Nationwide Children’s Hospital

In 1890, a sewing circle, members of the King’s Daughters of St. Paul Episcopal Church, making sheets and blankets for the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital wanted Columbus to have its own children’s hospital. This facility would take care of all sick children regardless of their race, creed or ability to pay. Therefore, on May 8, 1890 this group held a tea at the home of Mrs. James Kilbourne, 604 E. Town St., and raised $125. This money was the beginning of the fund to build a children’s hospital in Columbus.

On January 23, 1891 a founding group of men and women met to plan a hospital. A constitution and by-laws were drawn up, and Articles of Incorporation were filed with the Ohio Secretary of State on February 27, 1892.

The original nine-bed hospital was completed on December 30, 1893 at the corner of Miller and Fair Avenues on Columbus’ east side. The prevailing color scheme was blue and white, carried out in staff uniforms, chinaware, linens, bedding, etc. Under the original regulations, the hospital was open to patients between the ages of one and sixteen; no patient could stay longer than three months without a physician’s request and board review; and, no cases of infectious disease were accepted.

The first patient, Lucile Metzel, age 6, was admitted February 3, 1894, with a diagnosis of hip-joint disease and a family history of tuberculosis.

In 1900, an Elks wing was added that increased the number of beds in the hospital by 25. Throughout the first decades, the non-contagion rule proved almost impossible to enforce. One room had been designated a contagion room with one assigned nurse, should a case develop, but on several occasions so many cases of an interloping infection occurred that the hospital had to be closed to all other patients.

In 1916, the Women’s Board, which operated the hospital, had a budget of $10,000. Since this amount was not sufficient to meet the increasing expenses, Mrs. Truitt B. “Daisy” Sellers, President of the Women’s Board, met with a group of 42 women to form a fund raising auxiliary. On April 4, 1916, the Children’s Hospital Twig (Twig is an acronym that stands for Together With Important Goals) auxiliary was formed with 15 individual groups. Mrs. Sellers and Mrs. Kilbourne were both charter members of Twig 2. Raising money was not the only goal of the Twigs. Since the hospital needed supplies, each group as it was formed agreed to provide a specific item. Twig 26 supplied Dixie cups; Twig 32 soap; Twig 33 dental supplies; Twig 44 sugar; Twig 57 crib blankets; Twig 58 brown sugar; and Twig 62 baby bottle nipples. Some groups made surgical gowns, towels, sheets and diapers. One Twig did the grounds maintenance, a forerunner of all the Twigs’ flower and mulch sales.

Also in 1916 Children’s became affiliated with The Ohio State University.

From 1917 to 1943, the Women’s Board published a small monthly magazine, “The Bambino”, with articles about child care, the hospital and most importantly, “Twig Gossip”. This magazine was also a fund raising project with businesses purchasing ads and each copy costing 10 cents, or $1.00 per year.

Eventually, the hospital outgrew its original building and moved to new facilities in 1924 at 561 South Seventeenth Street, fronting Livingston Park. This facility had a capacity of one hundred twenty-five beds and accepted all types of cases except those of a contagious nature, the age limit being fifteen years. There was a free daily dispensary for general medical and surgical cases and a free daily dental clinic for hospital and dispensary cases. An eye, ear, nose and throat dispensary was open bi-weekly and crippled children had access to a free dispensary one day each week.

The hospital still exists although as a much larger facility and is now known as Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Additionally, it is home to the Department of Pediatrics of The Ohio State University College of Medicine.

The archival collection of the hospital has recently been processed and the finding aid is available here.

New Exhibit Cases

exhibit caseFor the first time since our founding in 1997, the Medical Heritage Center has professional archival quality exhibit cases!

What makes an exhibit case archival quality you may be wondering? The answer lies in the materials used in the construction. The top of our cases is an acrylic vitrine with a inert cloth deck that allows minimal air exchange from the outside to the inside of the case (ie. a sealed environment).

The current exhibit on display through June is artifacts about central Ohio nursing and the Breathing Association. Stop by Prior Hall (376 West 10th Ave), 5th floor to view.

Finding Aids: What are they?

