This series consists mainly of manuscripts and drafts written by Hess for Art News, Le Monde, Vogue, New York magazine, and other publications. Other writings by Hess include his senior essay "Poussin and Classicism"; class notes on art history, architecture, and chemistry; notes on the artist Ingres; notecards on Italian artists; notes taken during his travels abroad; and two notebooks. The first notebook is from Hess' time at Yale and includes his notes on literature and plays along with doodles. The second notebook contains notes written in English and French on readings about art. A play titled "The Red Robins" by Kenneth Koch is also in this series.
Hess' manuscripts and drafts are arranged chronologically beginning with undated material. Titlles, when known, are supplied in the folder notes.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Washington, D.C. Research Center.
The Thomas Hess papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Thomas Hess papers, 1939-1978. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Smithsonian Institution Collections Care and Preservation Fund.
Unbound album pages (labeled A through Q) with photographs documenting the people and culture of the Pocatello-Fort Hall area, including American Indians (particularly Shoshone-Bannock tribes), agency employees, and missionaries. Included are images of encampments, Sun Dance ceremonies, the Fort Hall Agency, Indian schools and churches, the Run for Fort Hall Lands on June 17, 1902, the War Bonnett Roundup at Idaho Falls, Shoshone Falls and other natural features and landscapes, a large number of street and aerial views of Pocatello, A. L. Cook's drug store in Pocatello, and members of the Cook family. In addition, there are photographs of Nez Perce, Hopi, San Juan, and Navaho Indians, and one image of the Lapps Indians at Port Townsend, Washington. A large number of the photographs were made by Benedicte Wrensted.
The albums were compiled by Robert Leonard, Eugene O. Leonard's son, who also made copy prints of many of the photographs and negatives. They include flyers, newspapers, envelopes, and other scraps collected by Leonard.
Eugene O. Leonard (1884-1964) moved to Pocatello, Idaho, in 1893 to live with his aunt, the widow of A. L. Cook and owner of the Cook building and drugstore. Leonard attended Weiser College and Academy (now College of Idaho), Whitman College, and Northwestern University. He acquired degrees in phamacy and pharmaceutical chemistry from Northwestern University, and a degree in assaying studies from the Chicago College of Chemistry. After graduation from the College in 1908, Leonard returned to Pocatello to manage the Cook Drug Store until 1918. He worked as Pocatello City Chemist and set up the College of Pharmacy at Idaho State College, where he also taught and served as dean (1918-1954). In the 1930s, Leonard obtained a MS and PhD from Utah State University. Possibly encouraged by his collector aunt, Leonard established a collection of Indian material culture objects and documentations, including artifacts and these photograhs, based on his interest in the Shoshoni and Bannock Indians at nearby Fort Hall.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 92-3
Location of Other Archival Materials:
The Idaho Museum of Natural History at Idaho State University holds artifacts collected by Eugene O. Leonard.
The Bannock County Historical Museum in Pocatello holds the Leonard Family Papers, 1893-1917.
Original nitrate negatives are in cold storage and require advanced notice for viewing. Many have associated prints.
The collection documents through correspondence, reprints of general articles, reports of Congressional committees, and materials relating to a U.S. patent and testimonials Morton's claims to priority in the discovery of the anesthetic properties of ether in medical and surgical procedures.
Scope and Contents:
The material in the collection was gathered by Morton's son, W. J. Morton, in defense of his father's character and work, and presented to the Smithsonian Institution by him on April 2, 1918. It includes correspondence, reprints of articles from medical and surgical journals, other publications, reports of congressional committees, materials relating to securing a U.S. patent, and testimonials on behalf of Morton's claim. Many of the articles and other publications relate to the controversy concerning priority in discovery of the anesthetic properties of ether in connection with medical and surgical procedures. A number are the work of contemporaries. Much of the material now in the collection is in reasonably good condition, particularly the books and many of the reprints. Many handwritten documents however show evidence of extensive water damage and some are illegible.
A report of a Smithsonian committee on condemnation on November 1, 1927 recommended destruction of' three trunks in which the Morton materials were shipped. These trunks had been stored in a damp cellar before coming to the Museum and many of the documents were so damaged as to be illegible. Such papers were destroyed with the trunks. Another committee on condemnation was appointed in April, 1955 to report on the disposal of duplicate printed materials in the Division of Medicine and Public Health no longer needed for either exhibit or study purposes. On April 20, 1955 this committee recommended transfer of such material from the Morton collection to the Armed Forces Medical Library for distribution to medical libraries throughout the country through their exchange services.
The material has been organized into two series: (1) letters and documents arranged alphabetically by subject and (2) publications arranged alphabetically by author if known or by subject if no author is designated. A bound volume of many of the pamphlets available as single publications is part of the collection. The numbers found at the end immediately following the # are the numbers stamped on the publications when they were received by the Archives Center.
