National Geographic : 1927 Feb
A MARYLAND PILGRIMAGE industry that hard times, panics, and changes in trade demands do not bring the disaster that they do to some communities. And its financial institutions are as con servative as the proverbial French peasant. JOHNS HOPKINS, NURSERY OF AMERICAN RESEARCH Through Johns Hopkins University and Medical Schools and Hospital the city of Baltimore touches humanity every where. When the great, noble-minded Quaker banker and merchant whose name they bear gave his fortune for the found ing of a hospital and the establishment of a university, he left it in the hands of far visioned men. America's universities at that time put their emphasis on training men for the professions. The Johns Hopkins trustees, guided by D. C. Gilman, saw that there was need for an institution which would specialize in research and the training of men for research work. They understood that civilization progresses only as it delves deeper into the mysteries of Nature. So they built a university that should develop research and train men for its exacting tasks. And from that day Amer ica began to take its place as one of the world's leaders in the accumulation of new knowledge and its application to the needs of an expanding race. Johns Hopkins trained men and women went out to the colleges, laboratories, and hospitals and started a new era in American research and medical teaching. Here Rowland worked out the law of the mechanical equivalent of heat, without which modern engineering could not solve the problems it meets; standardized the ohm, an essential element in the wonder ful development that has characterized the electrical industry; perfected his machine for ruling spectrum gratings, a funda mental piece of equipment in the re searches that have led to our new knowl edge of the structure of the universe and our new data upon the constitution of the atom. Millions of human beings in every part of the world have been beneficiaries of Johns Hopkins-discovered adrenalin, which has stanched the flow of blood in operations, bolstered a weakening heart in pneumonia, brought breath to the bodies of newborn babies, stilled the torturing spasms of acute asthma, and rendered local anesthetics less dangerous. Other millions are indebted to Johns Hopkins for the present operative methods in the surgery of the stomach, intestines, blood vessels, and gall bladder, and also for the methods used in operating for hernia, goiter, and cancer of the breast. Rubber gloves were here first intro duced in the operating room, as were silk sutures, two of the greatest aids to the safety of patients from operating-room infection. DISCOVERIES THAT BENEFIT CIVILIZATION Of the countless contributions to medi cal knowledge made by Johns Hopkins Medical Schools there may also be men tioned: the diagnosis of typhoid fever by blood culture; the first important studies in this country of amcebic dysentery; the discovery of the exact manner in which the muscles of the heart contract with a spiral motion to expel the blood-the basic action of the heartbeat-and dis coveries of the physical and chemical re actions that stimulate and retard the heart beat. Experiments that showed the signifi cance of blood pressure and led to the manufacture of instruments to measure the pressure of the blood; a reliable method for regional anesthesia; the basis for the treatment of tetany; the discovery of the gas-producing organism which was a common cause of gas gangrene follow ing wounds in the World War; the de velopment of genito-urinary surgery for women; pioneer researches in the applica tion of radium to the cure of disease; effective leadership in educating the public to methods that prevent disease; and a long series of mercurial compounds, such as mercurochrome, an antiseptic used in the treatment of blood poisoning, and many other disorders. Johns Hopkins Medical School yields only to Michigan University as the first medical school in the world to admit women to its classes and to accord them all the privileges that men students enjoy. More than 2,000 doctors of medicine and 1,500 graduates of the School of Nurses have gone from this glorious insti tution to every part of the world, spurred with its ideals "to make life longer, hap pier, and more effective."