Discovery Drawers

Drawer 1 Upper
Acupuncture needle and holder

These gifts are from Sven Hedin (Swedish explorer, writer, and geographer 1865-1952), a friend and patient of Dr. Harvey Cushing.


Drawer 1 Lower

Miscellaneous test tubes, corks, and stains for microscope slides found among materials in the original brain room located in Brady Memorial Laboratory basement.


Drawer 2 Upper
Chinese chirurgical (surgical) instruments

These instruments may have belonged to John Fulton, Cushing’s protégé, friend, and biographer. Fulton, along with Arnold Klebs and Cushing, donated their rare book collections to form the “new” Medical Library in 1941.


Drawer 2 Lower
Human Pelvis Bones of Various Developmental Ages

Specimens donated to the Kier-Conlogue Anatomic Collection by Professor Edmund Crelin and his family

On loan to the Cushing Center

Drawer 3 Upper
Fetal Human Brain and Skull Specimens

Histological sections, glass mounts, and photographs of fetal human brains and skulls. These materials donated to the Kier-Conlogue Anatomic Collection by Professors Robert Shapiro and Franklin Robinson.

On loan to the Cushing Center


Drawer 3 Lower
Photographic Materials

Photography was used to document the Cushing Brain Tumor registry 1900-1935 including glass plate negatives, lantern slides and pathology slides. One of a series of photos taken by Dr. Walter Willard Boyd M. D., an intern under Cushing at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston 1928-1932.

Dr. Boyd and Dr. Richard Light, another of Cushing’s last residents, were both avid photographers and used their skills to document Cushing’s legacy. They produced a film of Cushing’s 2000th Brain Tumor Operation on April 15, 1931.


Drawer 4 Upper

Cushing Stationery

Stationery including letterhead, business cards, and change of address cards.

Courtesy of the Medical Historical Library


Drawer 4 Lower
Disarticulated Adult Human Skull Bones

Specimens donated to the Kier-Conlogue Anatomic Collection by Professor Edmund Crelin and his family

On loan to the Cushing Center

Drawer 5 Upper
Drawing instruments and mechanical pencils

These instruments were found in Dr. Louise Eisenhardt’s office. The image is an example of how a case would be presented on a glass plate negative.

Courtesy of the Medical Historical Library

Drawer 5 Lower
“A Visit to Le-Puy-en-Velay”

A printing of Harvey Cushing’s diary “A Visit to Le-Puy-en-Velay” documents his travel to the Auvergne region of France from August 22 to September 1900. The first edition was printed in 1944 by the Rowfant Club, the second edition, 1986, printed by the Rowfant Club with the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. The book is owned by Lycurgus Davey, M. D.

An enlarged copy of the drawing “The red tiled roofs and a stream at the town of Coudes, France” appears at the beginning of the book. This image, from the diary, can also be found in the poster display cabinet.


Drawer 6 Upper
Miscellaneous surgical equipment

Scalpels, thermometers, and head mirrors plus Harvey Cushing’s set of razors inscribed with the days of the week. A gift from a Swedish admirer possibly Dr. Dick Hummel.

Donated by Cushing’s son Henry Cushing.

Drawer 6 Lower
Human Fetal Skulls at Various Stages of Development

These specimens donated to the Kier-Conlogue Anatomic Collection by Professors Robert Shapiro and Franklin Robinson.

On loan to the Cushing Center

Drawer 7 Upper
Various hypodermic needles

Needles and permits circa 1930 used by Madeline Stanton (1898-1980), Dr. Cushing’s secretary from 1920 until his death in 1939. Ms. Stanton then became the Librarian of the Historical Collections in the Medical Library from 1939-1968.

Photograph of Miss Gerrard, R. N. 1928-1932 by Walter Willard Boyd, M.D.


Drawer 7 Lower
Christopher Wahl, M.D. and his thesis

Wahl, YSM Class of ‘96 wrote his medical thesis on the Cushing Tumor Registry. He also created an exhibition that remained on display in the foyer of the Medical Library from 1995-2000. This revived interest in the collection and eventually contributed to the creation of the Cushing Center in June 2010.

