I am looking to start a monthly study group on the history of medicine and the mail. The initial purpose of this group will be to assess the Smithsonian National Postal Museum’s broad collection of medically related objects and to formulate a plan for future accessions. However, I anticipate the study group’s work will eventually be presented in multiple formats, such as a website, article, or exhibit.
The first meeting will occur at 12 noon EDT on May 18th at the National Postal Museum. Future meetings will occur at noon on the third Friday of the month. There will be a teleconference option for those unable to attend in person. Minutes from the meeting will be posted on the museum’s website. If you are interested, please contact Allison Marsh ([email protected]).
Sample objects from the collection: Perforating paddle used in Alabama in 1899 to combat yellow fever http://arago.si.edu/flash/?s1=2|tid=2032103|oid=266| Pharmaceutical mailing container http://arago.si.edu/flash/?s1=2|tid=2032250|oid=73646| Sanitary stamp vending machine http://arago.si.edu/flash/?s1=2|tid=2032262|oid=51663| Medical revenue stamps http://arago.si.edu/flash/?s1=1|tid=2040893|oid=73426| Railroad first aid kits (not yet available online) Irradiated mail (not yet available online)
Possible areas for future collecting: Mail order drugs (both insurance-driven clearing houses as well as international illegal imports) Patent drugs and mail fraud Medical packaging and postal reform(part of the 2007 address by the Postmaster General)
Sincerely yours, Allison
Allison Marsh Assistant Curator Smithsonian Institution National Postal Museum 2 Massachusetts Avenue, NE MRC 570 PO Box 37012 Washington, DC 20013-7012 202-633-4740