Friday 3 June 2011

Medical Bookplates 2 - Canada's Great War Physicians

Adami's Personal Bookplate
Published by Musson Book Co. Ltd. 1918

A few days ago I blogged about Banting and Bethune, perhaps two of the most well-known doctors in Canadian history.  That said, there were also many others who rose to prominence, as well as those who either published their own books, maintained personal libraries, or both.  For example, the British-born pathologist John George Adami (1862-1926) was head of his department at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Montreal, from 1891 onwards, while also serving as a professor at McGill University.  At the outbreak of the First World War, he took a commission in the Canadian Expeditionary Force's (CEF) Canadian Army Medical Corps (CAMC) and served overseas.  Adami is well known to military historians for the narratives of the operations of the CAMC that he later wrote for the Canadian War Records Office.  These books were published by The Musson Book Company Ltd. in Toronto, though they were originally printed at the Chapel River Press, Kingston, Surrey.

The medical association journal

Official bookplate
Another McGill University alumnus and Great War medical officer, Dr. John Andrew Macphail (1864-1938), was a physician and soldier as well as at one time editor of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.  He also wrote the official history of Canadian medical services in the Great War, published a few years after the release of Adami's own work.

Clarence B. Farrar (1874-1970) was an American who studied medicine at Harvard and Johns Hopkins.  In 1916 he emigrated to Canada, and soon after joined the Canadian Army to serve as its chief psychiatrist.  A pioneer in treating soldiers suffering “shell shock” – what today we acknowledge as post-traumatic stress disorder and other operational stress injuries – he later became the Director of Toronto’s Psychiatric Hospital.  Additionally, he served as the Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Psychiatry from 1931-1965.  Farrar was known to employ 2 different bookplates, a label as well as a personal pictorial ex libris that depicted his Toronto office.

Farrar's personal bookplate
Ex Libris label for Farrar

And finally, here are a few others I've come across from the same wartime period.  Leo Pariseau was a distinguished doctor from Quebec who now has a prize named in his honour, awarded annually to an outstanding individual in the biological or health sciences field.  The doctor behind the bookplate for H.B. Anderson of Toronto still remains a mystery to me so far, but needless to say his bookplate is a great pictorial showing a research lab over an open book.  Lastly, I’ve included one interesting book label I found, this one being for J.A. Carveth & Co., a Toronto-based dealer in medical books during the early 20th century.

Bookplate of H.B. Anderson MD

Medical booksellers label

Bookplate for Leo Pariseau

If you know anything more about these or other Canadian medical bookplates from the Great War period I’d love to hear from you.  Please feel free to drop me an email at robotwizard777 (at) gmail (dot) com.  Otherwise, enjoy the summer weekend and I'll be back next week!

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