Thank you to Michelle Dawson for spreading the word about an interesting article from the New York Times on her Twitter page. The subject of this story is an innovative, educative and compassionate specialist doctor by the name of Dr Chevalier Jackson who practiced in the 19th and 20th centuries in the US. There are many indications to be found in this biographical article that he was autistic. Dr Jackson collected objects that were of central importance to his work. The scientific, historical and curiousity value of this collection is such that it has been preserved in the Chevalier Jackson Foreign Body Collection of the world-famous Mutter Museum at Philadelphia. The doctor's collecting has been described as obsessive, but there is nothing mad or irrational about building a work-based collection that is of lasting value. Autistic obsessions aren't pointless or crazy.
Dr Chevalier's story is the subject of a new book titled "Swallow: Foreign Bodies, Their Ingestion, Inspiration, and the Curious Doctor Who Extracted Them". I hope to get to read the book sometime, and I would so much love to visit the Mutter Museum.
Down the Hatch and Straight Into Medical History.
New York Times.
January 11, 2011, p.D5 New York edition.
Online January 10, 2011.
Publisher page for the new book
"Swallow: Foreign Bodies, Their Ingestion, Inspiration, and the Curious Doctor Who Extracted Them." by Mary Cappello
The New Press.
Michelle Dawson at Twitter