Margaret M Allemang Centre for the History of Nursing
Bulletin Description Bulletin Archives Membership
Description Bulletin Archives Membership




MARCH 1993

Margaret M. Allemang Centre for Nursing History

Editor: Natalie Riegler, RN, PhD. 3 Dromore Crescent, Willowdale, Ontario, M2R 2H4.
TEL: 416-221-5632 E-MAIL:



Solomon, Susan Gross, and John F. Hutchinson, eds. Health and Society in Revolutionary Russia. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990. 256 pp.

Solomon and Hutchinson have edited an interesting book of ten articles, written by American, Canadian and British academics familiar with the Russian literature and bearing impressive qualifications. Though the papers, given in a conference held at the University of Toronto during May 1986, contribute little information about the state of Russian nursing, they do provide material on the struggle of the medical profession for dominance in the health field, from the Tsarist period, through the revolution of 1905, the first world war, the revolutions of February and October 1917, the civil war of 1918-1921, the New Economic Era of 1922-1929, and the Cultural Revolution and its First Five-Year Plan, 1929-1933. The details and interpretations give scholars of nursing history comparative data.

To do justice to each author's argument requires a reviewer who is familiar with the relevant topic. For example, Julie Brown explores the rivalry between psychiatrists and the community doctors in "Social Influences on Psychiatric Theory and Practice in Late Imperial Russia"; Laurie Bernstein discusses prostitution in "Yellow Tickets and State-Licensed Brothels," in particular, the political struggles between government officials and medical doctors for control of this problem. Sally Ewing follows with "The Science and Politics of Soviet Medicine." Here, as Ewing points out, the medical profession opposed "any attempt" by workers to control medical care in the workers' insurance scheme. Christopher Davis closes the section with "Economics of Soviet Public Health, 1928-1932." In the third section Susan Gross Solomon describes the "Social Hygiene and Soviet Public Health, 1921-1930," and Mark Adams analyzes "Eugenics as Social Medicine in Revolutionary Russia."

My interest was caught by those essays which gave a hint about the nursing profession. John Hutchinson intimates that the doctors feared the nurses as part of the group able to usurp their status. In "`Who Killed Cock Robin?': An Inquiry into the Death of Zemstvo Medicine," Hutchinson argues that "the movement for medical, social, and political reform" was killed not only by the Bolshevik revolution in 1917 and the competition between doctors but also by the doctors' fears that the revolution of 1917 would "encourage the assault on their privileged professional status by feldshers, nurses, and other lesser medical personnel."

In another piece, the minimal involvement of nurses in health administration becomes apparent. Neil Weissman writes, in "Origins of Soviet Health Administration," that there was only one nurse amongst the 75 delegates at the June 1918 "First All-Russian Congress of Medical-Sanitary Sections." Despite the disparity in numbers, on one page the attendance is given as "some sixty delegates" and on another as seventy-five, of which forty-five were physicians, fourteen were feldshers, seven were pharmacists, four were medical students and one a nurse, the remaining four are not acknowledged, Weissman describes the conference as suffering political domination by twenty-eight Bolsheviks, rather than by profession or gender. However, he does mention that doctors wanted health care to be in their hands, while the "new All-Russian Medical-Sanitary Workers Union" which included 134,000 feldshers, nurses, and other medical workers wanted "the democratization of medical affairs" and to have "both equal status for all health workers and extensive union participation in the management of health institutions."

Samuel Ramer's essay on "Feldshers and Rural Health Care in the Early Soviet Period" provides further information about nurses. The non-physician health services included nurses, feldshers midwives and feldsher-midwives. Feldshers were assistants for the physician in rural areas, often practising in isolated locations. The workers' union which wanted feldsher wages to be "equivalent" to physicians included all medical workers: physicians, feldshers, midwives, nurses, sanitary personnel, carpenters and cooks, but the physicians had "special provisions to guarantee their autonomy in matters of medical expertise." Despite the opposition from rural physicians to prevent the legitimization of the independent feldsher, it was difficult in 1918 for the doctors to eliminate this assistant; the feldsher was needed because of the "extreme shortage of physicians and nurses." By 1922, with an anticipated improvement in rural economy, more physicians were expected to settle in the countryside, making feldshers not only unnecessary but replacing them with nurses. However during the 1920s, some feldshers who were being eliminated from that position were able to "reclassify" as nurses "without changing their duties," only their salaries were reduced. By 1924, the government planned to replace the feldsher with three types of nurses and the midwife, referred to as "auxiliary medical practitioners": the social assistance nurse, somewhat akin to our public health nurse, who would work in the community dispensary system, the obstetric and paediatric nurse, who was not a midwife, the hospital nurse, and the midwife. By the 1930s, these nurses were being trained in large polytechnical medical institutes. However, doctors did not return to the rural areas and feldsher training resumed. In 1936, the polytechnical system was abolished and feldsher schools were resurrected. Ramer does not mention what happened to the training facilities for the nurses.

