. Newell collection,  1909-1912.  From Sent from Ashland and Pleasant Plains, Illinois by Alma Newell, Bertha Newell, Uncle Tom (Butler), Aunt Mollie (Mary Butler Doolin), and Bertie (Alberta) Newell.




Shamrock Moving and Closing Over Seven Hours — A One Minute Movie

I noticed this plant opening and closing pretty dramatically, so I did a little time lapse movie. Photos were taken every minute and are played here at 1/6 sec. Thanks to all the folks (esp. Jupey) who show up in the background!

I used the program CHDK.  But I wish I could figure out how to turn off the sound and minimize the time the screen is on.  Anyone?

Sunday fun

Leo finally got to meet one of the baby heads at the MFA after years of slowly driving past.

We went to see the new American Wing. Leo spent 40 minutes drawing the very first painting he saw — J.S. Copley’s “Portrait of H. R. H. the Prince of Wales at a Review, Attended by Lord Heathfield, General Turner, Col. Bloomfield, and Baron Eben; Col. Quinton in the Distance.” ¬†It’s huge — over 12 feet tall and 10 feet wide — just the thing to stop a little boy in his tracks.