tv American Artifacts U.S. Army Medical Department Museum Directors Favorite... CSPAN April 19, 2019 11:05pm-11:26pm EDT
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>> i would like to welcome you to the united states army medical museum here at fort sam houston texas. are probably looking around saying this doesn't look like a museum. in fact, this is a part of every museum. it is the part that the public doesn't often get to see. i know when i first came to the museum industry i said that e- zines are quiet. there contemplative places. boy, i was wrong. i didn't know the inter- workings until i started volunteering. later on working at museums to understand the frenzy of activity with artifacts coming on exhibit and off exhibit. here at the museum we have a very special, somewhat different mission. our mission here is to train medical professionals for the army. we also inform school kids and informed the public and the army medical department. our primary process is to take
our motto, experience and progress. that is what the medical department is about. to show how history can actually propel us forward. that said, i can talk about madison from now until a week from next tuesday and you will get bored and turn off your television. what i want to show you are some of our favorite, really everybody save her artifacts here at the museum. i want to show you a few things that very few people ever get to see. we're going to pass through this area and go to where we actually prepare the artifacts for storage and for display. hopefully show you a few things you have not thought that we ever would have had. one thing about every museum and certainly is true of this museum is there are so many artifacts that are collected. they cannot all be put on display at once and actually
part of the preservation of artifacts is to not have them on display so long. that the environment, the lighting and other things will damage them. so one of the great things that i get to do is every day to come back here. we are in the area where we prepare artifacts for exhibit. this is the workspace. where we prepare artifacts coming on and off. it is in close proximity to the storage. i wanted to do is give you some artifacts that are my favorites. and to tell the story behind them. why they are my favorites and show you things you may not normally get to see. certainly the two models we have here are incredible examples. the story behind them is more interesting even when you also understand what they represent. 1st of all they are 19th- century models. produced just after the american civil war. both of
them are railcars dedicated to the care of the wounded. the one in front of me here is actually a car for the preparation of food and for the seating of ambulatory patients and staff. the one next to us is a representation of one of the railway cars, specifically developed for the evacuation of wounded. the union army had a number of these cars built during the civil war. unfortunately for the confederacy, supplies being short as they were and the inability to keep up the railroads. especially late in the war, limited the amount of use they had a specialized cars like this for evacuation. although certainly others were modified for the purpose. but what is so interesting to me about those is that they represent a first step too in understanding the law of conflict when it comes to humanitarian law. when we start to think about training like the red cross
that the union wouldn't design until 20 years after the war, these cars represent a first step toward recognizing the united states that there is a higher law when it comes to wounded. when we deal with more time and dealing now with humanitarian issues that we never dealt with in any previous war. so when these cars came into existence, both armies, the union and confederate signed some treaties that said basically, if a car and train is only used for the wounded or the sick, and it will not carry munitions. but is properly identified and the engines painted red with warning lights on all the cars. and clearly the word hospital on at least one portion of that. that these cars were protected. that the wounded being transported would not be molested by the enemy. and in fact, these are the only
representations other than drawings that we really have. these models from this period. they were designed to show people exactly how they work. when you look at them they are marvels of technology. we have in here an office for the hospital steward. we have stoles to keep the patients warm in cool weather. we have shades that come down over the windows to block out the light. the bags are suspended in such a way that they are actually hung on heavy, rubber bands really that had a gift. they were about a one inch square rubber band that could allow a little bit of give to take some of the shock out of the right. they could provide food, water provided right in here along with a toilet. at the time, they were the best they could possibly be and these models are so well-built. each individual piece, perfectly made to show the public after the war what was provided for the wounded. and today, this is the only real
three-dimensional insight that we have. so i can't show you the train models without showing you my other favorite. this is just one of several we have in the collection. this, obviously is a horse- drawn ambulance. and i don't think that we think about how different an ambulance really was. when we look at this it would be easy to say it is a wagon. well, that's true. and yet it is different than most. most army wagons would not have had these elaborate systems of springs that you see underneath which were used to 1st of all keep the wagon fairly light. 2nd of all, to give comfort to the people riding while absorbing the shock. the roads at the time were pretty awful. to put people in a dredge wagons would put them through
quite a hellish ride. not that these by any means were a cushy ride by any standard. the other thing i have to say is that they are marvelous because for someone who only saw photographs of the war, even during the period that these were built, about the time of the 1870s. we think there is indication that these may have been shown at the centennial expedition -- exposition excuse me in philadelphia, 1876. this would have given people an idea in three dimensions. what this looks like. to actually see the details of all the metalwork. these are marvelously done. the other thing that i marvel at when i look at these is the handwork that went into every piece of brass. every metal fitting to exactly replicate what was there. these models are absolutely spectacular when it comes to
being correct in every minute detail. the way the break is set, the way the springs are made and how they are attached. all of the little nuts, bolts and pieces are perfect. the amount of time that went into this, i cannot even fathom. so from just the standpoint of art, they are incredible. from the standpoint of mechanics, they are incredible. and to know that people use these in the 19th century to see , for the rest are probably in three dimensions, this aspect of the american civil war. that i can share that experience of seeing these for the first time was incredible. it is one of the reasons that these are so important to me. but they also lead us toward a completely different avenue of construction. if you look at it, the handwork and the technology kind of come together.
