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Cat's Cradle Blog

Antiquarian & Vintage Medical Books

Saturday, June 25th, 2016

image001My latest curated collection, consisting of nineteenth and early twentieth century rare and unusual medical books, periodicals, and ephemera on a wide variety of specialties: obstetrics, gynecology, glandular disorders, surgery, pediatrics, and much more.

 

I call attention especially to the A. P. Richmond, M.D., Frank Hastings Hamilton, Principles and Practice of SurgeryCollection within this curated set of materials.  It consists of over 20 pieces of medical ephemera from the practice of Dr. Richmond of Dover, New Hampshire, and a copy of Frank Hastings Hamilton, The Principles and Practice of Surgery, 3rd edition (New York: William Wood & Company, 1886).  Some items are undated, but all are late 19th to possibly very early 20th century.  The Hamilton book is hardcover, good with no dustjacket. The book has a sound binding with broken hinges. Pages tanned, mostly clean with occasional marginalia. Faded photographic prints pasted to front pastedown. 13 small cyanotype prints pasted to rear pastedown. Cloth over boards is edge worn with bumped corners, wear to top and bottom of spine, and overall shelf wear. 989 pages, 9.75″ tall.

Ephemera in the Richmond Collection are in good to very good condition with several pieces glued to front endpapers of the book and the remainder loose. Ephemera include Formula for Making Self Adjusting Splints: A Surgical Desideratum (with Richmond’s notes in margin), a published list of physicians of the city of Dover NH agreeing to adhere to a Tariff of Prices adopted at the regular meeting of the Dover Medical Association, September 2, 1879 (price list included), and fee tables adopted by the Dover Medical Society in 1899 and 1917, all affixed to front endpapers. Loose papers include a card advertising a YMCA men’s meeting; an advertising card from Otis Clapp & Son of Boston promoting its Malt and Cod-Liver Oil Compound; an advertising card for F. W. Buckley, exclusive maker of the Buckley Shirts (Oneonta, NY); a brochure advertising Frederick Stearns & Company’s Wine of Cod Liver Oil with Peptonate of Iron (Detroit, Michigan); Richmond’s handwritten instructions for attending a sprained ankle, with sketch; two pages of Richmond’s handwritten notes on treating heart conditions with herbal medicines; Richmond’s handwritten notes on treating prolapsus ani of children that defies other treatment; notes on treating a fractured ankle, with sketch; two pages of notes on treating dislocation of the shoulder, with sketch; notes on testing for albumin; notes on testing for effusion into the knee joint; a list of foods to be taken (for an unspecified condition); formula for treatment of unspecified condition (“one drop gives instant relief); and a patient statement from 1895. Richmond practiced general medicine in Dover, New Hampshire, during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In addition to being active in medical organizations, he served as medical examiner in Dover during the 1890s.

$325.00. Inventory #4170097

Inquiries: info@catscradlebks.net.

View all of our medical material, including later 20th century items, here. Major credit cards and PayPal accepted. Subject to prior sale.

Kathy@Cat’s Cradle Books

Southern Appalachia: where the laurel grows

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

Sky-land: Stories of Picturesque North Carolina, Volume 1, Number 1I invite you to download and view my Appalachia catalog. All titles subject to prior sale. Inquires may be made to info@catscradlebks.net. I accept major credit cards and PayPal.

This new catalog contains materials on southern Appalachia. The Great Smokies, the Blue Ridge, the Black Mountains–they are all part of this ancient mountain range.

Although Appalachia extends northward into Maine, I focus on the region from West Virginia southward. It’s a wild, beautiful, and fascinating place.

Mountain folk, their culture, and their history; terrain, including a collection of technical materials on the geology of the area; and travel are all represented.

If you love the region as much as I do, you’ll find something in this catalog to explore. Enjoy.

Kathy Carter@Cat’s Cradle Books

New catalog on World War I from Cat’s Cradle Books

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

I invite you to download and view my World War I catalog.  All titles subject to prior sale.  Inquires may be made to info@catscradlebks.net.  I accept major credit cards and PayPal.

The Great War changed the landscape of the modern world whether we look at the military, medicine, technology, gender roles, diplomacy, international borders, or economies.  This catalog offers a range of titles for the interested layperson as well as the scholar.

May  we enjoy a future that is free of such devastating conflict.  And may we remember so as not to repeat it.