An article on occupational health, "Okhrana Truda: Industrial Hygiene, Psychotechnics, and Industrialization in the USSR," closes the book. Though the content contains no reference to nursing, Lewis Siegelbaum mentions the seven-hour day and three shift system introduced into the textile industry in January 1928 as a means to reduce the workers' fatigue level. He points out that a study of this innovation showed the change in hours led to "a more intense pace of production" and actually increased the problem. Does this have any relevance to the reduction of nurses hours in the 1920s? As we know during this period in North America, the nursing profession was still arguing over the benefits and disadvantages of the shortened work-day for students and graduates.

The editors close their book with an "Afterword," which though oriented to the history of medicine contains points applicable to the history of nursing. They suggest that history can benefit from the biographies of leaders, that institutional histories can be enhanced by studies of their departments, for example, a national institution can be better understood by considering its urban and rural components, that studies of specialties within a profession enhances the history of the discipline, and finally that there are many relationships within a profession which need to be considered, such as, unionization and the state, educational reform and commitment to care for the client.

Solomon and Hutchinson's book on the Russian medical health system is valuable. It is readable, contains many primary sources, provides data and analysis about the personal and intra-

disciplinary competitiveness within the medical profession and the medical profession's struggle with the changing governments and ideology. Hopefully, future conferences on the Russian and Soviet health care system will also include papers about the nursing profession.



Heagerty, Brooke Victoria. "Class, Gender and Professionalization: The Struggle for British Midwifery 1900-1936." Journal (RCN History of Nursing Society), 3 (1991): 41.



Alberta Association of Registered Nurses Museum and Archives. C. Lorraine Mychajlunow, Curator/Archivist, Alberta Association of Registered Nurses, 11620-168 Street, Edmonton, Alberta, T5M 4A6. 403/451-0043. The AARN has one of the three known lamps used in the Crimea by Nightingale and the nurses. (AARN Newsletter 48 (June 1992): 4).

The Metropolitan Toronto Archives and Record Centre, 255 Spadina Road, Toronto, Ontario, M5R 2V3. Telephone: 416/397-5000. This repository holds the archives for the Metropolitan Toronto governing body.

The Museum of Nursing History, Inc., 320 Second Street Pike., Suite 168, Southampton, PA 18966.

National Nursing Archival Project (Australia). The Royal College of Nursing is establishing a national resource centre for nursing history. The objectives include promoting the maintenance of records, creating an interest in nursing history, locating and classifying nursing history materials and acquiring materials related to nursing history.

St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, Ontario opened a medical museum on May 14, 1992. It is located on the first floor of the hospital on Bond Street. (Treena Khan. "Toronto Live." Globe and Mail (Toronto) 14 May 1992, A15.)


Baly, Monica E. "Nursing Services in Great Britain During World War II." Humane Medicine 7 (October 1991): 277-281.

Baas, Linda S. "An Analysis of the Writings of Janet Geister and Mary Roberts Regarding the Problems of Private Duty Nursing." Journal of Professional Nursing 8 (May-June): 176-183. [courtesy of Moira Lynch].

Bajnok, Irmajean. "The Image of Nursing." Registered Nurse (RNAO), 4 (October 1992): 22-25, 34.

Bannerman, Holly. "Florence Opera Excites Audiences and Critics." Registered Nurse (RNAO), 4 (October 1992): 26-27.

Benson, Evelyn R. "The Legend of the Maiden of Kosovo and Nursing in Serbia." Image 23 (Spring 1991): 57-59.

Borsay, Anne. "`Persons of Honour and Reputation': The Voluntary Hospital in an Age of Corruption." Journal (RCN History of Nursing Society), 3 (1991): 1-15.

Broadley, Margaret. "A Lost Art?" Nursing Times 86 (12 September 1990): 54-55.

