SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
6000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
Join and Share

Social Shorpy

To love him is to like him. Our goal: 100k "likes":

Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Daily e-mail updates:


Member Photos

Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

Colorized Photos

Colorized photos submitted by members.

About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

Modern Medicine: 1924

Modern Medicine: 1924

Washington, D.C., circa 1924. "Radio at Garfield Hospital." We're happy to report this patient has been discharged. National Photo glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Cuffs, collars, caps and aprons

The uniforms designed this way had separate detachable cuffs, bib aprons and collars that were heavily starched to provide a neat appearance and some level of protection from stains.

Nurses, however, did not launder their own uniforms at this time. The uniforms were provided by the hospitals for the nursing students, and laundry service alone was frequently a benefit of employment for graduate nurses who lived in the nurse's home or residence on the grounds of the hospital. (Married nurses were not allowed, so taking care of housing them was part of the hospital's benefit of employment.) The industrial type laundry service provided was much more capable of laundering such a quantity of uniforms than nurses could who lived in a residence hall in individual rooms could themselves. Particularly the starching and ironing process required to render collars, aprons, cuffs and to a lesser extent, the dresses, starched to a cardboard like surface. The nurse's uniforms came with several sets of these items, at least a week's worth at a time, so they could be changed daily, or more frequently in the event of heavy stains or other damage.

Usually two or three caps, depending on the hospital policy, were provided, or at very least, available for purchase, and also laundered with the rest. This kept the appropriate portions of the cap starched stiff, like the cuff portion of the cap you see here. Name tags were required on every piece to avoid confusion when they were returned to the nurses who owned them. The nurses were generally required to provide the name tags themselves.


Yes, the reason for the cuffs is that they are not permanently attached to the dress, and thus when they become soiled they can easily be replaced with clean ones. They protect the dress, Ms Nurse would only have to wash her cuffs and collar after work rather than her entire uniform.

Crystal radio

That radio reminds me of one of the first crystal radios I made in Boy Scouts. Possibly one of the first crystal radios on the market. For those who don't know crystal radios do not operate under any outside power source or battery.

For an antenna

We used to use the bed springs. They worked well for local stations in Philadelphia. The ground was clipped to the cold water valve, or the radiator pipe in a pinch. (That looks like a headphone condenser between the two binding posts)

Missing another important component...

I don't see a cat's whisker, either. Maybe there's a fixed galena wired in somewhere.

Day room?

I wonder if this man has been rolled to a day room for a break, or for fresh air?
It looks like double doors behind the bed, possibly opening onto a porch.

Awkward bed placement

@vrteach: It's not the light switch placement that's awkward, it's the placement of the hospital bed in front of the door.

iPod Prototype

Or an early Walkman.

The Nurses sleeves are to prevent the patient from getting a glimpse of bare arm and sending them into a frenzy of uncontrollable desire.

Heavy-duty night shirt

Rather bulky compared with today's "robes" that one wears in the hospital. I don't know much about radio history, but that radio looks a bit like a war surplus one.

That light switch seems kind of awkward to get to, but perhaps it is a switch for something else.

However, the nurse is top-notch. Do the cuffs that she is wearing serve some purpose?

Reception is bad

With no antenna and no grounding, that crystal set won't pick up too much. As long as that nurse was there, though, who'd care?

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

Syndicate content RSS | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Photo Use | © 2018 Shorpy Inc.