 

Kathy Carter@Cat’s Cradle Books

June 6, 1944, D-Day. A turning point in WWII, a day of sacrifices to remember

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012
Ambrose, Citizen Soldiers

1st edition 1st printing, Stephen Ambrose, Citizen Soldiers: The U.S. Army from the Normandy Beaches to the Bulge to the Surrender of Germany. Simon & Schuster, 1997. $25.00

On June 6, 1944, on the beaches of Normandy, the tide turned on the Western Front in Europe.  With the Soviet Red Army already pushing from the East following the Battle of Stalingrad, and Hitler’s Axis ally Mussolini fallen, Allied victory in World War II was in sight.  Less than a year later, in May 1945, came V-E Day.  And in September of that year, V-J Day ended the war.

Let’s remember the heavy price paid for these victories, which ultimately made not only the western Allies but the world more free.  So many of us – Americans, Canadians, British citizens at home and across the Commonwealth, Soviet and French citizens, and many others – suffered and died, or served and survived, both in the theater of war and at home. Let’s remember also that thousands upon thousands of enemy soldiers suffered, as did their families.  And the price paid by innocents was so staggering that I, today, still cannot fully imagine it.

The entire world, in fact, paid dearly for World War II. That having been said, I believe that we have made the world a place more receptive to democracy and individual freedom.  A global peacekeeping organization, the United Nations, continues – often ploddingly and imperfectly – to do its work in the world.

We’re not there yet.  But we move, slowly and with frustration sometimes, along the road.

Could this have happened without World War II?  Perhaps, but history is what it is.  We cannot really know.

Visit Cat’s Cradle Books for great reading on World War II.

Power and Art: Machiavelli and the Italian Renaissance

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Il Principe (The Prince) by Niccolò Machiavelli. "La Nuova Italia" Editrice, 1941.

Born on May 3, 1469, Machiavelli remains, if not a household word, then one of the most recognizable names of the Italian Renaissance.  “Machiavellian” has earned a permanent place in the English language.  The Prince, one of his most important treatises, continues to be standard reading in university classrooms and a roadmap for political behavior in our time.  Whether he meant The Prince as satire or as a serious tribute to the Medici and other power brokers of the 15th and 16th centuries, his work has left a mark on our culture that continues to this, the 543rd anniversary of his birth in Florence, Italy.

The Florentine Renaissance, within which Machiavelli lived (1469-1527), was a study in paradox and contrast.  Florence rose from the bleak ashes of the Black Death (as depicted in Boccaccio’s Decameron), during which 70% of the city’s population either died or went elsewhere, to become a booming center of textiles (first wool, then silk) and finance (the banking enterprises of families like the Medici).  It was a city where money talked and power rested in the hands of the Medici family during most of the period.

The money that ruled Florence, rather than addressing the needs of the impoverished, went to displays of status.  The Medici, the Pitti, and the other wealthy and powerful families outdid one another with investment in private and public artworks.   Michelangelo’s “David,” now housed in the Accademia, was once a sculpture on public view in the Piazza della Signoria; a replica stands there now. Architects such as Brunelleschi thrived, and thus resulted a city of extraordinary beauty.  Botticelli, Da Vinci, Donatello, Fra Angelico, and many others found patrons in wealthy families, in the Florentine government, and in the Church itself.   Without the rise of families like the Medici, it’s doubtful whether Florentine art would have thrived as it did.

The art of the Renaissance, on the surface, provides a striking contrast to Machiavelli’s emphasis on “doing what is necessary” to build and keep power.  Nevertheless, his writing and the great art of the period shared many things.  They rested on a foundation of rational humanism.  They evoked the past, especially the past of classical Greece and Rome.  They also had a deep interest in contemporary subjects:  Machiavelli’s analysis of politics, Da Vinci’s portraiture, the Brancacci chapel’s frescoes with the faces of Florentines who lived during the time artist was working.

The Italian Renaissance was a time of contrast and conflict.  Bloody political upheaval marked the period.  Popes sired illegitimate children and kept mistresses in the Vatican.  Families warred with each other over who controlled cities.  Yet the Renaissance in Florence and other Italian cities was also a time of immeasurable beauty, of artistic innovation, and of enormous creativity.

Machiavelli’s work must certainly be counted among some of the most significant of this fascinating time.

Ci vediamo, mei amici!

Kathy Carter
Cat’s Cradle Books

The last Kodachrome roll: photography, history, progress?

Sunday, August 8th, 2010

A year ago the Kodak company ceased production of Kodachrome, that rich medium used in 35mm slide photography as well as in the creation of countless films.  The last 36-exposure roll went to Steve McCurry, whose haunting photograph of a green-eyed Afghan girl (1984) became a symbol of earlier conflict in Afghanistan.   What a task this final odyssey must have been, making decisions about what to include and how to compose and set the shot! 

In one way, the demise of Kodachrome is just a step along the path of photographic history.  The medium is young compared with the other visual arts, such as painting and sculpture.  The transformations photography has undergone are nothing short of amazing. 