A finding aid is a guide to an archival collection. One could think of it like the table of contents for a book. It contains all of the content needed by a researcher to know what they will find in the collection.

The elements, or sections, of a finding aid at the Medical Heritage Center include Access, Citation, Processing Notes, Property Rights, Provenance, Series Listing, Related Collections (if applicable), Historical Sketch, Scope and Content Note, Series Descriptions, and Container Listing.

Access lists any restrictions, such as copyright, on the collection.

Citation is the preferred citation to use when citing materials from the collection.

Processing Notes is the information about who processed the collection and when they did so.

Property Rights lists who owns the collection.

Provenance explains from who and when the collection was acquired.

Series Listing is the listing of the series in the collection. This only applies to larger collections as small collections do not have series.

Related Collections lists what other collections within the MHC relate to this one. This is not always applicable and when it is not, it is not included in a finding aid.

Historical Sketch is biographical information about the person or organization the collection is about.

Scope and Content Note is an overview summary of the collection.

Series Descriptions are a listing and summary of what is found within each series.

Container Listing is the listing of the box, file or item, description and date of what is contained within the collection.


To see all of the Medical Heritage Center finding aids, click here.

A Fortunate Series of Events: ASC2194: Digital Storytelling in the Medical Heritage Center

Instructor Perspective by Kristin Rodgers

In addition to helping the OSU Colleges of Medicine, Nursing and Optometry celebrate their centennials in 2014; I had the pleasure of co-designing and co-instructing a course, ASC2194: Digital Storytelling in the Medical Heritage Center. Brian Leaf, Instructional Design Librarian at University Libraries, and I spent January through September designing the course which we offered second term autumn semester.

Having never undertaken such an endeavor before, and as our course was posted for enrollment after the initial autumn registration window, I expected we would not receive enough interest to proceed. Imagine my surprise when we not only maxed out our open seats, but we admitted an additional student too!

The premise of the class was straightforward: students selected an artifact from the pre-selected set of 45 objects (the MHC has more than 4,000 artifacts so a pre-selected set was essential) and weaved research about the artifact with a personal element to create a story.

My personal goal in designing and teaching the course was to expose the Medical Heritage Center to a new audience. I knew the success of this goal would be met if the course moved forward; and since we had enrollment, it did.

The class began at 9:35am on Tuesday, October 21, 2014. I began setting up the artifacts that morning at 7:00am and was ready by 8:30 (I am not only a morning person but also the type of person who was known to arrive 30 or more minutes early to a class while in school). As I sat waiting, going over in my head my presentation for the fifth time (I was a bit nervous having never been in the professor role before), the first student arrived about 9:10am. I sat in stunned silence watching him as I calculated he had arrived 25 minutes early. I knew immediately he and I would have a good rapport for that reason alone! What I never expected though is that as the seven weeks of the course unfolded, I would so personally identify with Anthony through his digital story that he would leave a profoundly deep impression on my soul.


Student Perspective by Anthony M. Bowersock

Thinking back to Autumn Semester 2014, I would have never expected my life to take such a series of twists and turns as it did during that term. I had just enrolled in my final semester as an undergraduate student at OSU and was prepared to graduate from a place that I had called home for a very long time, 2003 to be exact. And while the semester started out like every other, almost halfway in between things began to change, at first for the worse, but ultimately for the better…

In order for you to understand my plight, I must take a little step back, so you can fully comprehend the matter at hand. Late in the summer of 2014, I had the distinct displeasure of contracting West Nile Virus during a vacation to see my family in Georgia. While I enjoyed most of the trip, I ultimately ended up in the hospital afterwards, reeling from a series of complications, including that of vertigo, light sensitivity, and overall nausea. As the summer passed, many of these issues dissipated; however, midway through fall, a series of new complications began to develop. I recall the day when I woke up, nearly falling as I got out of bed. I was having trouble using my right arm and leg. Was it the 40 hour work week I was putting in? Or was it the full time class load that I was packing on top of everything? Or was I just simply tired from it all? While I didn’t know the answer, a network of neurologists did. Unfortunately, it wasn’t something I could easily sleep off and recover from. I would need time, more time than I initially was willing to give myself.