Brunt, Pamela N. "Impact of World War II on Nursing in Canada." Humane Medicine 7 (October 1991): 282-284.

Carlisle, Daloni. "A Nightingale Sings." Nursing Times 85 (13 December 1989): 38-39.

Chapman, Eunice. "Prior Nurses." Nursing Times 85 (13 December 1989): 40.

Donahue, M. Patricia. "The End of History." Journal of Professional Nursing 8 (September-October 1992): 262. [courtesy of Moira Lynch].

Fewster, Carol. "A Mission in the Workhouse." Nursing Times 85 (19 April 1989): 64-65.

Fields, Willa L. "Mentoring in Nursing: A Historical Approach." Nursing Outlook 39 (November/December 1991): 257-261.

"The Florence Nightingale Lamp." AARN Newsletter (Alberta Association of Registered Nurses), 48 (June 1992): 3-4.

Godfrey, Frances (pseud.). "Sweet Seventeen . . . or `Have you Found the Koplik's Spots?'" Nursing Times 85 (30 August 1989): 54.

Hawkins, Joellen W., and Irene Matthews. "`Tugboat Annie:' Nursing's Hero of Pearl Harbor--Grace Lally (1897-1983)." Image 23 (Fall 1991): 183-185.

Hazzard, Laurie. "Graduate Nurses Win Control of Profession." Registered Nurse (RNAO), 4 (October 1992): 19-21.

Hezel, Linda F., and Laura M. Linebach. "The Development of A Regional Nursing History Collection: Its Relevance to Practice, Education, and Research." Nursing Outlook 39 (November/December 1991): 268-272.

Howse, Carrie. "Registration A Minor Victory?" Nursing Times 85 (6 December 1989): 32-34.

Jensen, Elsabeth. "Founder of Modern Canadian Nursing [Mary Agnes Snively]." Registered Nurse (RNAO), 4 (October 1992): 16-18.

"Lady of the Lamp Carried the Torch for a Priest." Journal (RCN History of Nursing Society), 3 (1991): 38-39.

Lindsay, Gillian. "A Cottage Hospital at War." Nursing Times 86 (9 May 1990): 56-58.

MacMillan, Kathleen, and Judith Young. "Ministry of Health Funds Nursing Historical Project." Registered Nurse (RNAO), 4 (October 1992): 32-33.

Mathews, Joan J., and Kathleen Zadak. "The Alternative Birth Movement in the United States: History and Current Status." Women and Health 17 (1991): 39-56.

McConnell, Florence. "Down Memory Lane." Nursing Times 85 (18 October 1989): 46-47.

McConnell, Margaret. "Living on the Front Line." Nursing Times 85 (2 August 1989): 50-52.

McMillan, Ian. "A Sense of the Past." Nursing Times 87 (2 January 1991): 37-39.

Melia, Kath. "A Decade of Change." Nursing Times 86 (27 June 1990): 33-34.

Connor, J. T. H., and Jennifer J. Connor. "Medical and Related Museums, Historic Sites, and Exhibits in Ontario: An Annotated Guide and Review." Canadian Bulletin of Medical History 8 (1991): 101-119.

Pierson, Ruth Roach. "Experience, Difference, Dominance and Voice in the Writing of Canadian Women's History." In Writing Women's History: International Perspectives, ed. Karen Offen, Ruth Roach Pierson, and Jane Rendall, 79-106. Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1991.

Pillitteri, Adele. "Documenting Lystra Gretter's Student Experiences in Nursing: A 100-Year Comparison with Today." Nursing Outlook 39 (November/December 1991): 273-279.

Rispel, Laetitia, and Helen Schneider. "Professionalization of South African Nursing: Who Benefits?" International Journal of Health Services 21 (1991): 109-126.

Smith, James P. "Nurses and the Battle for Britain 1940." Journal (RCN History of Nursing Society), 3 (1991): 26-30.

Strong-Boag, Veronica. "Making a Difference: The History of Canada's Nurses." Canadian Bulletin of Medical History 8 (1991) 231-248.

Young, Judith. "`A Necessary Nuisance': Social Class and Parental Visiting Rights at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children 1930-1970." In Canadian Health Care and the State, ed. C. David Naylor, 85-103. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1992.



