Ask Us

Centennial Photo Display: 1940's, Part I

Alethea Drexler
archives assistant
MS002S03b01 Houston Press 1947 Better Life 600dpi crop letterhead JPGThe 1940’s were big years for the Texas Medical Center.  To begin with, there now was a Medical Center: The Texas Medical Center was planned in the early 1940’s by the trustees of the M.D. Anderson Foundation, to be located on land purchased from the city, next to Hermann Hospital and Hermann Park [IC002 Texas Medical Center].
The dedicatory celebration was held on February 28, 1946, at Houston’s luxurious Rice Hotel.
MS002S03b01 TMC dinner 1946 01 cover 600dpi JPGThose in attendance were served fresh fruit dressed with sherry, celery hearts and olives, squab on toast with butter sauce, rissole potatoes and baby lima beans, salad, rolls, and chocolate meringue glace.
Medical Center founding father Ernst Bertner, M.D., is on the left:
1946-TMC-dedication-dinner-cThe map in the dinner program showed the handful of buildings that were in existence or under construction alongside ambitious plans for future growth [MS002 Ernst Bertner, M.D., S.III b.1 f.1]:
MS002S03b01 TMC dinner 1946 map 03 merged 600dpi 2500 JPGThe buildings that are shown in black are Palmer Memorial Church and the James Autry House on the far right, Hermann Hospital in the middle, the Rice University gymnasium at top, and Baylor College of Medicine, which was under construction, at left (in the middle of the map).  The Autry house, rectory for the church, operated a cafeteria that served Medical Center employees and students during the 1940’s and 1950’s [“The Cornerstone”, Rice Historical Society, Vol. 13, No. 1 Winter 2008].
Baylor University College of Medicine relocated from Waco to Houston in 1943  and was housed in a former Sears warehouse until the Cullen Building was completed in 1947.  It separated from Baylor University in 1969.  The University of Texas Hospital for Cancer Research was founded 1941, now UT M.D. Anderson Cancer Center) had been established a few years earlier [IC002 Texas Medical Center].
MS002S03b01 UTMDACC 1944 01 JPGBy 1948, the dedicatory map was becoming reality.  This 1948 aerial shows the completed Baylor College of Medicine, Hermann Hospital’s new building and the Hermann Professional Building under construction, and the oval drive that would eventually encircle the Library building [IC002 Texas Medical Center]:
1948-TMC-Aerial library-lot_bates-bertnerArchitect Karl Kamrath’s concept for a Streamline building [MS071 S.4, F.6]:
1940-MS071-S4-F6-Kamrath-TMC-conceptCivil engineer Herbert A. Kipp was president of the River Oaks Corporation and was responsible for the layouts of the subdivisions in River Oaks, Glenwood Cemetery, Hermann Park, and the Texas Medical Center. The Corporation sent him on a research tour of other medical centers in the fall of 1944 in preparation for his work on the Medical Center. The colorful originals of some of his travel ephemera are held by the TMC Library’s McGovern Historical Collections. [IC002 Texas Medical Center, Series I, box 25].
An early admonishment to keep an eye on your luggage and keep your carry-ons to a minimum:
NYNHN railroad 2 300dpi-1500The Office of Defense Transportation oversaw railroads from 1941 through 1945 in an effort to ensure that transport was adequate both for civilians and for the war effort [The Presidency Project].
Missouri Pacific Railway envelope with a “V for Victory” theme.  :
Mo-Pac 1 300dpi-1500Hotel rates have changed a little in the past seventy years.
Atlanta, Georgia’s, Winecoff Hotel, featured at the bottom of the left-hand column, would be the site of the deadliest hotel fire in United States history in 1946 [Winecoff Hotel Documentary]:
Hotel Sir Walter Raleigh 1 300dpi-1500American Airlines ticket envelope.  The plane resembles a Douglas DC-3:
American Airlines 1 300dpi-1500A little more about Houston’s medical community during World War II:
Nursing as a profession had suffered a blow during the Great Depression, and many nurses became unemployed or had to scrape by on reduced hours and wages [“Nursing During the Great Depression“, Scrubs, August 27, 2012].  The Second World War created both renewed need and new opportunities for nurses.
Lois and Barbara Burnett, Hermann Hospital School of Nursing students, in 1940.
IC086 P-box02 F-1 Burnett 600dpi JPGInterns and nursing students at Hermann Hospital, 1943.  The girl at far right is wearing a one-piece playsuit, which probably had a skirt she could button over the shorts for street wear [Institutional Collection 086 Hermann Hospital Archives, P-box 02, folder 1].
IC086 P-box02 F-1 interns nursing students 1940s 600dpi JPGHermann’s pediatrics department, Christmas 1945:
IC086 P-box02 F-1 HH pediatrics christmas 1941i jpgLydia Moglia, Hermann Hospital School of Nursing class of 1932, in her Army Nurse Corps uniform (and epic victory rolls), signed “I haven’t lost the twinkle in my eye, October 1945” [Institutional Collection 086 Hermann Hospital Archives, P-box 02, folder 1].
IC086 P-box02 F-1 Lydia Moglin HHSN1932 1945 600dpi JPGMoglia grew up on a ranch in Bruni, Texas, a tiny town near Laredo. She served in the Army Nurse Corps in Europe from 1942 to 1945, in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater in 1945 and 1946, and again during the Korean War from 1950 to 1954, in between working in hospitals in Houston, Laredo, and Corpus Christi [;].