now i look to see something that is the handwork that may surprise you. again the level of detail is going to amaze you. at the outbreak of world war ii, we had an unusual circumstance for the medical department. that was a large number of personnel who were captured in the philippines when they fell to the japanese. you don't think of large numbers of female nurses in world war ii or doctors being prisoner of war camps because of the deed geneva convention. but in fact that happens. the items you see here, this uniform, in those days it was not believed it was seemly for women, especially nurses to have pockets in front of their pants. the military uniforms the women had not had pockets. this nurse understood the absolute need for them. so believe it or not this is a man's shirt and a man's pair of trousers, turned backwards with the fly sewed up and pockets then from the back remaining in
the front so she could do her job effectively. this type of handiwork is representative of a lot of handiwork we see. especially in one of my favorite artifacts from the whole museum. that is a small doll in the nursing core uniform that was made by the women who are prisoners of war while they were being held in the philippines. in 1941, we all remember the attack on pearl harbor. those horrific images of photos . what many americans over the years have forgotten about is very much at the same time, other places were attacked by the japanese, the philippines and wake island and others. when the philippines were captured we had a fairly large contingent of men and women there. we had hospitals, artillery, infantry and when the japanese captured them, for the first time we had a large number of
women who are prisoners of the enemy and for the first time a large number of medical professionals, doctors and others who would become pows. and life in the p.o.w. camps, really was certainly a difficult one. with the females, they were kept separate. and the nurses were actually used to nurse within the camps that were located in the philippines. we have an artifact from here that again is one of my all- time favorites. edith corn lloyd was given this by a lieutenant pickard. and it was made for her in the camp. so there are prisoners of war while this is being made. the detail is incredible when you think about it. we have her skirt and uniformed that was worn by the prisoners. the gas mask back,
identification dogtags, even the patches that the nurses made for themselves as prisoners. the shoes, the hair and even the embroidered face. on her back she actually has on a belt a canteen. even more detail, her soap. and a towel, a rat and toilet paper, a brush, her blue bag and her blue sweater. interesting because we don't think of the time of the capture in the philippines that the blue sweater which was authorized for use and the blue bag, we don't think they actually had been issued yet. they would have known about them. they knew they were coming down the line but were not sure that they had them. the other thing i love are the socks. the reason i love the socks so much is that we actually have examples of socks that look just like these. full-sized, and dated by the women in the very same internment camp, in the
philippines. so we have miniature version and full-size version. we think this was made doubly in 42 or 43. unfortunately by 1944, life in that camp had become difficult. so one of this personal stories , incredible workmanship. by the way i love it too. the army never would have approved, she has pockets on the front of her skirt. they added them because the uniform that they were, they were smart enough to know they needed pockets. just like the uniform that we have outside which was made from men's trousers, they put the pockets on despite what the word apartment thought. as prisoners of war, who is going to stop them? just this fabulous, fabulous collection of very personal items from a female p.o.w. you have to be asking yourself after beautiful train cars and marvelous model of the
ambulance and that beautiful doll, how do we get to this? 1st of all i have to tell you we have an affectionate name for this. him. he is dead ed. we don't know what they called him at the time but the fact is, this is an incredible part of the history of the training of our medical professionals here at sam houston. this is an unbelievably sophisticated x-ray machine from 1960 that was used to train medical professionals. how it worked, interestingly enough, we have two heads and a couple of hands and some extra wounds. it is that he has inside of him, pumps. we can regulate a heartbeat. we can regulate the flow of blood, where the blood is coming out of the body. we can simulate burns, bullet
wounds in the chest. facial injuries and all kinds of other things you can see. we even have a packet of original blood that came with them. it is quite solidified. the point of this whole contraption which in 1960 cause cost of the sum of $18,000, what is it worth to train a medical rational for the battlefield? this expense was put to the test right here. and he looks a little rough for the wear. you can imagine how many students have put their hands on him and honey times he was bathed in his own fake blood. certainly it is showing the wear. but the important part of this goes back to the very mission we have. the experience in progress and learning from the past. we learned from the learning tools of the past. today, we have something like dead ed. he doesn't have to have
mechanical pumps and he doesn't have to have some of the things that we have here because thanks to computer technology, we have mannequins like this that can be used where you enter a room and talk to the patient. the computer hears your voice and the patient talks back. but it is a mannequin. we can control heart rhythms. we can actually hook diagnostic equipment to the manikin and it will respond much the same way it does with the body. we can simulate the things here but it started here. it started with dead ed. and by remembering this and showing this to the students. i have to say that dead ed has his own fan club from fort hood, texas. they come every year to visit him from fort hood. this device is an insight into where we have been in training. what worked and what didn't work in training. it is even this collection of body parts and pumps and hoses
that teaches us something. what it teaches us is what extent did our forebears go through in expense, time and trouble to train? just like the railway cars. just like the ambulance. this is also something that quite frankly, much of it had to be handmade. it is the handcraft work melded to the technology of the time. the last thing it tells us really is the story of the people who touched it. the very hands that were on dead ed at one time, many of them won in vietnam. many of them wound up serving their country. some of them who touched this probably lost their lives serving the country. we want to remember their training because we want to train better. we want to remember their sacrifice because they made the ultimate sacrifice. we want to remember all who touched this and everything else in the collection because it helps us move to the future.
and it helps us prevent ever losing touch with our past. so yes, even dead ed , one of our favorites. he has a great story to tell. >> you can watch this and other american artifacts programs by visiting our website, cspan.org/history. this is a special edition of american history tv. a sample of the compelling history programs that air every weekend on american history tv. like lectures in history, american artifacts, real america, the civil war, oral histories, the presidency and special event coverage about our nations history. enjoy american history tv. now and every weekend on c-span 3. tuesday at 7 pm eastern on
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