Sunday, July 27, 2014

The doctorâ??s log book

February 19. 2013 5:15PM
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It was eight or nine years ago when Paul Angeloni of Waverly stopped by the estate sale at the beautiful old home built by Dr. Andrew Phelps Bedford. That's when he saw it: the doctor's log books from 1829. The covers were long gone but the pages were intact and perfectly legible. Yellowed with time, page edges slightly frayed, the books were sewn together with thread that still holds. He bought it for $25.

I wanted the book to stay in Waverly, Angeloni said. It belongs here. I didn't want it auctioned off to possibly end up in another state.

The title page features, Abington, AD 1829- A. Bedford, in beautiful script, and then the entries begin. Each of the 47 used pages of what appears to be three separate books, lists approximately 20 entries. Each entry states the date, name of individual, service performed and/or medication dispensed and fee applied. In almost every case, even obstetrics, the name logged is the male household member.

A sampling of entries includes:

* Jan. 9, Philip Stone, Ob case, $3.50

* Jan. 14, John Northrop, Elixir Asthma, $ .20

* Jan. 17, Samuel Miller for child, proalgesic, $2.50

* Jan. 20, Daniel B. Green, Ob case. Do order for 1¼ bushel corn, ½ bushel salt, credit by work.

* March 11, Samuel Stone son, dressing wound, $1

* March 13, George Clarke, ext. 2 teeth, $.50

Treatments noted include:

Bitters $.25

Linaments $.13

Fracture dressing $2

Camphor oil $.18

Sulphur $.13

Pills $.13

Ointment $.25

Gin Opium $.13

Cathartic $.13

Opening Abscess $1.25

Ipecac $.13

Tooth extractions $.25 each

Delivery of a baby $3.50

Dr. Bedford often delivered more than one baby in a day and several in a week. He had a flexible payment plan, noting partial payments, payments by goods and services and work done for one patient and paid for by another.

There is talk of the Little School House becoming some kind of a museum or library, Angeloni said. Maybe the book could be displayed there. I just want it to be here for the family and for the people to look at. It's a piece of history.

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