The following note appeared in The Medical
Visitor, Vol. III, 1892:
"The commencement exercises of the New York
Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital were held April 7th.
Exercises opened with prayer by the Rev. Dr. Bolles. Prof. T. F.
Allen, dean of the faculty, delivered the introductory address.
Judge Rufus B. Cowing, president of the board of trustees,
conferred the degrees. Dr. L. L. Danforth, secretary of the
faculty, awarded the following prizes: First faculty prize, a
microscope, valued at $100, for the highest average during the
entire three-years' course, to John T. White of Salt Lake City;
second faculty prize, a microscope, valued at $50, for the next
highest average, Joseph E. McKenzie, of Caledonia; the Wales
prize, a case of surgical instruments, for the highest standing in
all the junior and middle studies, Frederick W. Wall, of the
senior class. There were thirty five graduates."
It is clear that each of these Schrauer prize
microscopes was a special order that was custom made. The engravings
of the dedications are under the lacquer surface and therefore must
have been applied before the microscope was finished. It is
interesting to speculate on what some of the other prize microscopes
were like, particularly those awarded in later years, when factory
methods were more common and makers that handcrafted their
instruments, such as Wale and Schrauer, were no longer in business.
It seems it would have been more difficult to special order such
microscopes and one wonders if the later instruments even had an
engraved dedication. Or, possibly, these later microscopes had the
dedication on a plaque attached to the case, a practice that was
used in earlier years. This would avoid having to special order the
stands since the plaque could be applied to the case after purchase.
But this is only speculation.
The archives of the NY Medical College do not
contain any information about the microscopes that were awarded but
the recipients for the years 1874-1916 are on record and a list of
them can be viewed here.
- 16th Annual Announcement of the
NY Homoepathic Medical College, p. 9, session 1875-76.
- For a more complete history of
the College see: P. L. Wershub, One Hundred Years of Medical
Progress; a History of the New York Medical College, Flower and
Fifth Avenue Hospitals, 1967, Thomas, Springfield, Ill.
- A feature found on microscopes
in the author's collection.
- D. L. Paggitt, A Short
History of the Early American Microscopes, p. 137,
Microscope Publications Ltd. , 1975.
In recent years, several additional Prize
Microscopes have turned up. Among these are the
2nd Price awarded to James Crooks Jr. in 1887 and the
1st prize awarded to Frederic Morton Wall in 1893. Both these
microscopes were manufactured by L. Schrauer and are similar to
those given in other years. The
1st prize awarded to Frank Parker Ekings in 1903 is an exmple
of the Bausch & Lomb BB model with serial number 42612.
The author would like to thank Drs. Stuart Warter,
Barry Sobel, and Mr. Jerome Ruskin for kindly providing images
and/or information about of the microscopes in their collections. I
would also like to thank Ms. Judy Myers, archivist of the NYMC, who
was very helpful in retrieving information for this article.
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