Historians are acutely aware of the role of art in medicine. Elaborate early modern works catch our eye; technical innovations attract analysis. This paper beats a different path by examining three little-known artists in early twentieth-century Britain who deployed what may seem like an outdated method: drawing. Locating the function of pencil and ink illustrations across a range of sites, we take a journey from the exterior of the living patient via invasive surgical operations to the bodily interior. We see the enduring importance of delineation against a backdrop of the mechanization of conflict and of imaging.
In the late 1940s, amid elevated concern about heart disease and new funding to fight it, multiple screening emerged alongside group psychotherapy for weight loss as two innovative responses of the American public health community. I describe the early trajectory and fate in the 1950s of both programs as shaped by the ongoing political controversy about national health insurance. Group weight loss became the main de facto American response to a perceived obesity-driven heart disease crisis. The episode casts light on the larger picture of how postwar American public health gravitated toward interventions centered on individual behavior and may offer lessons for obesity interventions today.
Professional medicine in colonial British Africa has been extensively examined by historians. Few scholars, however, have adequately considered the role that white settlers without medical training played in the provision of colonial health care in local African communities. This article addresses the gap by exploring amateur medical treatment by white settler women in East and South-Central African communities between 1890 and 1939, primarily in highland areas of Kenya and Southern Rhodesia. It examines the types of conditions treated, what techniques and equipment were used for treatment, and where treatment was carried out. It also explores medical identity in settler women’s memoirs. Last, it considers the degree of choice exercised by patients in these amateur medical encounters. Overall, this article situates white settlers’ amateur treatment in African communities as an important strand of colonial health care and as an intimate contact zone between white settlers, colonial medicine, and local people.