Several of the documents which are listed as part of the collection are on exhibit in "Pain and Its Relief," an exhibition at the National Museum of American History. Several others, listed in the accession file or a descriptive list were not among the materials received by the Archives Center, and have been listed as missing. Where descriptive cards prepared by an intern were sent to the Archives Center, they have been filed with the pertinent document.
The collection is arranged in two series.
Series 1: Letters and Documents, 1849-1866
Series 2: Publications, 1849-1911
Biographical / Historical:
William Thomas Green Morton was born on August 9, 1819 in Charlton, a village in Worcester Co., Massachusetts. He was the son of James Morton, a farmer of Charlton, and his wife Rebecca, a daughter of William Needham of Charlton.
Young William had a New England common school education at Northfield and Leicester Academies. In 1836 at the age of seventeen he went to work as a clerk and salesman in various business houses in Boston. Finding such employment of little interest, however, he enrolled in the College of Dental Surgery in Baltimore, Maryland in 1840. In the winter of 1842-1843, William Morton and Horace Wells, who had begun to practice dentistry in Hartford, Connecticut in 1836, practiced together in Boston. This partnership turned out to be unprofitable and was dissolved in the fall of 1843. Wells returned to Hartford; Morton stayed in Boston.
In March 1844 William Morton began studying medicine with Dr. Charles T. Jackson and later continued his studies at the Harvard Medical School. He also married in 1844. He did not complete Harvard's degree requirements but in 1852 was awarded an M.D. degree "honoris causa" by the Washington University of Medicine, later the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Baltimore.
During 1844 while the dentist and aspiring physician was studying with Dr. Jackson, Jackson demonstrated before his chemistry classes that inhalation of sulfuric ether causes loss of consciousness. William Morton who had continued his practice during his medical studies for financial reasons, was especially interested in the manufacture of artificial teeth and was, therefore, concerned with lessening the pain of extraction of roots. He had tried various methods such as intoxicants, opium and mesmerism but none was effective. Morton tried inhalation of sulfuric ether on himself and during the summer of 1846 he anaesthetized goldfish, a hen and his pet spaniel. They all recovered and the dentist was ready to use ether on patients. The painless extraction of an ulcerated tooth on September 30, 1846 was written up in the Boston Daily Journal of October 1, 1846. Following the newspaper accounts, Henry J. Bigelow, a Boston surgeon affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital and John Collins Warren, the surgical chief at Massachusetts General invited Morton to demonstrate his discovery there. The removal of a tumor by Dr. Warren from the neck of a patient successfully anaesthetized by Dr. Morton on October 16, 1846 was followed the next day by a second successful anesthesia and surgery by Dr. George Hayward. After several weeks of further trials, H. J. Bigelow announced Morton's discovery in the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal on November 18, 1846.
On October 27, 1846, shortly after the first demonstration, Morton and Jackson applied for a patent which was issued November 12, 1846. They did not reveal that the anesthetic agent was sulfuric ether although it soon became apparent. On the application for patent it was labeled "Letheon". Patent No. 4848 was issued on November 12, 1846.
In 1847 a memorial to the Congress of the U.S. by the physicians and surgeons of Boston requested compensation to the discoverer of the anesthetic uses of ether, William T. G. Morton. Since this petition resulted in no action, Morton himself petitioned the Congress for financial reward. Two bills appropriating $200,000 for the discovery of practical anesthesia were introduced into three sessions of Congress but none passed. Supporters of Charles T. Jackson, Horace Wells and Crawford W. Long, each of whom had participated to some extent in the discovery of inhalation anesthesia, started a controversy which continued for years. Congressional committee and subcommittee concern dragged on for nearly two decades without fruition. Dr. Morton's last twenty years were spent in controversy and litigation although several of the plans for compensating him resulted in honor if not in funds. He died of apoplexy at forty-nine, on July 15, 1869.
Among early honors awarded to Dr. Morton was the Montyon Prize of 5,000 French francs awarded jointly to him and Dr. Jackson by the French Academy of Sciences. Morton refused the award saying the discovery for which it was granted was his and his alone. A testimonial of $1,000 from the trustees of the Massachusetts General Hospital was accepted. He received the Order of Wasa of Sweden and Norway and the Order of St. Vladimir of Russia for his contribution to science. There were testimonials by the medical profession in several cities. His name is inscribed among those of illustrious sons of Massachusetts in the Dome of the Hall of Representatives in the State House in Boston and among those on the facade of the Boston Public Library.
Crawford Long, Horace Wells and Charles T. Jackson all played a part in the discovery of surgical anesthesia but William T. G. Morton became the best known of the contenders for priority of discovery. The controversy among them continued for years and was never clearly resolved.
