AN ATLAS ON BILIARY DRAINAGE MICROSCOPY BY B.B. VINCENT LYON M.D. AND WOMEN CONTRIBUTORS, 1935
This album was discovered in an estate sale. The home belonged to a doctor, so it made sense that a doctor would own an album of scientific research, but what delighted me was that the album was illustrated by photographic microscopy of such remarkable quality and diversity.
Thirty-seven hand typed pages of research are illustrated with eighty-six photographic images shot through the microscope. Each image (usually 4 to a page) measures approximately 3.5” square. And while the subject of the research isn’t appealing – biliary drainage – the little round images floating in a field of black are mesmerizing. Taken out of context they look like what might be discovered looking through a telescope; planets, stars, moons with surfaces marked by mountains or pools of sand, scattered particles of ice, strings of connected vapors.
Each image, referred to in the research, is numbered with a short description. There is an overwhelming order and meticulous quality to the album in general and the images specifically.
The album includes an acknowledgement to three women. It is simply noted that they were responsible for ‘compiling the Atlas’. But as we consider the accumulation of effort that went into “compiling” we realize these women contributed to its essential material production and must have worked side by side with Dr. Lyon:
Miss Beatrice G. Gledhill, R.N. (photographer)
Miss Frances A. Keen, R.N.
Miss Anna M. Reeder, A.B.
There are 3 additional photographs at the end of the album not through a microscope: a signed portrait of B.B. Vincent Lyon, a photo of the original “Exhibit of Photomicrographs” being presented at some type of conference or event, and a photo of B.B. and one of the women assisting him in front of their exhibit. A sign above the exhibit reads “This Exhibit of Photomicrographs was made possible through the generosity of the late Emil and Mary Malinowski of Wilkes-Barre”.
Bio: Bethuel Boyd Vincent Lyon received his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University in 1907 and served his internship in Philadelphia at German Hospital, where he established the first ever clinic devoted to the study of gastroenterology in 1910. Lyon was appointed to the faculty of Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, in 1910 as a Demonstrator of Medicine. He held several positions there, rising to the level of Clinical Professor of Medicine upon his retirement in 1946. A pioneer in gastroenterological research, Lyon introduced the procedure of non-surgical biliary drainage to diagnose and treat biliary tract problems. His major works include Atlas on Biliary Drainage Microscopy (1935) and Non-surgical Drainage of the Gall Tract (1923). Lyon was professionally active in the American Gastroenterological Association and served as its president in 1934. He also was a Fellow of the College of Physicians, elected in 1914. During World War I, Lyon served in the Medical Corps of the Navy at the Naval Hospital at Brest, France from 1917-1919. Dr. Lyon died on May 20, 1953, in Washington, D.C.
From the description of Notes on clinical microscopy, 1905-1906 / B.B. Vincent Lyon.
(College of Physicians of Philadelphia). WorldCat record id: 122523884.