The ICN is asking for contributions to help with its centennial history project. Cheques or international money orders (in Swiss francs, US dollars or pound sterling) made payable to the ICN Foundation can be sent to Centennial Project, International Council of Nurses, 3, place Jean-Marteau, CH-1201 Geneva, Switzerland. This history is being undertaken by the Center for the Study of the History of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania under the direction of Dr. Joan Lynaugh. Dr. Meryn Stuart is providing the Canadian content.



Bates, Barbara. Bargaining for Life: A Social History of Tuberculosis, 1876-1938. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, May 1992.

Birnbach, Nettie, and Sandra Lewenson. First Words: Selected Addresses from the National League for Nursing, 1894-1933. New York: NLN, 1991. (AAHN, Bulletin 34 (Spring 1992): 8.)

Bullough, Vern, Lilli Sentz, and Alice P. Stein. American Nursing: A Biographical Dictionary. Vol. 2 New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1992. (AAHN, Bulletin 34 (Spring 1992): 12.)

Golden, Janet, and Charles E. Rosenberg. Pictures of Health: A Photographic History of Health Care in Philadelphia, 1860-1945. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1991.

Offen, Karen, Ruth Roach Pierson, and Jane Rendall, eds. Writing Women's History: International Perspectives. Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1991.

O'Neill, Cynthia. A Picture of Health: Hospitals and Nursing on Old Picture Postcards. Oxford: Meadow Books, 1991.

O'Neill, Cynthia. More Pictures of Health: Hospitals and Nursing on Old Picture Postcards. Oxford: Meadow Books, 1991.

Rogers, Naomi. Dirt and Disease--Polio before FDR. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, June 1992.

Rosenberg, Charles E. and Janet Golden, ed. Framing Disease--Studies in Cultural History. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, May 1992.

Smith, Deborah D. The Diary of Emily Jane Hollister--Her Nursing Experiences, 1888-1911. Ann Arbor: Historical Center for the Health Sciences, University of Michigan, 1991.



Perry, Anne. Defend and Betray. Random House, 1992. The third in a mystery series starring Hester Latterly, a fictional Crimea War nurse who served with Florence Nightingale. Latterly has appeared in both The Face of a Stranger (1990), and A Dangerous Morning (1991). These last two books are now in paperback.


15-16 May 1993. "Australian Nursing--The Story." First Australian Nursing History Conference. Contact Helen Hamilton, Projects Officer, Royal College of Nursing, Australia, 2 Slater Street, Melbourne, VIC 3004. Phone: (03) 820-2055 or FAX: (03) 820-1954.

21-24 July 1993. "Nursing, Women's History and the Politics of Welfare." An international conference to be held at Florence Nightingale Hall, University of Nottingham, England. For additional information contact: Jane Robinson or Anne-Marie Rafferty, Department of Nursing Studies, Faculty of Medicine, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, NG7 2UH. Fax: (0602) 709259. APPROXIMATELY TEN CANADIANS WILL BE PRESENTING. [courtesy of Dr. Helen Mussallem].

1-3 October 1993. Tenth Annual Conference of the American Association for the History of Nursing (AAHN) and the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Philadelphia.

Fall 1994. Eleventh Annual Conference of AAHN and the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing.

Fall 1995. Twelfth Annual Conference of AAHN and the University of Arkansas School of Nursing, Little Rock.

Fall 1996. Thirteenth Annual Conference of AAHN and the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.



Illuminations: An Exhibition of Original Lighting in Honour of Florence Nightingale was held in Elora during the Florence Nightingale opera and later shown from September 23 to November 1, 1992. The Craft Gallery, Ontario Crafts Council, Chalmers Building, 35 McCaul Street, Toronto. Though the opera provided a reason for artisans to design lamps, only two lamps had some obvious reference to Nightingale.



Brunt, Pamela. "Canada's Nursing Sisters 1914-1918." Fact Sheet No. 1. Ottawa: Canadian War Museum, n.d. [courtesy of Dr. Helen Mussallem].



Arlee McGee, who co-ordinated the June 1992 CAHN/ACHN conference in New Brunswick, is pictured with the poster exhibit "Nurse Iconograpahies." Canadian Nurse 88 (October 1992): 8.



Baly, Monica E. Review of From Matrons to Directors of Nursing: A History of the Association of Directors of Nursing Victoria Inc. from 1939-1989, by Marjory Taylor Walkowski. In History of Nursing Society Journal (Royal College of Nursing), 3 (1991): 42.