As much as I yearned to graduate from OSU during the fall, I knew it ultimately would not be possible considering the complications from the virus that I contracted. Walking was difficult, even with an ankle brace, so I had to choose between damaging muscle or changing my class load and postponing graduation. Of course, I chose the latter, which brought me to ASC2194: Digital Storytelling in the Medical Heritage Center.

Taking this class with Kristin and Brian was one of the most rewarding experiences that I have ever had here at The Ohio State University. Initially, I was interested in the class due to the medical aspect (as I plan to attend medical school and become a physician); however, after enrolling in the class I was amazed by the course’s ability to interweave research and personal narrative. I always wanted the ability to tell my story, and for people to understand exactly where I came from. Thanks to this class, I ultimately got that chance.

ASC2194: Digital Storytelling in the Medical Heritage Center gave me the opportunity to not only learn about the MHC but also to learn about myself through the connections I researched. The selection of an artifact was something that I didn’t think I could connect with at first, but over time I learned that something as novel as an 19th century scarificator could take me back into the depths of my mind. I am forever thankful that I was able to tell the world how I made it to Ohio State in 2003 and how I ended up back home and able to stand here today, with just a little over 10 weeks shy from graduation. I will never forget the memories that I shared from the seven week journey of the course, as I made a number of new connections to not only my future profession but also to the experiences that surround my personal life.


To see Anthony’s digital story, as well as the other students, please click here


Convalesce (v.): to recover health and strength gradually after sickness or weakness. The first known use of the term was in the 15th century.

While sorting through an archival collection last week, while a cold was beginning to establish its hold within me, I came across the following passage: “Unfortunately this was complicated and interrupted by an atypical pneumonia and nephritis. I came home to my sisters to convalesce.”

As my cold developed and fully grew within me over the weekend, I found myself thinking more about the term convalesce and why it has fallen out of favor when it so perfectly captures the more frequently used term recovery. I, for one, have used it multiple times over the past several days and plan to add it to my general vocabulary for future use.

To all of you suffering from winter illnesses, I wish you a speedy convalescence.

The History of Nursing: An Infographic

History of Nursing

Medical Center Expansion

In 2014 the Medical Center Expansion project, the largest expansion project in OSU’s history, which included the new home of the Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute and a new Critical Care Center, was completed.

College of Dentistry Seal


The College of Dentistry seal in an “O” with the open book and buckeye leaf with are part of the University seal. The open book signifies education and the buckeye leaf is representative of the Ohio State University. The “O” also represents the Greek letter Omicron which the first letter of the word Odont, meaning tooth.

The triangle, representing the Greek letter Delta, together with the cautery and the branches with the leaves and berries represent the dental profession. The leaves represent the 32 teeth in the permanent dentition and the berries represent the 20 teeth in the primary dentition.

The overlapping of the triangle and the circle represent the joining of dentistry and education.

First Campus Statue

In 1915, the International Dental Federation asked and was granted permission to erect the first campus statue of Dr. Willoughby D. Miller (1853 – 1907). Dr. Miller discovered how and why teeth decay.

The OSU Board of Trustees fixed the temporary location of the statue southwest of the Thompson Library building – it was moved to its present home beside Postle Hall when the building was complete.

The bronze statue is the work of Frederick C. Hibbard, a sculptor from Chicago and costs $5000. It was unveiled December 8, 1915 in the presence of 300 dentists attending the annual meeting of the Ohio Dental Society. Miss Anna Miller of Alexandria, a grandniece of Dr. Miller, performed the act of unveiling.

On the base of the statue is the following inscription: Erected to the Memory of Willoughby Dayton Miller, 1853-1907, Dental scientist and education, Benefactor of his profession, Friend of humanity, a native of Ohio, a citizen of the world, by the dentists of the United States, December 8, 1915.

Expansion in the 1950s

Aerial View of Medical Center in 1952

Aerial View of Medical Center in 1952

The 1950s marked a time of expansion for departments in the OSU College of Medicine with five beginning the Division of Rheumatology and Immunology (1950 as Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases); the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (1951); the Department of Psychiatry (1951); the Department of Plastic Surgery (1952); and, the Department of Urology (1952 formally, but began in 1917 informally).

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