Excerpts from Wahl’s thesis can be found here.

Drawer 8 Upper
Miscellaneous ophthalmology materials

Dr. Cushing’s ophthalmoscope, an example of a patient eye chart, magnifying glasses, and spectacles.

Courtesy of the Medical Historical Library.

Drawer 8 Lower
Photographs & Drawings

Copy of the photograph of Cushing holding a skull by Doris Ulmann (1882-1934). Two images of Cushing printed from negatives found among the thousands of glass and film negatives of patient documentation.

Reprints of three Cushing drawings
circa 1900. Cushing studied with Max Brödel (1870-1941) who developed a two-tone drawing technique using carbon dust and Stipple board. In 1898, Brödel began his career at John Hopkins School of Medicine as the personal illustrator for Dr. Howard Kelly. He became head of “Art as Applied to Medicine” in 1911, the first medical illustration department in the world. Brödel was also the founder of the Association of Medical Illustrators. He illustrated surgical procedures such as Cushing performing a transsphenoidal hypophysectomy using an incandescent head lamp to illuminate the surgical site.


Drawer 9 Upper
Adult Human Vertebral Columns

Specimens from the Kier-Conlogue Anatomic Collection.

On loan to the Cushing Center


Drawer 9 Lower

Selected materials found among the Cushing Tumor Registry Patient Records

The registry is comprised of: over 2,000 case studies, 650 jars of human whole-brain and tumor specimens, microscopic slides, about 50,000 pages of hospital records, notes, journal excerpts, and over 15,000 photographic negatives. Cushing retired from Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in 1932 and accepted the position of Sterling Professor of Neurology at the Yale School of Medicine moving his family and the collection to New Haven.


Drawer 10 Upper
Disarticulated and Mounted Fetal Human Skeletons

Specimens donated to the Kier-Conlogue Anatomic Collection by Professor Edmund Crelin and his family. According to an index card found with the boxes, the boxes were handmade specifically for the specimens. The exact date of these fetal skeletons is unknown, but the estimate is over 125 years old, the card itself is at least 40 years old.

On loan to the Cushing Center.


Drawer 10 Lower

Miscellaneous Photographs

Photograph of Cushing’s 2000th verified brain tumor operation by Walter W. Boyd on April 15, 1931.

Two photographs of Cushing’s operating room orderly, Adolph Watzka “who for twenty years had arranged H.C.’s surgical headlight, lifted his patients on and off the operating table, and even more important, mopped his brow on hot days in the operating room, for Adolph was the only one who knew how to do it without smudging his glasses”. Quote from Harvey Cushing Biography by John Fulton page 706.

An electrocautery instrument property of Dr. Cushing. October 1, 1926 was the first use of an electrosurgical generator. This occurred in an operating room at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston during which Harvey Cushing removed a mass from a patient’s head.


Drawer 11 Upper

Dr. Percival Bailey

This drawer is dedicated to Dr. Percival Bailey (1892-1973). The photograph was taken by Walter W. Boyd. Bailey was a neuropathologist, neurosurgeon and psychiatrist. He collaborated with Cushing on the Brain Tumor Registry and created a classification system for brain tumors.

They partnered to write the book A Classification of the Tumors of the Glioma Group on a Histogenetic Basis with a Correlated Study of Prognosis published in 1926.

Also shown is a microscope, lantern slides, a glass plate, pathological slides and negatives.


Drawer 11 Lower

Microtome blades

Pathology slides, a whole mount specimen, tumors in paraffin, and Microtome blades for slicing brain specimens (the Microtome is displayed on top of the cabinets).

Photograph of Dr. Louise Eisenhardt, protégé, friend, and colleague of Dr. Harvey Cushing from 1915 until his death in 1939. Considered one of the foremost neuropathologists in the world and expert on brain tumor diagnosis. She excelled as a scholar, investigator, editor, teacher, and curator of the Brain Tumor Registry at Yale. When the Journal of Neurosurgery was first published in 1944, she served as the managing editor, a position she held for twenty-two years. She was a Charter Member of the Harvey Cushing Society and served as President, long-term Secretary-Treasurer, and Historian.