BOYD FAMILY PAPERS, 1874-1945
(6 cubic feet: 6 DB, 1 F/O, 2 films)
by: Robert S. Harding & Stephanie Thomas, March 2002
The Boyd Family Collection consists primarily of correspondence, recruitment and other posters, personal papers, and photographs of a naval surgeon, John C. Boyd, and his son Walter Willard Boyd.
Dr. John C. Boyd was a surgeon and medical inspector for the United States Navy. Included in the collection is Boyd's Naval Commission, December 19, 1873, his Patient Case Book 1874-1877, and a Letterpress book of his correspondence with other professionals and military officials. As a naval inspector, he not only examined patients' conditions, but he also inspected the sanitation of the sailor's quarters and other areas aboard naval ships. He was also honorary curator at the Smithsonian Institution, 1891-1892.
His son, Dr. Walter Willard Boyd, was a photographer of medical surgeries performed by Dr. Harvey Cushing (1869- 1939). Cushing was widely known as the greatest neurosurgeon of the 20th century and his school of neuro-surgery was world famous. His contributions to neuroscience were numerous and he was also known as a medical historian. Cushing's biography of Sir William Osler, won a Pulitzer Prize in 1926. Boyd interned under Cushing and put together an exhibit at the Bent Brigham Hospital's 30th Anniversary Celebration in honor of Dr. Harvey Cushing's contributions to neuroscience. This collection contains photographs taken by Walter Boyd that were displayed at this exhibit. Dr. Richard U. Light (one of Cushing's last residents and also an avid photographer) and Dr. Boyd filmed Dr. Cushing's 2000th verified brain tumor operation on April 15th, 1931. Two films of this operation are included in the collection. In addition, Scrapbook #3 contains photographs of Dr. Cushing performing operations.
Also contained in this collection is a scrapbook outlining the details of a leg accident of Walter Jones Willard. Walter Jones Willard is the son of C.C. Willard, former owner and proprietor of the Ebbitt Hotel and the Willard Hotel, both in Washington, D.C. Walter Jones Willard and his brother Edward were both graduates of Yale University class of 1892 and were members of the prominent Willard family of D.C.
Scope & Content
This collection is divided into seven series. Series 1: AWARDS/ COMMISSION, 1917-1920 John C. Boyd's U. S. Naval Surgeon Commission, December 19, 1873. In addition, this series includes lists of soldier's names recommended for Distinguished Service Medals, Medals of Honor, Navy Crosses, and Letters of Commendation. Series 2: CASEBOOK, 1874-1877 John C. Boyd's naval case book, which gives descriptions and charts of the patients Boyd examined. The case book describes his medical procedures forthe years 1874-1877. Series 3: CORRESPONDENCE, January 1895-February 1902 Two letter press books, both authored by John C. Boyd. One contains his personal and business correspondence with other doctors and professionals and a United States Naval Surgeon, and the other contains his correspondence regarding his duties as United States Naval Inspector. Series 4: PHOTOGRAPHS, 1928 - 1939 Framed photograph of "The departure of the U.S. Navy Fleet from Hampton Roads, Virginia, December 16, 1907 on its cruise around the world." A gift to Walter Boyd, 1939, from his friends at U.S.D.A. London. The majority of photographs are of surgery and personal images associated with Harvey Cushing. Walter Boyd took many of these photographs. Series 5: POSTERS, early 1900's- mid 1940's Posters with images of military personnel. Series 6: SCRAPBOOKS, 1888-1945 One scrapbook documents the accident and amputation of Walter Jones Willard's leg and the subsequent letters and cards of sympathy from friends of the Willard family. The other scrapbook contains newspaper clippings and photographs featuring inventions, ships, Broadway show programs and ticket stubs, and articles on electricity and the military. The scrapbook gives us insight into the period of 1905-1945. Series 7: FILM, 1931 Two film reels of Dr. Cushing's 2000th verified brain tumor operation, filmed by Walter Boyd on April 15th, 1931.
This collection was donated to the Archives by Ms. Josephine Carpenter, daughter of Dr. Walter Willard Boyd, on November 19th, 1999. At the same time, several objects were given to the Division of Medical Sciences.
Princeton University Posters Collection. The Princeton University Library donated this extensive collection of WWI, and WWII materials to the Smithsonian in 1963 and 1967.
Photographic scrapbook #4 of Dr. Cushing's operations can be found at the Cyber Museum of Neuro-surgery. It was donated to the American Association of Neuro-surgery Archives by Dr. Richard U. Light. http://www.neurosurgery.org/cybermuseum/journal