Baly, Monica E. Review of The Growth of a Profession: Nursing in Victoria 1930s-1980s, by Judith Bessant and Bob Bessant. In History of Nursing Society Journal (RCN), 4 (1992/93): 51-52.

Gibbin, John. Review of British Nursing Badges--An Illustrated Handbook. Vol. 1, by Jennifer Meglaughlin. In History of Nursing Society Journal (RCN), 3 (1991): 49.

McGann, Susan. Review of Florence Nightingale's Notes on Nursing, by Victor Skretkowicz, ed. In History of Nursing Journal (RCN), 4 (1992/93): 173.

Storr, Fannie H. Review of The Cottage Hospitals: 1859-1990--Arrival, Survival and Revival, by Meyrick Emrys-Roberts. In History of Nursing Society Journal (RCN), 3 (1991): 48.

Webster, Kenneth A. Review of Exploring History: An Introduction to Nursing Past, by Christopher Maggs. In History of Nursing Society Journal (RCN), 3 (1991): 43.

Wilson, John R. Review of `As Miss Nightingale Said . . .', by Monica Baly. In History of Nursing Society Journal (RCN), 4 (1992/93): 53.



Nancy Edmonds, proprietor of Old Authors Farm, Box 403, Morrisburg, Ontario, K0C 1X0, telephone 613/543-3337, is looking for information about her husband's great aunt, Margaret McGilvray who graduated in 1910 from the Winnipeg General Hospital. Margaret McGilvray's c.v. includes the following: 1910-1911, at WGH; 1911-1912, Lady Superintendent at Tranquille Sanitarium in Kamloops, BC.; 1912-1914, returned to WGH and did staff work at King George Hospital; 1914-1916, worked in Wpg TB Public Health Unit; 1916-1919, Nursing Sister overseas; returned to WGH as staff nurse on military wards A and D, was in charge of private wards, and became Night Superintendent.

You can either communicate with me or write Nancy.



Allemang, Margaret May. "Nursing Education in the United States and Canada, 1873-1950: Leading Figures, Forces, Views on Education." Ph.D. diss., University of Washington, 1974.

Buhler-Wilkerson, Karen. "False Dawn: The Rise and Decline of Public Health Nursing, 1900-1930." Ph.D. diss., University of Pennsylvania, 1984.

D'Antonio, Patricia O'Brien. "Negotiated Care: A Case Study of the Friends Asylum, 1800-1850." University of Pennsylvania, 1992.

Healy, Phyllis Foster. "Mary Eugenie Hibbard: Nurse, Gentlewoman, and Patriot." Ph.D. diss., University of Texas, Austin. 1990.

Kerr, Janet Ross. "Financing of University Nursing Education in Canada, 1919-1975." Ph.D. diss., University of Michigan, 1979.

Kirkwood, Rondalyn Ann. "The Development of University Nursing Education in Canada, 1920-1975: Two Case Studies." Ph.D. diss., University of Toronto, 1988.

McPherson, Kathryn. "Skilled Service and Women's Work: Canadian Nursing 1920 to 1939." Ph.D. diss., Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, 1989.

Petersen, Barbara A. "The Division of Nursing Education, Teachers College, Columbia University, 1947-1961. The McManus Years: Advances in the Professionalization of Nursing." Teachers College, 1988.

Poplin, Irene Schuessler. "A Study of the Kaiserswerth Deaconess Institute's Nurse Training School in 1850-1851: Purposes and Curriculum." Doctoral diss., University of Texas (Austin), 1988.

Riegler, Natalie N. "The Work and Networks of Jean I. Gunn, Superintendent of Nurses, Toronto General Hospital 1913-1941: A Presentation of some Issues in Nursing during her Lifetime 1882-1941." Ph.D. diss., University of Toronto, 1992.

Sheehan, Dorothy. "The Social Origins of American Nursing and Its Movement into the University: A Microscopic Approach." Ph.D. diss., New York University, 1979.

Young, Judith. "Attitudes and Practices towards the Families of Inpatients at the Hospital for Sick Children Toronto from 1935 to 1975." M.Sc.N. thesis, University of Toronto, 1987.



"I will go before thee, and make the rugged places plain; I will break in pieces the doors of brass and cut in sunder the bars of iron." (Mary Agnes Snively's favourite watchword).



© 2000, The Margaret M Allemang Centre for the History of Nursing