Dr. William H. Welch, Johns Hopkins University Medical School, gave a definitive address at the Massachusetts General Hospital on the introduction of surgical anesthesia on the 62nd anniversary of Ether Day (October 16, 1908). According to Dr. Welch, Dr. Crawford Long of Jefferson, Jackson Co. Georgia in March 1842 removed a small tumor from the neck of a patient anaesthetized with ether, and performed eight more minor operations under ether in the next Lcour years. He delayed publication however until several years after the universal acceptance of surgical anesthesia and published details are sketchy. Until Long's work became known, Horace Wells was generally credited with first using inhalation anesthesia--nitrous oxide. The failure of an important experiment resulted in Wells abandoning his experiments and withdrawing from the practice of dentistry. He later took his own life. Dr. Welch considered Wells' work "...a direct and important link in the chain of discovery which led ... to the universal adoption of surgical anesthesia."1 After careful review of the evidence and the opinions of Morton's medical contemporaries, Dr. Welch gave major honors for the discovery to Morton. 2
1. Welch, William H., M..D., A Consideration of the Introduction of Surgical Anesthesia, The Barta Press, Boston, undated, p. 11
Donated by William J. Morton, son of William T. G. Morton in 1921.
Collection is open for research.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
The papers of art conservator and historian, engineer, and professor Daniel Varney Thompson (1902-1980) are dated 1848-1979, with the bulk of the material dated 1923-1979. The collection measures 10.1 linear feet and consists of biographical material, correspondence, subject files, writings, artwork, printed material, and photographs.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of art conservator and historian, professor, engineer, and writer Daniel Varney Thompson (1902-1980) are dated 1848-1979, with the bulk of the material dated 1923-1979. The collection measures 10.1 linear feet and consists of biographical material, correspondence, subject files, writings, artwork, printed material, and photographs.
Biographical information includes certificates and diplomas, passports, and wills. Correspondence documents Daniel Varney Thompson's personal and professional life. Personal correspondence centers heavily on family members including his brother, the composer Randall Thompson. Professional correspondence concerns Thompson's academic career, research, writing, and work as a technical consultant and engineer. Among the correspondents are colleagues from Harvard, Yale, the Courtauld Institute, publishers, and academic and technical journals, in addition to corporate clients.
Subject files are comprised of varying correspondence, printed matter, photographs, notes and writings relating to Thompson's areas of interest. Personal and professional subject files include many relating to his research interests and engineering consulting projects. Of particular interest are numerous letters from Bernard Berenson. There is also correspondence with Belle da Costa Greene, as well as files concerning the Kermes beetle (a source of crimson dyes in the middle ages). Food and gardening subject files reflect Thompson's career as a writer and columnist on these subjects.
Writings consist mainly of manuscripts, drafts, research and miscellaneous notes; also included are diaries, poems, miscellaneous items, and a music score. Daniel Varney Thompson's personal and professional writings include two diaries, poems, and student writings. Most of his extant writings are on art-related topics, science and technology. Among the notes is an index to medieval manuscripts on craftsmanship in major European libraries was compiled by Thompson in 1935. His work on the subject remains unpublished and his notes are extremely valuable since some of the materials noted were lost in World War II. Scientific and technical notebooks, along with various wirings and reports, document projects undertaken as a technical consultant and engineer. The food and gardening writings are extensive and consist of manuscripts and notes for articles and columns, and for a book-length compilation of these writings. Among the writings by other authors are diaries of his mother and wife, and a music score by his brother, Randall Thompson.
Artwork by Daniel Varney Thompson, Mary Sargent McKean, and Henry Winslow consists of drawings, prints, watercolors, a sketchbook, and an oil painting. Printed material includes articles and book reviews by Daniel Varney Thompson, and items about or mentioning him and his family. Also found are articles and books about art, history, medieval studies, science and technology, and food and gardening topics.
Photographs are of artwork, people, places and miscellaneous subjects. Images of people are mainly Thompson and family members.
The collection is arranged as 7 series.
Series 1: Biographical Information, 1848-1970s (Box 1, OV 11-12; 0.3 linear ft.)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1914-1979 (Boxes 1-3; 2.0 linear ft.)
Series 3: Subject Files, 1925-1979 (Boxes 3-6; 3.0 linear ft.)
Series 4: Writings, 1907-1970s (Boxes 6-9; 2.85 linear ft.)
Series 5: Artwork, 1923-1934 (Box 9, OV 13; 5 folders)
Series 6: Printed Material, 1917-1979 (Box 9; 0.75 linear ft.)
Series 7: Photographs, circa 1900-1972 (Box 10; 0.4 linear ft.)
