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On the show
'Swallow': A curious look at the ingestion of foreign bodies
In her compelling new book, award-winning author Mary Cappello explores the story of Chevalier Jackson, a pioneering laryngologist who specialized in the extraction of swallowed items.
Down the hatch
In “Swallow: Foreign Bodies, Their Ingestion, Inspiration, and the Curious Doctor Who Extracted Them,” award-winning author Mary Cappello sheds light on the curious practice of Dr. Chevalier Jackson, a pioneering laryngologist who specialized in the delicate, nonsurgical extraction of foreign bodies that were swallowed or inhaled. Decades later, the items Jackson and his colleagues managed to retrieve from the throats of their patients still have the power to astonish. How could anyone swallow these things?
An X-ray of the case of E.R.S., age 4, a pair of toy opera glasses stuck in the esophagus. Radiologist, Dr. Willis F. Manges (1876-1936). From the Collection of the Mutter Museum, The College of Physicians of Philadelphia.
The tools for the task
Part of an action exhibit mounted at Philadelphia's Franklin Institute in 1938 that featured a breathing mannequin complete with inserted bronchoscope through which museum goers could view and grasp with forceps and inspirated nail. Top to bottom: distal light, bronchoscope, forceps, foreign bodies. The Historical and Interpretive Collection of the Franklin Institute, Inc., Philadelphia, Pa.
Extracting a thumb tack
The problem of the thumb tack as illustrated and explained in Chevalier Jackson's "New Mechanical Problems in the Bronchoscopic Extraction of Foreign Bodies from the Lungs and Esophagus," Transactions of the American Laryngological, Rhinological, and Otolaryngological Socity, volume 27, 1921. Courtesy of Thomas Jefferson University, Archives and Special Collections.
Into the mouths of babes
A baby's face, bronchoscopically framed, nibbles on a piece of toast, surrounded by a sea of all the possible bits of the object world she might, if un-checked, swallow or inhale. The cover for an article by Chevaliaer Jackson that appeared in Hygeia (December 1923), reprinted 1937, in the Chevalier Jackson Papers, 1890-1964, MS C 292, Modern Manuscripts Collection, History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, Maryland.
Lived to tell
As a 9-month-old, little Joseph B. swallowed a selection of safety pins. This photograph was sent to Dr. Jackson as both a thank-you note and evidence of the pioneering laryngologist's abilities. Chevalier Jackson Papers, 1890-1964, MS C 292, Modern Manuscripts Collection, History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, Maryland.
"The Stomach Contents Display"
One of the most talked-about items at the Glore Psychiatic Museum, this horrifying assortment of needles, pins, nails, buttons and other foreign objects was removed from a single patient. The St. Joseph Museums, Inc./Glore Psychiatric Museum, St. Joseph, Missouri.
Grasping a button
Solving the mechanical problems associated with retrieval of collar buttons in the upper torso as it appears in Chevalier Jackson's "New Mechanical Problems in the Bronchoscopic Extraction of Foreign Bodies from the Lungs and Esophagus," Transactions of the American Laryngological, Rhinological, Otolaryngological Society 27 (1921). Courtesy of Thomas Jefferson University, Archives and Special Conditions.
Another satisfied patient
Margaret Derryberry about the age she was when she accidentally inhaled a hatpin, which Jackson removed from her bronchus. Margaret went in search of her pin in the Chevalier Jackson Foreign Body Collection in 2007, having suffered the accident when she was an 8-year-old in 1931. For years, Margaret's mother kept a subsitute pin in the lining of her purse, which she periodically brought out to show people what her daughter had survived. Photo courtesy of Margaret Derryberry and her daughter, Peggy Derryberry Gould.