Early French technical reference volume for photography

19th century French reference volume for photography

I wonder if early photographers saw the shifts from dauguerrotype to tintype to silver emulsion as nostalgically as this one.  I think rather not.  The early technology of photograph led to greater convenience and better results, generally.  The advent of smaller and smaller hand-held film cameras, especially in the twentieth century, democratized the medium and brought snapshot photography into the hands of Middle America.  Camera portability transformed journalism as well.  Instant Polaroids spoke to instant gratification, which some might say was one of the markers of the post-WWII era.  And the advent of color photography – including the recently departed Kodachrome – took the medium to new realms of possibilities. 

Digital photography, of course, was the next technological step.   Film photographers could be Luddites in the early years of digital development, but most have embraced the technology now.  Instead of film, we use a digital card holding hundreds of images.  Instead of a darkroom, there’s PhotoShop.  Instead of prints, we view images on a screen.  We delete the ones we don’t want (and there are many of those; not having to pay for processing leads us to shoot with great abandon).  The rest we save for printing…or for viewing in a digital picture frame.  The end result is a picture.  The process getting there is transformed forever.

I still have my Olympus OM-1 35mm SLR.  It takes great pictures.  But getting them developed is more and more problematic, especially if I want to shoot in black and white.  The OM-1 went with me to the Outer Banks one summer for some beach photography that I still think is some of my best.  It traveled with me to Britain, France, Italy, and Greece, and rewarded me with rich Kodachrome slides, some of which still send me back in place and time.  My daughter’s baby pictures were taken on the OM-1.  So, too, were the photographs I shot during my short but interesting career in print journalism: peanut farmers worried about drought, outsider artists and their work, historical sites, new businesses hopeful for success, concerts, and even a C-130 that landed at a small airstrip where I was living and working. 

Alfred Stieglitz at the Met

Metropolitan Museum of Art bulletin featuring the work of Alfred Stieglitz

There is a whole history in the heft of the camera in my hand, and in the way the macro lens feels as I balance it.  When I use it, I feel a connection to generations of photographers who have gone before me using different equipment and technologies. 

Don’t get me wrong.  I own digital equipment, and I love using it.  The Nikon D-5000 DSLR is a joy, and its new macro lens an absolute dream.   The palm-sized Fuji Finepix has amazing features for a tiny point-and-shoot.  

And yet, I wonder whether leaving the medium of emulsion film behind is not also leaving something creative behind that is different.  Maybe not better than digital, but different.  When I’m behind the lens, especially the lens of my old 35mm, I feel connected to generations of photographers who have gone before me.  I’m humbled by their superior talent and technical expertise.  But I keep on shooting and capturing anyway.

Savor the work of photographers through time and space in our photography catalog. 

Until next time….

Kathy Carter

Cat’s Cradle Books

Glenn R. Chavis, Our Roots, Our Branches, Our Fruit: High Point’s Black History, 1859-1960

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Chavis, Our Roots, Our Branches, Our Fruit 

I’m pleased to announce the release of a very special book by High Point, NC, native Glenn R. Chavis.  

In honor of the occasion, Cat’s Cradle Books has published its first print catalog, our current list of books related to African American life, history, literature, art, culture, and folklore.   For a copy of this catalog, contact us at info@catscradlebks.net.  

Glenn has written a compilation of information about the African American community of High Point, North Carolina from the incorporation of the town in 1859 to the sit-in era launched in 1960.  Glenn, born and raised in the black community during a time of segregation, has spent years researching the community’s history in government documents, city directories, newspapers, school records, and hundreds of other pieces of the past.  

His book contains 41 photographs of life in High Point’s black community, most of them never before published.  Our Roots, Our Branches, Our Fruit is a groundbreaking book; earlier focus on local history in this small New South city has been almost exclusively on the white community and on business and industrial leaders in particular.  

I was deeply honored to serve as editor of Glenn’s book.  The layout and design of the interior are also my work.   My editor’s preface, I hope, does the author justice.  Bob Brown, a High Point native and former White House adviser, contributed a foreword.  The High Point Historical Society is the publisher of record, and several local donors funded the cost of publication.  

Signed copies are available from the High Point Museum, which is presently the only outlet for this important book.  Future volumes in Glenn’s series are planned.  They include an upcoming sourcebook of information about segregated black schools in High Point, a study of black churches, and potentially several historical sourcebooks of land deeds held by High Point’s African Americans.   Glenn is also a storyteller, and many hope that he will eventually publish an anthology or two of  his well-researched personal essays and vignettes about High Point’s black history as well. 

Kathy Carter, Cat’s Cradle Books