Daniel Varney Thompson (1902-1980) was an art conservator and historian, professor, engineer, and writer. A noted authority on medieval painting, Varney lived and worked primarily in the Boston area and London.
Daniel Varney Thompson was born in New Jersey in 1902. He was the son of Grace Randall Thompson and Daniel Varney Thompson, Sr., a classics teacher at the Lawrenceville School and later headmaster of Boston Latin School. American composer Randall Thompson was his older brother. Following family tradition, Thompson attended Harvard, earning the A.B. in 1922 and A.M. in 1926, focusing his attention on fine arts, physical chemistry, and literature. Daniel V. Thompson stopped using the designation Jr. after his father's death in 1932.
Between 1922 and 1925 Thompson was employed in the Fogg Museum's laboratory devoted to analyzing art materials for the purposes of detecting forgeries, preserving works of art, and devising methods to aid working artists. During this period, Thompson went to Italy as a Sheldon Fellow in Fine Arts, to learn medieval fresco painting techniques from Edward W. Forbes, Director of the Fogg Museum. He also had an opportunity to study medieval and Renaissance painting techniques with Inicio Federico Joni, and while in Italy began life-long friendships with the Forbes family and Bernard Berenson. Thompson served as a technical advisor to the 1924-1925 Second Harvard China Expedition; he traveled to China by way of India, where he studied wall paintings in caves at Ajanta and Elura and researched newly discovered scrolls.
Daniel Varney Thompson was on the faculty of Yale from 1926-1933, where he taught art history, and tempera painting courses, and laid the foundation for the Department of Fine Arts when Yale became a university in 1932. During his time at Yale, Thompson married Cecile [Cecily] de Luze Simonds.
When The American Council of Learned Societies awarded Thompson a research fellowship for the academic year 1933/34, he returned to Europe and surveyed major libraries for materials concerning the history of technology of the arts. Thompson was then invited to be Professor of the History of Technology at the University of London. He was on the faculty from 1934-1946, and also served as research and technical advisor, developing a laboratory at the Courtauld Institute for analysis of art materials.
During World War II, the Courtauld's laboratory - which had facilities for emission, absorption, and x-ray spectrography - was offered to the Ministry of Aircraft Production. To avoid compromising the University's tax-free status, Thompson formed and served as managing director of Daniel Varney Limited, a private company which leased the premises and equipment. From 1940 to 1945, the company was operated in the name of the Courtauld Institute, employing 200 people in tool making, gauge making, fine mechanisms, and development and production of optics instruments. After the war, Daniel Varney Limited shifted its interests to high vacuum diffusion pumps, gas manipulation, and glassblowing.
Upon returning to the United States in 1947, Thompson settled in the Boston area, becoming a technical consultant. He worked on projects for E-Z Mills, Inc., Sylvania Eloctronics, Comstock & Wescott, Inc., and other corporations. He was chief engineer of Jarrell-Ash Co., 1953-1955, redesigning optical instruments, spectrography, and schlieren systems. Between 1955 and 1957, Thompson served as Vice President of Swett & Sibley, involved with the design and development of optical instruments, scanning spectrometers, and densistometers. He then moved to Avco Corporation, where for the next decade he was a Senior Staff Consultant working on optical design in rocket instrumentation. Thompson retired from his engineering career in 1967.
Daniel V. Thompson wrote and published extensively. Art-related writings include translations and a monograph published by Yale University Press, and numerous articles and reviews. Translations are: Cennino Cennini's Il Libro dell'Arte (3 volumes: Text of Il Libro dell'Arte, 1932; The Craftsman's Handbook, 1933; and The Practice of Tempera Painting, 1936), and An Anonymous Fourteenth Century Treatise ( De arte illuminadi) (with his student George Heard Hamilton), 1936. A monograph, The Materials and Techniques of Medieval Painting (foreword by Bernard Berenson) appeared in 1936.
Most of Thompson's scientific and technical writings are unpublished and relate to projects for which he served as a consulting engineer.
Soon after retiring, Thompson began a new career that he continued for the remainder of his life. A serious cook and long-time gardener, he began writing about these topics, producing weekly columns that were published by newspapers from Maine to Chicago and contributing articles to Gourmet, Horticulture, and similar periodicals. Thompson also lectured to garden clubs and judged garden and flower competitions.
Daniel Varney Thompson died on January 4, 1980, following an automobile accident in Malaga, Spain.
Also found in the Archives of American Art are oral history interviews conducted with Daniel V. Thompson by Robert Brown, September 25, 1974-November 2, 1976. There are also three letters from Thompson to his sister-in-law Edith Simonds Moore.
The Daniel Varney Thompson papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in increments between 1974-1981 by Mr. Thompson and his estate.
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
The Daniel Varney Thompson papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.