Authentic Historical Autographs, Historical Collectibles - The History Buff
The History Buff, Inc. - Phone: (952) 937-0325
17509 Bearpath Trail, Eden Prairie, MN 55347 or Palm Beach, FL, 33480

Bigger Font    Smaller Font



SUMMARY: This is a offprint of Harvey Cushing's 1930 Lister Lecture on the pituitary gland signed and inscribed by Harvey Cushing. This lecture presents the work that was an important part of Cushing's legacy.Price:$2,750.00


Harvey Williams Cushing (1869- 1939). Cushing was an American neurosurgeon and the pioneer of neurosurgery and thus he is widely regarded as one of the greatest neurosurgeons and surgeon scholars of the 20th century.He was educated at Yale, Harvard Medical School and had his internship in surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He later studied with the great Hopkins surgeon William Halstead when Hopkins School of Medicine was at a zenith with faculty like Halstead, Osler and Welch and many other medical luminaries.

Cushing held faculty positions at Johns Hopkins and at Harvard and Yale Schools of Medicine.Among his professional achievements were:1-He considerably improved the harvey Cushing at his desksurvival of patients after difficult brain operations for intracranial tumors;2- he used x-rays to diagnose brain tumors; 3-he used electrical stimuli for study and mapping of the human sensory cortex and 4-one of his main areas of expertise was the pituitary gland and it was because of that special interest and expertise he was invited to give the Lister Lecture. In fact, there is a disease called Cushing's Disease which is caused by a tumor (microadenoma-small tumor) of the pituitary glad that produces an excess of an adrenal gland secreting hormone (ACTH) which in turn stimulates a part of the adrenal gland to produce an excess of corticosteroids (cortisone or cortisone-like hormones). Patients with this disease appear round faced (moon faced), edematous or obese an sometimes hyperpigmented. The same condition can be produced clinically by simply giving patients an excess of adrenal hormones or by isolated adrenal hyperfunction and such patients eventually have the appearance of patients with Cushings Disease and are referred to as being "Cushingoid" and as having Cushing's Syndrome rather than Cushing's Disease.

A book review in the venerable New England Journal of Medicine in 2002 iullustrates the importance of Cushing's work almost a century later-- "Cushing's Syndrome (book review) is a welcome addition to the literature on a subject that remains among the most difficult and challenging in endocrinology. It is because of these challenges that almost every year the Endocrine Society's annual meeting includes one or two sessions dedicated to Cushing's syndrome, adrenal tumors, or corticotropin-producing pituitary adenomas (Cushing's disease)."

In addition to his technical excellence he was a masterful mentor and teacher and writer. He won the Pulitzer Prize for his biography of another great physician Sir William Osler, M.D.Today he would be referred to as a polymath.

This offering is a signed original reprint or off print published in Lancet of the 1930 Lister Lecture.The Title of the Lister Lecture was Neurohypopoysial Mechanism:from a Clinical Standpoint.-1 In other words the lecture was on the physiology and pathophysiology of the pituitary gland with some presentations of illustrative clinical cases.The document is approximately 6 in x 8 in and is inscribed Prof J.J. Abel with warm regards Harvey Cushing.-2 The offprint is in good condition There is a marin notation in light pencil at the bottom of page 36 opposite a cited reference pencil--"neglected our paper" and in the top margin of page 37--"Do any of these surgically induced cases of diabetes insipidus fail to respond to pit.extract" These margin notes moe than likely were made by Professor Abel.Scientists are particularly sensitive of not having their work propely credited.

This lecture was an invited lecture by The Royal College of Surgeons and the lecture is consecrated by the award of the Lister medal. As mentioned previously, Cushing was already well know for his work on the pituitary gland. In 1930 he was gathering the data upon which his understanding of Cushing's Disease would be based.At the time of this lecture Cushing had already written several basic clinical research papers on the pituitary, the feedback control of the gland's secretions and the clinical findings in patients with various pituitary disorders. Cushing also pioneered the trans-sphenoidal( access through the nose) surgical approach to the pituitary gland It is for that body of work that he was invited to give the Lister Lecture and for which he was concomitantly awarded the Lister Medal.Cushing's in depth knowledge of the relevant basic science is evident in this lecture. Cushing was one of the first surgeon scholars to attempt to bridge the gap between the lab bench and the bed side.It was this body of work that led to Profesor Cushing reporing the first case of Cushing's Disease in 1932.-3



In addition to his technical excellence he was a masterful mentor and teacher and writer. He won the Pulitzer Prize for his biography of another great physician Sir William Osler, M.D.Today he would be referred to as a polymath.

Cushing was a chain smoker and had various ailments that caused him to retire at age 60 from Harvard and he returned to Yale where he spent his waning years not doing surgery but working on various projects such as the Yale Medical School Library.

One historical note. The Nobel committee is not wont to award the Medicine prize to surgeons but if any surgeon other than Alexis Carrel (Nobel-1912) should have received the prize in that era it would have been Cushing.It may be that he would have been awarded the prize if he had lived longer but we will never know. It is somewhat ironic that Cushing's colleagues from the Peter Bent Brigham at Harvard, (Murphy-Minot-and Whipple) were awarded the medicine prize for the discovery of intrinsic factor in 1934.



The item will be come with a letter of authenticity as to its origin, history and authenticity.

1-Lancet:.July 19th and 26th,pp.119 wnd 175, 1930

2-JJ Abel. John Jacob Abel (1857 -1938) received his PhD in physiology from Johns Hopkins University and studied in Germany under Carl Ludwig and Oswald Schmiedeberg. He returned to the United States in 1891 to become Chair of the Department of Materia Medica at the University of Michigan. At Michigan Abel transformed the Department of Materia Medica into a Department of Pharmacology, the first in the country. In 1893, Johns Hopkins University was opening a new medical school and recruited John J. Abel to be their first professor of pharmacology. John J. Abel and eighteen of his colleagues founded the American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics on December 28, 1908.Abel was the first to isolate a blood pressure raising substance from bovine adrenal glands (1897) which substance he called "epinephrin." At the age of 68, he became the first person to crystallize insulin (1925).Thus, John J. Abel can be considered the Father of Pharmacology in the U.S. as well as the founder of ASPET and the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (JPET).

3-Cushing HW. The basophil adenomas of the pituitary body and their clinical manifestations (pituitary basophilism). Bull Johns Hopkins Hosp 1932; 50:137-195





The History Buff Home Page